Sour Grapefruit Margarita
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 cup fresh grapefruit juice (I used Ruby Reds)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup tequila
Scatter salt in a wide, shallow dish. Run a wedge of lime around rim of 2 glasses, then dip them in the salt mixture. Set aside.
In shaker, combine grapefruit juice, lime juice, agave and tequila. Drop a handful of ice cubes into the cup and shake well. Carefully strain and pour into prepared glasses. If desired, garnish with a slice of lime.
1 large egg yolk
Large pinch kosher salt
2 tablespoons strained freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
1/2 cup neutral-tasting olive oil
Makes about 3/4 cup.
Combine egg yolk with salt and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in small bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in oil very gradually. Whisk until mayonnaise is spreadable and all the oil has been added. Gradually whisk in more of the lemon juice until you have thin, slightly tart mayonnaise; you may not need all the juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in refrigerator, covered, until ready to use.
10 to 12 organically grown lemons
750 milliliter bottle vodka
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
Makes two 750-milliliter bottles.
Wash lemons then use vegetable peeler to remove yellow zest of the peels. Store now-naked lemons in refrigerator to use juice in another recipe.
Put the lemon zest strips into a large, clean glass jar. Pour vodka over strips of lemon. Lemon should be completely submerged in vodka; push is down with a spoon if necessary. Cover jar and leave it at room temperature for 2 weeks. Shake jar every other day to redistribute the lemon peels.
After 2 weeks, liquid will have taken on a bright yellow color from the peels. Pour mixture through a strainer into a large bowl or pitcher. Discard peels.
Combine water and sugar in pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved into water to form a simple syrup. As soon as sugar has dissolved, remove pot from heat. Let syrup cool to room temperature.
Pour lemon-infused vodka into syrup and stir to combine. Pour limoncello through a funnel into two clean 750-milliliter glass bottles. Cap or cork tightly. Store bottles of limoncello in refrigerator or freezer. There’s still one ingredient left to add: patience. Wait at least 2 weeks, preferably a month, for flavors of limoncello to mix and mellow before serving.
14-ounce can coconut milk
1/2 cup superfine sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Finely grate zest of 1 lemon and remove zest of another in wide strips using a vegetable peeler. Squeeze juice from all 4 of the lemons.
Place lemon juice, zest and zest strips in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan with coconut milk, sugar and cornstarch and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Bring to boil and then simmer uncovered for about 1 hour, stirring frequently, until mixture reduces and thickens.
Transfer curd to sterilized jars. Seal and store. Once opened, curd will keep in fridge for 2 weeks.
Elegant Citrus Tart
1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
Buttery Orange Curd (recipe follows)
9 assorted citrus fruits, peeled and sectioned
Makes one tart.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake coconut in single layer in a shallow pan 4 to 5 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely.
Pulse coconut, flour and powdered sugar in a food processor until combined. Add butter and coconut extract, and pulse 5 to 6 times or until crumbly. With processor running, gradually add 3 tablespoons water and process until dough forms a ball and leaves sides of bowl. (I used whole-wheat flour, and had to add about 2 tablespoons more water.)
Roll dough into a 12 1/2-by-8-inch rectangle (about1/4-inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Press on bottom and up sides of a 12-by-9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Trim excess and discard.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
Spread Buttery Orange Curd over crust. Top with citrus sections. Voila!
Buttery Orange Curd
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/3 cups orange juice
1 large egg, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons orange zest
Pinch table salt
Makes about 2 cups.
Combine sugar and cornstarch in a 3-quart saucepan. Gradually whisk in orange juice. Whisk in egg. Bring to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove from heat. Whisk in butter, zest and salt. Place heavy-duty plastic wrap directly on curd (to prevent a film from forming). Chill 8 hours. Store leftovers in fridge for up to 3 days.
Shrimp and Avocado Ceviche with Lime Crema
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and split in half
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons Mexican crema
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
2 teaspoons diced red onion
1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno
Serves four to six.
Put bowl of ice nearby. In medium pot, bring 6 cups water to a boil. Drop in shrimp and cook only until they just begin to turn pink, about 15 seconds. Do not overcook. Remove from heat, drain and chill the shrimp on ice.
In small bowl, combine the orange, lime and lemon juices with the sugar, salt, crema and ginger. Mix well and pour over shrimp. Chill for 15 minutes. Just before serving, gently toss in the avocado, onion and jalapeno.
Wheat Berry, Baby Kale, Grape and Orange Salad
2 cups wheat berries
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup golden balsamic vinegar
Zest 1 orange
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground ginger
Freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces baby kale or baby spinach
1 cup seedless red grapes
1 cup seedless green grapes
2 oranges, segmented
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup raw, unsalted walnuts, toasted and chopped
Make wheat berries: Rinse them and put them in medium pot with 6 cups water and salt. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer. Cook, covered, 1 hour, until wheat berries are just tender. Add a few cups cold water to pot; stir and then strain. Place wheat berries in a very large bowl to cool, stirring occasionally.
Make vinaigrette: Combine oil, vinegar, zest, juice, agave, mustard, salt, curry powder, cayenne, ginger and pepper in a small jar. Seal lid tightly and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside at room temperature.
Make salad: Combine cooled wheat berries with kale or spinach in a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 cup of dressing. Add grapes and orange segments and another1/4 cup dressing and toss again. Add more dressing if desired and season with salt and pepper. Toss in walnuts right before serving.
Crispy Orange Beef
1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak tips, trimmed
3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
6 tablespoons cornstarch
10 3-inch strips orange peel, sliced thin lengthwise (1/4 cup), plus 1/2 cup juice (2 oranges)
3 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons roasted sesame oil
3 cups vegetable oil
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and sliced thin lengthwise
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 scallions, sliced thin on bias
Cut beef with grain into 2- to 3-inch-wide pieces. Slice each piece against grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Toss beef with 1 tablespoon soy sauce in bowl. Add cornstarch and toss until evenly coated. Spread beef in single layer on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Put sheet in freezer until meat is very firm but not completely frozen, about 45 minutes.
Whisk orange juice, molasses, sherry, vinegar, sesame oil and remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce together in bowl.
Line second rimmed baking sheet with triple layer of paper towels. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until oil registers 375 degrees. Carefully add 1/3 of beef and fry, stirring occasionally to keep beef from sticking, until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Using wire-mesh skimmer, transfer meat to paper towel-lined sheet. Return oil to 375 degrees and repeat with remaining beef. After frying, reserve 2 tablespoons frying oil.
Heat reserved oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add orange peel and jalapeno and cook, stirring occasionally, until about half of orange peel is golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, until garlic begins to brown, about 45 seconds. Add soy sauce mixture and cook, scraping up any brown bits, until slightly thickened, about 45 seconds. Add beef and scallions and toss. Serve immediately.
Simple Chicken Stock
1 chicken carcass (the back and breast bones if you’ve cut them away)
2 chicken wing tips and wings
1 chicken neck
2 ribs of celery, cut into large pieces
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
1 large onion, peeled, quartered
Rinse the chicken pieces under running water until the water runs clear.
Place the pieces in a large stockpot and cover with about 10 to 12 cups of water. Bring to a simmer. Skim any foam from the surface. Add the vegetables to the pot and simmer for 1-2 hours.
Strain the stock, reserving the vegetables and carcass if desired, and store until ready to use.
Once the chicken carcass and vegetables are cool enough to handle, pick apart any remaining meat and dice the vegetables if desired. Or place the strained liquid in several containers, refrigerate and skim off the fat that solidifies at the top. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
1/4 cup olive oil
10 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed
2 chicken leg quarters, leg and thigh separated and cut into small pieces
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
3/4 cup homemade chicken stock or fat-free less-sodium broth
Salt and black pepper to taste
Serves two to four.
In large skillet, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Saute until the garlic is lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the chicken and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and sherry. Stir the mixture well so the oil and sherry emulsify, and simmer for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and cook for 1 minute more.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer chicken to a platter or individual serving plates, drizzle with the pan juices. Serve with a side of roasted fingerling potatoes or rice.
Tuscan Lemon Chicken
2 thick pieces chicken breast with skin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved, optional
Sprinkle each chicken piece with kosher salt and pepper on each side. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, a few pinches of kosher salt and several grinds of black pepper. Set aside half of the marinade in a separate small dish and refrigerate.
Place the chicken in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold it flat. Pour the remaining lemon marinade over the chicken, turning it in the dish and making sure the chicken is coated. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken 2 or 3 times while marinating.
When ready to cook, prepare a grill for medium indirect heat. (You can also cook the chicken in a skillet or broil it.) Place the chicken on the cooler side of grill, skin side up, weighing it down with the dish you used for marinating. Cook for about 8 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breast, or until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken skin-side down, weight again with the dish, and cook for another 5 or so minutes until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.
If using, place the lemon halves on the cool side of the grill, cut side down for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut in quarters, sprinkle with salt, and serve with the grilled lemon halves for squeezing on the chicken.
Honey Sriracha Chicken with Soy and Cilantro
2 chicken breast pieces with skin
2 chicken wings without tips
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce or to taste
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or Tamari
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 green onions, sliced on the diagonal
Place the chicken in plastic sealable bag. In small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine all the marinade ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, adding more hot sauce if you like or more brown sugar if it’s too spicy. The marinade should be a good balance of sweet, salty and spicy.
Pour marinade over chicken in bag. Seal bag and marinate at least 2 hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the chicken pieces in a shallow baking dish or sheet pan with sides. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Arrange on a platter and garnish with cilantro and green onion.
Cranberry Brie Puffs
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 cup fresh cranberries or whole cranberry sauce
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces Brie, rind removed, cut into 30 even pieces
Makes about 30 puffs.
Thaw pastry at room temperature for about 1 hour or until just soft enough to roll out.
In a small saucepan, place the cranberries, water and sugar. Cover and cook over high heat about 3 minutes or until cranberries have popped. Remove lid and mash with a fork. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring about 2 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and cool.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Sprinkle work surface with flour and unfold puff pastry, pressing out the seams. Roll into a 12-by-10-inch-by-9-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 30 equal squares rectangles. Press pastry into mini-muffin pans. Evenly divide the cooled cranberry mixture among the muffin cups. Put a piece of brie in each muffin cup. Bake puffs for 15 to 20 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown. Remove from oven. Cool in pan 1 to 2 minutes and invert onto a serving tray. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Baked Brie with Chutney
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped peeled firm apple (Granny Smith, Gala or Braeburn)
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries or cherries
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped shelled pistachios or pecans
2 tablespoons brandy or apple juice
1 round (6 to 8 ounces) Brie cheese
Baguette French bread slices, crackers or fresh apple slices for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In large skillet, melt the butter over low heat.
Add the apple, cranberries, brown sugar, nuts and brandy. Cook for 3 minutes or just until the apples are tender, stirring frequently. Remove the fruit mixture from the heat and let it cool.
Carefully cut the Brie round in half horizontally.
Place the bottom half in an ungreased small baking dish. Spoon half of the fruit mixture over the cheese, then place top half of the cheese round over the fruit and press down.
Top with the remaining fruit mixture. Secure the cheese with toothpicks.
Bake about 15-20 minutes or until the Brie just begins to melt; it should still hold its shape. Do not allow it to completely melt.
Remove the Brie from the oven. Slide the Brie from the pan onto a serving platter. Spoon any syrup and fruit from pan over the top.
Serve with baguette slices, assorted crackers or apple slices.