Limoncello

limoncello - trust in kim

Here’s a recipe for Limoncello, a summery liqueur that is easy to make at home. It is typically served to sup on, icy cold, as a digestif after dinner. For more options, this site has tons of mixed drinks you can make using your homemade Limoncello.

Do-it-yourself liqueurs are great because you can control the amount of sugar that goes into them, and it’s fun to make them. I read a lot of recipes online, and most were similar, so I did what seemed right to make this one. I had some of the simple syrup left over, since I didn’t want to add too much sugar; it tastes sweeter when it is cold. You can always add more sugar later, or for individuals with more of a sweet tooth.

For this recipe you’ll need a large jar for the first part that sits for a week or two, then some bottles for the finished product. It’s best to buy organic lemons for this recipe, since the peels are what flavours this drink.

What you need:

  • zest of 4-5 organic lemons
  • 1 litre 80-proof vodka
  • 3 & 3/4 cups water
  • 2 & 1/4 cups sugar

What you do:

  1. Wash the lemons well and dry them.
  2. Peel the yellow part of the lemon rind – it is important that you don’t use even a trace of the white part of the rind, as this will give your Limoncello a bitter taste. I used a very sharp vegetable peeler, but you could also do this carefully with a knife. Alternatively you can use a zester to grate the peel.
  3. Place the lemon zest in a large jar and top it up with the litre of vodka. Tighten a lid on the jar and put it in a cool, dark place for a week or two. I covered mine with a tea towel.
  4. Wait. Give the jar a shake every other day.
  5. After a week or so you should see that the vodka has turned yellow. Strain the lemon zest out of the vodka.
  6. Combine the water and sugar in a pot and heat it gently on the stove. Let the simple syrup cool to room temperature. (When I make this again I will use less water in the simple syrup so that I can store it in the freezer.)
  7. Add some of the simple syrup to the vodka and taste to see if it needs more. I used about equal parts of each, maybe less of the simple syrup.
  8. This drink is best served icy cold out of the fridge (depending on how much simple syrup you used, this may contain too much water and turn into a slushy, and possibly break the bottle), and keeps indefinitely.

Enjoy!

 

Lemony Greek Ribs

greek rib dinner -trust in kimgreek ribs - trust in kim

These dry Greek ribs are so flavourful – lemony and salty. The secret is to make a dry rub containing lemon zest, and let that sit for a few hours.

I lived in a small town way back when for a few years and there was, in my opinion, only one good meal available in a restaurant in that town at the time. It was Greek ribs, and it was awesome. But I’ve been in big(ger) cities for a long time, where there are endless possibilities for delicious meals to inspire my cookery, so I had sort of forgotten how much I loved these until this summer. I finally got around to trying to recreate the taste experience, and I am so pleased with the results. I already have requests from the friends who ate them to make them again soon.

I gleaned ideas from many recipes, and then just put together what I thought would work into this recipe.

Lemony potatoes, Greek salad, and some tzatziki make this an awesome Greek meal.

What you need:

  • 1 large rack baby back ribs
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • zest of two lemons
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of two lemons

What you do:

  1. A few hours before you plan to grill them, make up the dry rub. Combine the garlic, lemon zest, oregano and pepper, and work it a little with your fingertips to help the zest release its oil. Place the ribs on a baking pan or another dish that they fit into. Generously salt both sides of the ribs. Rub each side with the zest mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until half an hour before you will be grilling.
  2. Pour the juice of the lemons over each side of the ribs and let them sit for about half an hour.
  3. Heat the grill on high. When the grill is hot, put the ribs on (meatier side down) and turn the heat to low. Cook for about 20 minutes on each side. It might need a little longer depending on the size of the ribs and the heat of your grill.

Καλή όρεξη (Enjoy your meal!)

Lemon Sables – French Sugar Cookies

lemon sables - trust in kim

 

Mmm, these pretty little lemony cookies have a nice crispy bite to them, almost like a shortbread.  I usually look for cookie recipes that have some chocolate in them, but this is a nice fresh change from my usual, and they go great with a cup of tea.   I made them for a dessert to bring to a friend’s place, and they were a hit.  They are small enough to have just a little sweet bite after dinner, but those who wanted more sweet bites could have a few.

I got this recipe from Clotilde Dusoulier’s fabulous Chocolate and Zucchini cookbook.

What you need:

1 lemon

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon fleur de sel or kosher salt

7 tablespoons/ 3.5 ounces cold unsalted butter, diced

1 large egg yolk

1 cup icing sugar

What you do:

1. Zest about one tablespoon of lemon peel, making sure to only use the yellow skin, not the bitter white part underneath.

2. Rub the lemon zest into the sugar, then stir in the flour and salt.

3. Add the butter and mix it into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or cool hands (if your hands are too hot they will melt the butter) until it looks like very coarse sand.  Add the egg yolk and stir with a fork until combined, and then knead the dough until it comes together. If you need to, you can add a little ice-cold water, one teaspoons at a time to help bring it together.

4. Divide the dough into two parts, then form it into logs about 3-4 cm in diameter.  Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1/2 hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take one of the logs out of the freezer and slice about 1cm thick using a very sharp serrated knife.

6. Place the disks on the baking sheet, leaving a few centimeters’ space between them.  Bake for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden on the edges.  Cool the cookies on a wire rack. You can bake both logs, or save one for baking fresh another time.  While these cookies do keep for a few days, they are best on days one and two.

7. Once the cookies are completely cool you can make the glaze by squeezing the lemons to get 3 tablespoons of juice.  Add the juice to a bowl with the icing sugar and whisk it until there are no lumps.  Glaze the cookies using a pastry brush or a teaspoon.  Let the glaze dry completely before serving.  Make sure to store them in an airtight container.

Lamb Chops with Pistachio Tapenade

These little chops are so easy and tasty – I’ve fallen in love with them.  I don’t cook lamb very often, so I wanted to find an amazing recipe, and after much searching I found it at Smitten Kitchen.  Olives and nuts, well right there you’ve got an amazing combination that works so well with the lamb.

If you want to try out this recipe on someone, feel free to invite me over!

I served them with tiny baked potatoes roasted with some duck fat, rosemary and salt, along with a green salad with vinaigrette, strawberries and toasted slivered almonds.

What you need:

1 rack of lamb or 6-8 chops

1/3 cup unsalted pistachios, toasted

1/3 cup pitted green olives

1 & 1/2 tablespoons capers

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh oregano

1 & 1/2 tablespoons parsley

olive oil

zest of 1 lemon

salt and pepper

What you do:

1.  Cut the rack of lamb into chops, the salt and pepper each one.  Let these sit while you prepare the tapenade.

2.  To make the tapenade, place the pistachios, capers, garlic, oregano, parsley and lemon zest in a food processor.  Add a little olive oil at a time to make it into a thick paste.

3.  Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Heat a frying pan to medium-high, then add some olive oil.  Cook the lamb chops for 2 minutes per side, or until they are browned.  Remove the chops to a baking pan and smear some of the tapenade on each.  Place the chops in the oven and cook for 4-5 minutes, which will give you lovely rare chops.

4.  Remove the chops from the oven and let them rest 5 minutes before serving.  Savour!

Lemon Olive Oil Coffee Cake with Cranberries and Raspberries

After browsing  the recipes on Lottie and Doof I chose to make this recipe for an afternoon tea cake.  I added a sprinkling of ground almonds on top, and used frozen cranberries and a few raspberries instead of the fresh fruit mentioned in the original recipe.  Love this cake, even after a bit of a mistake on my part – I baked it in an 8-inch pan rather than the 9-inch pan that the recipe called for.  I had to leave it in the oven a lot longer than the recipe called for, and even then it was a little soft in the middle – but still so good!  The outside was a little crispy, which I actually liked – some mistakes are worth making!

What you need:

200 grams granulated sugar (about 1 cup)

zest of 2 lemons

100 grams melted butter (just less than 1/2 cup)

200 grams olive oil (just less than 1 cup)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

250 grams all-purpose flour (about 2 & 1/2 cups)

1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

about 1-1 & 1/2 cups fruit (I used cranberries and a few raspberries, but be creative or use what you’ve got on hand!)

What you do:

1.  Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F.  Melt the butter and allow to cool a little.

2.  Mix the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingertips to release the oils.

3.  Crack the eggs into a large bowl and mix them with the sugar and salt.  Beat with an electric mixer for quite a while, until it has about doubled in volume.

4.  Very gradually beat in the olive oil, butter and lemon juice.

5.  Fold in the flour and baking powder, being careful not to mix too much.

6.  Pour half the batter into the pan, put a layer of fruit down, then add the rest of the batter on top of the fruit.

7.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  You can check it by inserting a toothpick and seeing if it comes out clean.  After cooling a bit you can remove it from the pan by running a knife around the edge and inverting onto a wire rack.

Spaghetti Squash with Sundried Tomatoes and Olives

I love the idea of spaghetti squash, but I find it doesn’t have quite enough flavour on its own.  As my friend Meredyth says, sundried tomatoes make everything better.  I feel the same way about olives.  This easy recipe isn’t shy on taste, and it is super healthy and all-vegetable.  And  nut.  Okay, and olives are actually a fruit . . . but you get the point.

What you need:

1 spaghetti squash

6 sundried tomatoes

1 lemon, juice and zest

2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped basil

1/2 clove garlic, finely diced

about a dozen kalamata olives

1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts

What you do:

1.  Cut the squash in half, scoop the seeds out and place cut-side down on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400F for about 40 minutes.

2.  While the squash is baking toast the pine nuts.

3.  When the squash is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes, until it is cool enough to handle.

4.  Combine the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, basil, sundried tomatoes, olives, garlic and basil.

5.  Remove the squash from the shells by scraping with a fork.  Add the other ingredients to the squash.

Ready, easy and yummy!

Almond Cake

For my dad’s birthday I baked him this cake. Not a birthday cake, just a really good cake to enjoy with his coffee.  He said it was “really good,” and my mom agreed.  That’s the only review I’ve got of this one so far, aside from the fabulous aroma that took over my kitchen while it was baking!

What you need:

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sugar plus a little for sprinkling

zest of one lemon

2 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup flour

What you do:

1.  Melt the butter and then allow it to cool.

2.  Combine the sugar and lemon zest, using your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is a bit moist.

3.  Add eggs one at a time, and whisk after each one.  Whisk in salt, vanilla and almond extracts.

4.  Stir in the flour, then fold in the melted butter.

5.  Pour the batter into an 8 or 9 inch greased pan.  Sprinkle the toasted almonds and then some sugar on the top.

6.  Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until golden, and a toothpick comes out clean.

7.  Cool the cake in the pan, then cut into squares to serve.