Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Eat-cute: This one's a lemon

Lemons! From the far corners of the citrus section at the grocery store, they cry out to me. They light up the dull potato existence of the fruits and vegetable section with their yellow skins. 

Lemons are not just for lemonade, folks. I have bought them before and merely used them as garnish or juiced them to a pulp. But today I have decided that I will dedicate a post to seeing how to use every single last bit of one lemon. 

1. Recipe One: Oven-roasted leg of lamb. The recipe required, among other things, lemon zest as part of the marinade for the lamb. Thus I derobed this lemon of its yellow skin. There are all kinds of fancy kitchen gadgets out there for zesting a lemon, but as I am a big fan of not having to run to the store every time I come across a new recipe or technique, I decided that the box grater was just fine enough for me.

Sprinkle the zest on the lamb with other seasonings that you like, marinate with apple juice, then take out of the fridge, pour out the juice, pour in chicken broth and wine, and stick it in the oven for awhile. 
There is a lot of zest on these suckers, and only 1 leg of lamb for me (which makes me wonder, who out there got to eat the other 3 legs of this particular sheep?). So this is what I was left with, a whole bunch of lemon zest, all dolled up with nowhere to go. 

2. Recipe 2 - dried lemon zest. It is fabulously easy to make. Stick it in a microwave (NOT on the foil! I left weird science experiments behind in the 7th grade after that frog dissection class). A couple of minutes later the zest will be all dried out, and you can store it in a jar to use for flavoring food later. I have mine in a spice jar with some other orange zest so I have a wonderful citrusy blend. That is, really, I am just running out of spice jars :)

3. Now imagine that this is a cooking show on TV...because now I am going to pull a fully cooked leg of lamb out of the oven not 1 minute after I discussed how to make it! Abracadabra.... 
Geez louise...I feel like one of those eating contest people, because honestly I have never cooked so much meat in my life! This thing was enormous. It is about 4 days later and I am still trying to get through this thing. Talk about leftovers, if that's your thing, lamb is for YOU!

4. Whoof! I almost forgot to mention the 3rd and final food recipe to get out of this one poor little lemon. If you have lamb, you will of course wanted some nice roasted veggies like eggplant and red peppers. This is great for busy people like me, who only have so much time to cook, because you can stick them in the oven at the same time as the meat. So all you have to do is just stick it in and hope for the best (my life motto which applies to just about any situation - try it). Back to the lemon. After they are done roasting in the oven on a long summer holiday in the 400 degree weather, you take them out. Then you - are you ready for this - you squeeze the juice from the lemon onto the vegetables. How amazing!

Just when you thought I could not come up with any more ways to abuse this lemon which had the unfortunate luck to fall into my crafty hands, I managed to stick the rest of it down the disposal which according to some folks "cleans" it out. Now I have not seen any scientific research studies showing any sort of correlation between lemon disposing and subsequent cleanliness, but suffice it to say that at least I gave every part of the lemon a purpose. 

Until next time...I'll be finishing my leftovers. 

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