Some staples are good for those select favorite culinary treats, while others are good for just about everything, like lemons. I could not cook without lemons. I am an all-around citrus junkie, but lemons are my favorite. I counted this past week and noticed that I used at least one lemon a day from adding to my tea, to zesting up my fish and chips, to adding some sunshine to my vodka and even preventing scurvy by dousing my broccoli.
Lemons are such happy fruits and they lend their happiness to everything. In the morning, I add some zest and juice to my vanilla yogurt and blueberries to make it even more fresh and healthful. For lunch, my hummus sings with joy as the olive oil and chickpeas dance with zest and juice. Need a snack? I love sliced apples, but they turn brown so quickly. A dose of lemon juice and they stay appetizing until the afternoon. After my hard day, a vodka martini with a lemon twist is the perfect cure to block the pain and then dish it up with dinner as it turns my healthy fish and chips into something so much more.
Fish and Chips (on a budget and still keeping the heart pumping)
I have been working out more which only encourages me to eat well. The martini withstanding, was a single occurrence this week and well worth it, but since I had exhausted myself during dance class on Monday, the one libation was good enough.
Money is tight and I am pulling things from the freezer – namely grouper filets and French fries. I love fries, but only enjoy them once in a while and I figure if I make them myself at least I know they aren’t so bad.
I use the frozen kind, but dress them up.
1 lemon (juice and zest)
Salt and pepper
Cook the fries as directed on the bag, but before you put them in the oven, toss them with zest, salt, pepper and paprika. Bake halfway and add fish to the pan.
A couple grouper fillets or any white fish you like
1 beaten egg
1 lemon (zest and juice)
Bread crumbs and/or your favorite crushed up cereal (I used Fiber One once and just couldn’t get past the bran taste so I don’t recommend it.)
Dried herbs of your choice
Cayenne pepper or hot sauce
Salt and pepper
To the beaten egg add half of the lemon juice, salt, pepper and hot sauce if using.
To the bread crumbs add lemon zest, garlic powder, herbs, cayenne (if using) and salt and pepper.
Dry the fillets with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Dip in the egg and then in the crumbs and put on the baking sheet. When the fish is done and the fries look crisp, douse the fries with half a lemon’s worth of juice and toss. Put back in the oven to crisp under the broiler – DO NOT WALK AWAY! Now look to see the golden goodness. The lemon juice caramelizes on the fries and is just so good!
I usually add a little homemade tartar sauce (low fat mayo with dill pickle relish and scallions) to the dish and all I am missing is a pint to wash it down with.
Which citrus is your favorite? And why?