Tag Archives: lemon

Strawberry Lemonade Gummies

Strawberry Lemonade Gummies | stupideasypaleo.com

Making homemade gummies with fruit and high-quality gelatin is one alternative to making lots of bone broth / soup stock for its gelatin content.

These Strawberry Lemonade Gummies are a recipe I develop for BreakingMuscle.com. The combo of the berries and lemon give it a sweet-tart flavor that’s really refreshing. (This is the only high-quality gelatin I use.)

Click here to get the recipe → Strawberry Lemonade Gummies

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Strawberry Lemonade Gummies | stupideasypaleo.com

How to Make Homemade Extracts – Vanilla, Mint & Lemon

How to Make Homemade Extracts — Vanilla, Mint & Lemon | stupideasypaleo.com

Learning how to make homemade extracts for cooking is really quite simple, and I’m going to let you in on how easy it is! Yes, most extracts contain alcohol and though I’ve seen alcohol-free versions, I haven’t been stoked about using glycerine as the solvent. Considering I use these extracts in small quantities, I don’t have a personal objection to the alcohol content but as always, your Paleo is up to you alone to dictate. In this post, I’ll show you how to make vanilla, mint and lemon extracts using the same basic method.

How To Make Homemade Extracts?

You’ll need some sort of alcohol to help extract the organic (carbon-based) compounds that actually make the scents and flavors from the chosen plant material—in this case, vanilla beans, lemon rinds and mint leaves. Did you know that when you smell something, what you’re really sensing are tiny organic molecules that diffuse through the air, attach themselves to the olfactory receptors of the nose and send nerve impulses to your brain? Through experience and learning, you’ve come to associate these molecules with the foods that emit these “smells.” For example, vanillin is one of the predominant carbon-based compounds that makes the scent you know as vanilla. And while it can be synthesized by a series of chemical reactions in a lab, I think you’ll agree that getting it from a natural source is always better.

Small organic compounds like vanillin are chemically compatible with alcohol, meaning they’re soluble in it. When you make a homemade extract, you’re taking advantage of that fact. SCIENCE! For best results, remember to steep your extracts for at least 4 weeks before you use them and keep the plant material completely submerged so nothing molds.

How to Use Homemade Extracts?

I chose vodka for this recipe but you can use something like bourbon for the vanilla, which tends to pair really well. Use these extracts in any application you’d use store-bought extracts. How about using a dash of vanilla in my Apple Coconut Pudding or the mint in my Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups?

My favorite reason for making homemade extracts is that I know exactly what’s in them. So many of the store-bought extracts contain added sugar or other funky chemical ingredients. These also make fantastic gifts!

How to Make Homemade Extracts — Vanilla, Mint & Lemon | stupideasypaleo.com

Ingredients for Homemade Mint Extract:

  • 1 cup good-quality vodka
  • ~1 cup organic mint leaves, packed
  • 8 ounce (240 mL) glass jar

How to Make Homemade Extracts — Vanilla, Mint & Lemon | stupideasypaleo.com

Directions for Homemade Mint Extract:

  1. Pick the mint leaves from the tough stems and wash them. You want about 1 cup, packed.
  2. Add the leaves to the jar.
  3. Fill the jar with 1 cup of vodka and cap tightly. Make sure the leaves are submerged completely.
  4. Let the extract steep for at least 4 weeks for best results. At that point, I recommend straining the leaves out and discarding them.

Ingredients for Homemade Vanilla Extract:

How to Make Homemade Extracts — Vanilla, Mint & Lemon | stupideasypaleo.com

Directions for Homemade Vanilla Extract:

  1. Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla beans down the middle, lengthwise.
  2. Add the beans to the jar.
  3. Fill the jar with 1 cup of vodka and cap tightly.
  4. Let the extract steep for at least 4 weeks for best results.
  5. Hint: If the level of the vodka drops gradually as you use it, add more for a continuous supply of extract.

Ingredients for Homemade Lemon Extract:

  • 1 cup good-quality vodka
  • 2–3 lemons
  • 8 ounce (240 mL) glass jar

How to Make Homemade Extracts — Vanilla, Mint & Lemon | stupideasypaleo.com

Directions for Homemade Lemon Extract:

  1. Wash the lemons and use a sharp knife to remove the outermost yellow skin. It’s okay if some of the white pith remains.
  2. Add the lemon skin to the jar. Use the flesh for something else or discard.
  3. Fill the jar with 1 cup of vodka and cap tightly. Make sure the skin is submerged completely.
  4. Let the extract steep for at least 4 weeks for best results. At that point, I recommend straining the skin out and discarding it.

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How to Make Homemade Extracts — Vanilla, Mint & Lemon | stupideasypaleo.com

Have you ever made homemade extract? Which one is your favorite?

Lemony Chive Paleo Mayo

mayo2 When it comes to mayo, I make no pretense for having the master, doesn’t fail basic recipe (that honor goes to the stellar Mel of The Clothes Make the Girl and Well Fed 2). I’ve only had this method go kaput once because yours truly was too impatient to wait for the ingredients to get all nice and cozy warm at room temperature before I tried to make the mayo emulsion. Oops. Have some patience, and it will all turn out okay. You can also use a stick (immersion) blender but I don’t own one because I’m the clumsiest person on the planet and well, yeah, exposed blades and I don’t mix!

All I did here was use Mel’s basic mayo recipe (here’s a video) and add a few simple ingredients to jazz it up. This went perfect as an accompaniment with my Grain-Free Paleo Zucchini Fritters.

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Ingredients for a batch of Mel’s Mayo:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.25 cups of light-tasting olive oil (if it’s not light or extra light in flavor, the finished product will be strong tasting and peppery which most people don’t like)

Ingredients for the Lemony Chive Paleo Mayo:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil mayo from the recipe above
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped chives
  • Zest of 1 lemon

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Directions to make the basic mayo:

  • Please visit Mel’s recipe here (it will open in a new tab so you don’t lose this page). She does a much better job of explaining it than I would.

Directions to make the Lemony Chive Paleo Mayo:

  • Put 1/2 cup of the basic mayo into a bowl.
  • Use a microplane grater to zest the (washed) lemon, and add the zest to the bowl.
  • Add the chopped chives. Stir thoroughly to combine.
  • Add cracked black pepper to taste (optional).

mayo3

What’s your favorite mayo flavor?

Creamy Paleo Avocado Pesto

avocado pesto Avocado pesto blends the both of avocados and well, pesto in a really tasty and creamy combination. Serving suggestions: mix into zucchini noodles, use as a dip for veggies or spread over eggs.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time:  0 min     Makes: ~2.5 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe avocados, peeled
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, depending on your preference
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (or a mixture of pine nuts and pistachios)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ~1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil

DSC_0826 Directions:

  1. In a food processor combine all the ingredients except the olive oil. 
  2. While the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil. Add less if you like a thicker pesto and more if you want it thinner.

Frisee Salad with Bacon and Eggs

DSC_0623

Bacon and eggs just went to a whole new level.

Want to knock people’s socks off at your next brunch? Serve this.

Want to make yourself feel extra special? Make this.

Want a dish that’ll make every part of your palate sing glorious hymns? This is the dish for you.

DSC_0611 This recipe was inspired by a dish my friend Claudette ordered when we went to the closing night of The Linkery in San Diego. I took one look and was so impressed I went home and tried to replicate it just a couple days later. The frisee (a curly, slightly bitter vegetable related to endive) makes the perfect mop for the yolk and the lemon basil dressing.

Ingredients per 2 servings:

Directions:

  1. *If the bacon is raw, get that cooking first. I like to bake my bacon but use whatever method you prefer. For baking bacon: line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Bake for ~15-20 minutes or until it’s as crispy as you’d like. Remove from oven and set aside. DSC_0618
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing using the hot, melted bacon fat that collects in the baking sheet. You can also use olive oil if your bacon is precooked and there’s no melted fat. DSC_0615
  3. Arrange the frisee on a plate. Drizzle the dressing over the frisee.
  4. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt bacon fat or another fat of choice until it’s shimmering. Fry the eggs until the yolks are as firm as you’d like. I went for sunnyside up with a runny yolk because I wanted yummy yolk all over the salad.
  5. Place the eggs on top and the bacon on the side. Try not to eat it so fast that you don’t enjoy it because it’s goooooooood! DSC_0632

 

 

 

Lemon Basil Bacon Fat Vinaigrette

Tangy lemon and fresh basil mingle together with bacon fat to make a surprisingly light dressing perfect for Frisee Salad with Eggs and Bacon or any other application. No bacon fat? Substitute olive oil instead.
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Makes: 1/4 cup

Ingredients:

  • Juice + zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons melted bacon fat (or olive oil)
  • 2 Tablespoons basil, chopped or cut as chiffonade

DSC_0615 Directions:

  1. Place the lemon juice and zest, brown mustard, salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the melted bacon fat (or olive oil) while continuously mixing to emulsify the fat.
  3. Stir in the fresh basil.

 

Easy Pan-Fried Lemon Chicken

DSC_0197As an urban apartment dweller, I don’t have a grill (womp womp!), so finding a way to cook chicken breasts that didn’t result in a dry chunk of protein became a priority. I’m also in love with brining chicken and pork prior to cooking but that requires some planning and extra time to let the brine sit, so this has become my go-to method for quick prep.

Bonus points for using a microplane or small grater to add the zest of the lemon to the mix.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a plastic zip top bag, combine the chicken breast, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Press the air out of the bag and seal.
  2. Use a meat pounder or rolling pin to flatten the chicken breast into one even thickness. I have also used an empty Nalgene bottle for the same purpose when I didn’t have a meat pounder. Improvise. Be a MacGuyver.
  3. Let the chicken marinate for at 30 minutes for best results but you can cook it right away if needed.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add more of your fat of choice, such as coconut oil.
  5. Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side or until completely cooked through.
  6. Let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

 

Easy Paleo Ghee Hollandaise Sauce

04b809838df2f0b73a6e42fab84ebb3d Hollandaise is one of those sauces to splurge on, perfect for a special brunch or a party with friends. I personally think a Tuesday is reason enough to make one, but that’s up to you to decide. I’m giving you two methods to make the Hollandaise – the blender is faster than the double boiler – but they both rely on the scientific concept of an emulsion. 

[Science alert: Emulsions are a type of mixtures where you force two liquids that normally wouldn't go together to mix. Mayo and vinaigrette are other examples of emulsions. The key to an emulsion is to add the fat - the ghee in this case - very slowly while blending or whisking so the emulsion won't "break" or separate. You must be patient. Smile. Breathe. Hum your favorite tune.]

Use high-quality ghee…grass-fed organic butter that’s already been clarified, which is normally how you’d make Hollandaise. The result’s rich and buttery and ah-may-zing. YUM. It’s easy to double this recipe for a larger crowd.

Ingredients:

Directions for blender method (faster, fewer dishes):

  1. Gently melt the ghee in the microwave or on the stove top. It shouldn’t be boiling hot.
  2. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper in the blender or Vitamix. DSC_0745
  3. Start the blender on low and run for about 30 seconds. Now…SLOWLY drizzle the melted ghee into the blender through the hole in the the lid. You must go slow or the emulsion will separate and get soupy.
  4. Once all the ghee is added and the Hollandaise has thickened, you’re done. Scrape it out and use on eggs, roasted veggies, a juicy steak…whatever your heart desires.  DSC_0746
  5. Will keep for a couple days in the fridge though it will harden when it cools. Very, very gently warm in the microwave if desired. If you nuke it, the egg yolk will cook.

Directions for the double boiler stovetop method (takes longer, more dishes):

  1. Gently melt the ghee in the microwave or on the stove top. It shouldn’t be boiling hot.
  2. Place a small sauce pan on the stove with a very small amount of water at the bottom (less than an inch). Heat until simmering. Turn the heat to low.
  3. In a small bowl (I prefer glass) that the bottom fits into the sauce pan, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice until the yolks get pale and frothy.
  4. Now put the bowl into the sauce pan. Voila! Double boiler.
  5. With the heat on low (LOW), whisk the egg yolks while SLOWLY drizzling the melted ghee into the bowl. Go slow or your emulsion will separate.  DSC_0771
  6. Once all the ghee is added and the Hollandaise has thickened, you’re done. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and whisk in the salt and cayenne. Serve over eggs, roasted veggies, a juicy steak…whatever your heart desires.
  7. Will keep for a couple days in the fridge though it will harden when it cools. Very, very gently warm in the microwave if desired. If you nuke it, the egg yolk will cook. DSC_0758

Easy Breakfast Salad

DSC_0776 I’ve taken a liking to making what I call breakfast salad. It’s usually a mash up of different mildly flavored veggies or leftover fruit that’s in my fridge, and the exact ingredients are always different. Sneaking in more veggies is something I’m always trying to do, and this cold salad served in the morning is a good way to do that. You could easily prep this the night before to save time in the a.m. Easily doubles for two servings.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time:  0 min     Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 an orange, segmented or cut into supremes
  • 1/2 a black plum, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of jicama, cubed
  • 1/2 an avocado, chopped
  • 1Tablespoon of chopped mint or parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DSC_0765 Directions:

  1. Combine all the veggies, fruit and herbs in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice on top.
  3. Gently stir to combine all the flavors. If you’re preparing other breakfast items like eggs, make the salad first so it has time to sit and let the flavors marry a bit.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Paleo Rocket Popsicles

DSC_0790 Do you remember the sound of the ice cream truck cruising around the neighborhood in summer when you were a kid? If you were like me, you conveniently didn’t hear your mom call for dinner, but you could hear that magical music from a mile away. Growing up, my siblings and I loved “rocket pops” – I looked it up and they’re officially called “Red, White and Blue Turbo Rockets” – a patriotic combination sugar and artificial food coloring in red (cherry), white (lemon) and blue (blue raspberry).

DSC_0780 While these Paleo versions have a bit of sweetness from the fruit and coconut water, they’re nothing like the sugar on a stick popsicles sold in stores. I added fruit to each layer and kicked up the flavors with citrus zest. You’ve got raspberry lime (red), coconut white peach (white) and lemon blueberry (blue). Perfect for a hot summer day! Don’t like raspberries? Use strawberries or cherries instead. You can also puree the fruit instead of slicing it.

Be creative and use your own fruit combinations or flavors. Let me know in the comments below what you tried!

[Note: I don't consider these a Paleo-ified dessert because it's essentially fruit and coconut water with no extra added sugar, but if you think you'd crack out on them, take that into consideration.]

Prep time: 15-20 min     Freeze time:  2-3 hours     Makes: 12 pops

Ingredients:

Red layer…raspberry lime

  • 2 cups coconut water*
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 cup raspberries (about 6 oz), quartered

White layer…coconut white peach

  • 1 white peach, peeled and chopped [hint: squeeze lemon juice on them to prevent browning]
  • 1.5 cups full-fat coconut milk

Blue layer…lemon blueberry

  • 2 cups coconut water*
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup blueberries, halved

Equipment

  • 12 dixie cups (3 oz. size)
  • 24 plastic straws or 24 popsicle sticks

Directions:

  1. Place 12 dixie cups on a sheet tray or in a muffin tin (I used a mini muffin tray). Clear a space in the freezer that the tray will fit in.
  2. Mix the different coconut waters (coconut water + lime juice + lime zest and coconut water + lemon juice + lemon zest) in separate containers. DSC_0767 DSC_0769
  3. Build your red layer first. Equally divide the quartered berries into the cups (about 2 raspberries per cup). Add about 2 Tablespoons of the lime coconut water to each cup. Freeze until solid. DSC_0774
  4. Build the white layer next. Equally divide the chopped white peach into the cups. Add about 2 Tablespoons of coconut milk to each cup. *IMPORTANT: Only partially freeze this layer then stick the straws or popsicle sticks in! Return to the freezer until solid. DSC_0810 DSC_0812
  5. Build the blue layer last. Equally divide the halved blueberries into the cups. Add about 2 Tablespoons of lemon coconut water to each cup. Freeze until solid.
  6. Peel the paper cups away and trim the straws down to size. I like the double straw or double stick method because it makes them easier to hold.
  7. Try to eat it before it melts!

*You’ll have a bit of extra coconut water left over…drink up and enjoy.

Simple Shrimp Ceviche

DSC_0219Can I interest you in a meal that cooks itself?

Yes? I thought so!

It’s not too good to be true, it’s just ceviche – a dish of seafood that’s “cooked” using citrus juices and served up with ingredients like tomato, jalapeño and avocado. YUM. Last year, I posted a recipe for ceviche - along with one of the first videos I ever made…eeeek – and recently, I created a different one with shrimp that came out just as good (if not better).

Since I cook for just one person, I only used 1/2 lb. of shrimp but you can easily double the recipe or more. Plan the day (or morning) ahead so you can give the ceviche enough time to “cook”. If you don’t like shrimp, you can substitute scallops or firm white fish. Rumor has it that the juice from the marinade is a hangover cure though I haven’t tested that theory yet ;)

Prep time: 15-20 min     Cook time: 6+ hours    Makes: ~3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. (~250 g) raw shrimp
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 a jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 an avocado, cubed
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DSC_0217

Directions:

  1. Peel and devein the shrimp, if necessary. Chop the shrimp into small pieces.
  2. Prepare the veggies: dice the tomato, mince the garlic and jalapeño, and cube the avocado. If you want the ceviche to be spicier, you can leave the seeds in or add more jalapeño.
  3. Mix the shrimp, tomato, garlic, jalapeño and avocado in a bowl. Squeeze the citrus juice on top and combine. There should be enough liquid to cover the shrimp.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until the shrimp has turned from translucent to opaque.
  5. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and top with chopped cilantro.

Lemony Herb Sauce

Lemony Herb Sauce  Stupid Easy Paleo This sauce got invented to accompany some awesome beef & lamb kofta (meat on a stick) that I made recently. All I can tell you is to hold onto your hat because it packs a wallop of flavor…the brightness of the lemon, the freshness of the herbs and a bit of texture from the pistachios are perfect. I’m typing this and my mouth is literally watering just thinking about it.

It’s versatile enough to drizzle over really any kind of meat or fish and even fresh veggies. YUM!

Prep time: 5-10 min     Cook time: 0 min    Makes: ~3/4 cup

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

  1. Chop the parsley, mint and pistachios. Combine in a small bowl with the sea salt.
  2. Squeeze the juice from one lemon (~1/4 cup) into the bowl, being careful to catch the seeds. I squeeze the lemon into my cupped hand, letting the juice strain through my fingers.
  3. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk at the same time.
  4. Serve with meat or veggies of your choice. Will keep refrigerated for 1-2 days but is best used fresh because of the herbs.

Artichoke Fennel Salad

IMG_3946This is a light salad chock full of tasty veggies that’s perfect for pairing with chicken or fish. The fennel is crispy, the artichoke hearts are tangy, and the parsley makes it fresh. This is easy to double and take to a party.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time: 0 min    Makes: ~3-4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 14 oz can (400 g) artichoke hearts
  • 1 medium bulb of fennel
  • 1 large handful flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp high quality olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, optional

Directions:

  1. Drain the artichoke hearts and quarter them.
  2. Trim the tops and bottom off the fennel. Cut it in half lengthwise and very thinly slice.
  3. Chop the parsley.
  4. Combine the artichoke hearts, fennel, parsley, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes in a bowl.
  5. Eat right away or let it sit and marinate for about 30 minutes.

Green Juice

IMG_3812Seems like juicing is the new make-your-own-kraut craze in the Paleosphere, huh? While I don’t think juice should replace how you consume all your fruits and vegetables [juices contain no fiber and the act of chewing sends powerful signals to your brain that eating is in progress...logical, right?], as a occasional way to add in variety, I’ve been making this tasty blend. Feel free to experiment with other fruits and veggies – carrots come to mind because they add sweetness. You’ve got to remember that this juice will in no way be “sweet” in the way that you may be used to, however, so don’t run for the honey or maple syrup. Think of it as more of a tonic than a treat.

Tips:

  • Refrigerate the juice prior to drinking for best flavor.
  • If you make your juice in advance, it’s best to consume asap and to store it in a tightly covered container (mason jars work great for this).
  • You can eat the pulp if you’re feeling adventurous.
  • If you don’t have a juicer, a high-powered blender like a Vitamix will do the same job.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time: 0 min    Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2-3 kale leaves
  • 1/2″ piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 small English cucumber
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Roughly chop the fruits and veggies so they’ll fit in the blender or juicer.
  2. If using a juicer, run it all through and you’re done.
  3. If using a Vitamix or similar: add the ingredients into the pitcher, cover with about 1/2 cup water (or more depending on how dilute you want the juice to be), and use the tamping tool to push everything down into the blades. Start on low / variable speed then gradually increase, and let it run on high for about 1 minute.
  4. Pour the juice / pulp through a wire strainer or cheesecloth, catching the pulp and allowing the juice to percolate out.
  5. Consume!

Cucumber Tomato Bites

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Every once in a while, I miss crackers and it’s most evident when it comes time for parties or get-togethers. It always seems cheese and crackers and different variations of it are more than plentiful on plates and platters, circulating around and tempting me. These tasty bites use cucumber as the crunchy (cracker-like?) component upon which to pile the rest of the ingredients. In any case, I’m not the brain child behind these (that would be Z), but they’ve gone through a bit of an evolution in the past few weeks and have ended up as a virtual salad in one bite. Z really likes his with goat’s cheese, but if that’s not your thing, I used avocado instead. For a variation, try a toothpick through the top to hold it all together with an olive stuck on top. Makes about 16.

Ingredients:

1 English (seedless) cucumber

8 cherry tomatoes

1/4 of a white or purple onion

1/4 of a ripe avocado

1/2 of a lemon

2 oz (~60 g) soft or hard goat’s cheese, optional

Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Slice the cucumber into rounds, about 1/8″ thick. You can use a piece as a top and a bottom or just as a base. If using a slice for a top, cut out the middle from those pieces so it will sit on top of the tomato without falling off. Season the cucumber slices with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Squeeze the lemon juice onto the slices.

2. Next, spread the goat’s cheese on the bottom cucumber slice. If you aren’t using the cheese, add sliced avocado instead.

3. Then, slice thin pieces of onion and add a couple on top of the avocado (or cheese). Raw onion is usually overpowering for me, so I added just a little to give a bit more flavor.

4. Next, slice the tomatoes in half and add it to the stack.

5. Top with another piece of cucumber (or not…after all, it’s your show!). Alternatively, stick a toothpick into the stack and top with an olive.

Grilled Rack of Lamb

Baaaaaaaa! Lamb is delicious.

My buddy Trish arrived to my house a few weeks ago with two choice looking racks of lamb…the deal was that if she brought the meat, I’d do the cooking (I love that kind of dinner!). The marinade / sauce was the key to these little guys tasting so damn good, and the grilling couldn’t have been much easier. Mix sauce. Apply. Grill meat. Eat. You all know by this point that I like it uncomplicated and simple. One key consideration though, is to get the best meat you possibly can because it’s definitely the star of the show. Don’t cheap out. Additionally, can we all agree to stop cooking meat until it’s obliterated and all the tastiness is gone?! I served these racks / chops medium-rare, the meat tender and juicy. Okay, on with the show!

Ingredients:

  • 2 racks of lamb
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp brown / Dijon mustard (check the label for weird ingredients)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon (~1 tbsp)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

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Directions:

1. Let the meat sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to cooking.

2. Combine the garlic, mustard, olive oil, rosemary, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl.

3. Sprinkle the lamb evenly with salt and pepper. Coat the meat with most of the mustard sauce and reserve some for basting during grilling.

4. Preheat the grill to a medium setting.

5. Place racks of lamb on the grill but not over direct heat. Allow to cook for 7-10 minutes per side and turn once during cooking. Baste with reserved mustard sauce. [N0te #1: if you want to develop a nice crust and grill marks, resist the urge to keep flipping the meat over constantly during cooking. I know. Just flip once and step away. You can do it :)]

6. Remove the meat and allow to rest for 10 minutes prior to slicing. [Note #2: If you want tasty lamb, you've got to let it sit for 5-10 minutes before you hack into it or else the juices end up on your plate underneath a pile of dry meat. Go gnaw on a handful of macadamia nuts if you are too hungry to wait.]

7. For medium-rare, I grilled the lamb about 7 minutes per side. Your grill may vary.