Posted on Jan 16, 10:51 AM
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A cooking tip and trick for any time of year, add one lemon to 350ml of everyday Olive Oil. In the off-season, test your grocery store lemon by finding a darker one and performing a gentle scratch and sniff test; the stronger the aroma at the rind, the better it is for this little batch of brightness we’ll keep on hand. In the Kitchen Labs, we threw this emulsion at several dishes that weren’t expecting lemon and the report came back: You should do this.
The trick of adding lemon to Olive Oil, or the other way around if you like, is preposterously simple and escapes the attention of most home chefs. So doing this one trick and having it on hand a few weeks sets those dishes far apart.
Our everyday Olive Oil was from Tunisia where cuisine frequently features preserved lemons. The entire lemon is left a month to “pickle” in salt, sugar and lemon juice. When done, the whole lemon is cut into slices, seeds, rinds and all, and added to sandwiches. This only explains our aim for Tunisian-made Olive Oil. This process is very different. Lemon Olive Oil is a one-step process. Blend to oblivion an entire lemon with 350ml of Olive Oil. Done.
What’s fantastic is that now you have a strange replacement for oil that will bring high notes and a familiarity to dishes without being so simple that people can guess what you’ve done. The naturally emulsifying blend can be drizzled on bitter salads and would go a very long way to add depth to sprouts, bean, radish and alfalfa to suggest a few. The shelf life is near a week, just over two if you keep it cold.
Cold, the consistency of Lemon Olive Oil is gritty-smooth but as easy to use as butter. At room temperature, the combination is emulsified and stays mostly together. Refrigerating it, however, will quadruple its life to about two weeks.
So we kept it cold. The spoon-friendly mixture was given a nip and this isn’t candy! The Olive Oil flavor is pretty strong but the nose fills with citrus. This crisscross of perceptions testifies to the busy nature of this simple trick. It’s elegant, surprising, about the fastest thing we’ve ever done with a lemon and can redefine the envelopes you like to push in the kitchen.
Here, we cooked egg noodles in water where the olive oil was replaced with gobs of Lemon Olive Oil. The result was instantly different! Together with crab claw meat, some raw onion and a toasted bun with butter, we got a sandwich with a surprise draw, an inexplicable familiarity and great texture.
We made a sandwich. Dry noodles request volumes of water to swim in, salt for flavor and oil to help prevent sticking. We replaced the Olive Oil usually used with two, big gobs of this Lemon Olive Oil. Some crab Claw Meat was warmed up, white onion cut, butter melted and a bun toasted by baking it in the same vein one might bake croutons. This dry bun carried flavor (we already knew) but the extra crunch would carry the soft crab and noodles. The melted butter was for the meat and would have presented really well if we brushed the top of the finished bun. The surprise was that the noodles brought the zip of citrus with them! The sandwich crunched and squished in all the right places. The crab meat donated most of the flavor and the noodles, with their secret, zipped along side offering that curious bright note without letting anyone find lemon pieces.
Think outside the box with Lemon Olive Oil and you’ll find yourself in a happy place!
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