Farm Fresh Pick of the Week: Lemons

Friday, February 3, 2012 11:08

A Three Course Menu & Cocktail Selections

by: Casey Pukl

Lemons are one of the most versatile ingredients you can have in the kitchen. These little sour fruits can be used in savory and sweet dishes, and has also historically been used for medicinal purposes as well. In 1747, James Lind used lemons to add vitamin C to sailors’ diets to try and ward off scurvy. Lemon leaves have also historically been used in teas.

Chef Todd Allison says, “I use lemon juice to finish a lot of sauces and soups. The acid helps to intensify the flavors of the dish.” When juicing fresh lemons, Chef Allison recommends letting the lemons come down to room temperature if you’ve kept them refrigerated. This allows the juice to be extracted more easily.

First Course: Olives with Lemon, Fennel, and Black Pepper

These little salty bites are sure to kick off any meal with a bang. Toss olives with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, shaved fennel, a little bit of fresh squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and some fresh ground black pepper. Roast them in the oven or heat them on your stove over low to medium heat until they are warmed. Serve them warmed, and watch your guests gobble them up!

Second Course: Short Ribs with Chimi Churri Sauce

One of Chef Allison’s favorite signature dishes on our menu are his short rib sliders with chimi churri sauce. To turn this delicious appetizer into an entree, skip the slider-style prep, and just do short ribs with chimi churri sauce, and serve with a side of green beans with toasted almonds and a little lemon juice on top. To make the chimi churri sauce, Chef Allison recommends using chopped parsley, garlic, Anaheim chilies, lemon segments, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Top your short ribs with this delicious combo, and enjoy the bold flavors that follow!

Third Course: Lemon Basil Crème Brulee

Another one of Chef Allison’s favorite dishes on our menu is the lemon basil creme brulee. This twist on the traditional dessert gives it a freshness that is perfect for those warmer days. To create this dish, simply use a traditional creme brulee recipe, and add lemon zest and basil leaves to the cream while scalding.

On the cocktail side of the street, beverage manager Marc Canzoneri and bartender Claude Grove have a few great options for using fresh lemon juice. From classic cocktails to new inventions, these drinks are sure to please!

French 75
Classic Cocktail

St. Germain (Elderflower liqueur)
Lemon Juice

Instructions: Combine all ingredients except for champagne, shake, strain, and top with champagne. Garnish with a lemon peel.

There seems to be a good bit of debate about whether or not this cocktail was traditionally made with Cognac or gin. The French 75 first appeared in The Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930, and the recipe used gin. However, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury claims that it was originally a Cognac-based drink. Some might argue that without Cognac, the drink is no longer “French”, however, let’s not forget where champagne comes from. Here at Anthology, we make this classic with gin and a little bit of St. Germain in place of the simple syrup. This gives the cocktail a hint of sweetness as well as a slightly sweet floral flavor. You can’t go wrong with one of these.

Not a “Claude” in the Sky
Creator: Claude Grove

Tuaca (Vanilla/Citrus Liqueur)
Domaine De Canton (Ginger Liqueur)
Lemon Juice
Simple Syrup

Instructions: Build in the glass, shake, serve over ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

In all fairness, the name of this drink is a little bit of a house joke. One of our favorite bartenders here, Claude Grove, came up with this one. To pronounce it properly, and get our play on words, you have to know that Claude pronounces his name like the big fluffy giants in the sky—cloud.

Fortunately you don’t need any background to understand why this drink tastes so darn delicious. The combination of Tuaca and Domaine De Canton creates a sweet, velvety flavor that I can only equate to some sort of baked pastry. While this drink is on the sweeter side, it’s still refreshing, thanks to the fresh squeezed lemon juice. It’s perfect for those days where there’s… well… you know… not a cloud in the sky.