Recipe of the Week

Main Ingredient - Lemon
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Truffle Vinaigrette The flavors of fresh lemon juice and white truffle oil are the perfect compliment to grilled asparagus. I didn't think grilled asparagus could get any better until I created this "truffle lemonade" to dress up my favorite grilled veggie for a friend's birthday party. Try it, and use any leftover dressing on fresh salads and/or grilled fish. The little bit of cream in the recipe keeps the vinaigrette from separating and rounds out the sharp flavors of the lemon juice and the truffle oil.

Created by Elizabeth Karmel
Created by Elizabeth Karmel
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

I long ago fell in love with the clean, crisp, sweet taste of Meyer lemons. And recently, Mexican foods guru Rick Bayless reminded me why.

The Meyer lemon (named for Frank Meyer, who discovered them over 100 years ago) is a cross between a lemon and possibly some variety of orange. Thin-skinned, they often mature to a yellow-orange color and are slightly less acidic than common lemons. I like that because the lower acid makes it so much easier to appreciate the vibrant taste of these lemons.

And I'm particularly fond of using them in drinks. That's just one reason I've fallen in love with Bayless' new cookbook, "Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks." In it, he has a recipe for Meyer lemon margaritas that uses tequila that has been infused with the zest of the lemons for four days.

This summer, I experimented with infusing tequila with a split vanilla bean and rich roasted coffee, but I never considered citrus. This book was the perfect excuse to try more infusing.

When I read through the recipe, I realized that it was natural to use citrus to infuse tequila, and how special the Meyer lemon zest would make it and the margaritas. Thoughts of limoncello with a Mexican twist immediately came to mind. I love having the infused tequila on hand, which makes masterful margaritas, of course. But it's also delicious all on its own to be enjoyed as sipping tequila.

Besides the creative recipes, the best part of this cookbook is that Bayless provides two recipes for every margarita — a single-serve cocktail and a pitcher version. And I thought the latter would be just perfect to get a Super Bowl watching party going. Not only is it a fun drink, but the tangy lemon flavor is perfect for cutting through all the rich, heavy foods we usually eat during the big game.

For ease, the entire recipe can be made in advance and refrigerated. That way when your guests arrive all you have to do is fill a cocktail shaker with ice, shake the drink to get it icy cold, and serve. You also could just serve it poured over crushed ice.

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Created by Elizabeth Karmel

This dish captures all the sun-kissed flavors of the Greek Islands, lemon, garlic and oregano. A recipe very similar to this one was first introduced to me by a very good friend of mine, Sarah Leah Chase, who’s a grillin’ gal herself. Since my first taste of the salty grilled shrimp, it’s become a staple in my entertaining repertoire.

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Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Beware the Lemon Drop. It’s sweet surface disguises a powerful kick. As, at least, one girl at the grill discovered—much to her chagrin—a few years back at the Memphis in May barbecue contest. Still, it's such a good drink and tastes so good while you are outside grilling up a storm. We must caution, don't drink more than one, or we’ll say we told you so!


Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Pie pastry is very forgiving and a great way to get comfortable with baking. If the raw pastry splits after placing it in the pie shell, simple push it together and rub water on either side of the fissure. Then take a knife and cut across the tear and rub more water on top. This is effectively performing surgery on the pastry and repairs the tear without even leaving a scar.

Created by Elizabeth Karmel
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hi elizabeth3
a food fanatic and the Grill Girl from North Carolina who has seasoned, basted and tasted my way across the country. Please join me on my non-stop, culinary journey...


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