I have written about the goodness of Meyer Lemons before, but seeing them again at the Market and the grocery store in plentiful displays is prompting me to give them another shout-out. They are so good! They have such a sweetness to them, the Meyer lemon is the perfect thing to cook a myriad of things with. Last night I baked/poached a piece of cod in a shallow bath of white wine, extra virgin olive oil, Meyer lemon juice, salt & pepper. The flavor of the lemon being the prevailing ever so slight, but ever so tasty note to the fish. I also sliced a Meyer lemon and put the slices on top of the fish, to really infuse from both the top and the bottom. If you serve the cod with rice, you can spoon over some of the liquid as a bit of sauce. Super easy, super satisfying and lemony.
As I am typing the above I know I will be asked this today by readers who come into the shops. If it was Friday, why were we not having pizza and martinis? During the Winter months we switch it up a bit and head to our place on Vashon Island many Sunday mornings, as arriving in the cold, rain and dark on Saturday eve is not the most comforting of things after a long work week. So every once in awhile, we do the martini/pizza night on Saturday. We do love tradition here in the Watson Sive household…
A lovely, lovely Saturday to all of you!
Meyer lemons were in plentiful supply at the grocer the other day, so I grabbed a bag and thought I would whip up a little infused oil with the beautifully bright skins. This is such an easy process, and it yields quite lovely stuff in the end–great for dipping bread, super as part of a vinaigrette.
Warm 2 cups extra virgin olive oil and the peel from 4 Meyer lemons over low heat for 15 minutes. Then take off of heat and allow to cool in the pan for 45 minutes. Once cooled, carefully pour oil into a container of choice, leaving the peel behind. I chose glass jam jars–one to stay at the beach, and the other for town. It is that simple & quick. These make great little host/hostess gifts too.
What is it about being on vacation–you are doing quite a bit of nothing, and yet you are still starved when dinner rolls around? This was the case last night for us. I had picked up a bag of Meyer lemons at the market, and was wanting to incorporate them somehow into dinner. I have also been on a chevre kick lately, so I thought that would work nicely into the meal, as well. Here is what I came up with.
You will want bone in, and skin on your chicken breast for this recipe. The bone in the chicken really helps to keep the meat moist, and I just like the earthiness of the bone as part of this dish. Take plain chevre and add a good amount of freshly cracked black pepper to it. Working carefully with the chicken skin, slip your finger under the skin and create a pocket. Insert the peppered chevre in that pocket. Place the chicken in a skillet that can work in the oven as well as the stovetop. Lather the chicken breasts with a healthy amount of extra virgin olive oil. Salt and pepper liberally. Place the skillet with the chicken breasts into a pre-heated 400 degree oven. Depending on the size of the breast, it will take 35 to 45 minutes to cook. A few minutes before they are done, turn the broiler on. Place them under the broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking. This will also make the skin a beautiful golden brown and do great things to the chevre that is now oozing out from under the skin.
While the chicken is finishing up, juice 3 Meyer lemons. This juice, along with some of the pan drippings will help create the sauce. Once the chicken is done, carefully take the skillet out of the oven and place on a burner on the stovetop. Take the chicken out and place on a plate to rest, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm while you make the sauce.
I can not stress the importance here of being careful as the skillet and the handle are still really hot. Add the Meyer lemon juice to the skillet. The burner should be on medium to medium high. Take a whisk and try and get up any bits that have formed from the cooking of the chicken. These little bits are culinary gold. Those, along with the chicken fat, olive oil and salt and pepper that have dripped off the chicken in the cooking process, along with the lemon juice, are going to create an out of this world sauce. Once the liquid has reduced by half and thickened, the sauce is done.
I take a sharp knife and create a slit in the middle of the chicken breast, and spoon in the sauce. It creates a bit of a well, and moistens the chicken even further. This also helps to keep the skin nice and brown, instead of pouring it over the entire breast and saturating the skin. I had not done this step yet when I took the above photo. The sauce is great spooned over rice or mashed potatoes too.
I am crazy for citrus even more than usual this time of year. The citrus I seek out the most are Meyer lemons. My friend Catherine gave me the gift of a Meyer lemon ohhhhh so many years ago, and I have loved them since. The lemon is actually named after the fellow, Frank Meyer, who introduced it to the United States after collecting a sample on a trip to China in 1908. The thing I like most about them is the sweetness, and how less tart they are than a regular lemon. A slice can transform a regular glass of sparking water into something extraordinary. I was so happy when I found these little twists on one of my buying trips. They are a great little jar to have around when the Meyer lemon is out of season.
They are more expensive than a regular lemon, but they are such a treat. The Meyer lemon yields quite a bit more juice than a lemon, so they are great for when you whip up a vinaigrette or any other recipe that calls for lemon juice.