Homemade lemon curd

This is delicious lemon curd, sweet yet tangy. I doubled the recipe and made 6 individual gifts for friends. Great with morning toast!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 extra large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor and pulse. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.

Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined. (If you mixture curds, don’t worry, it will blend when heated!)

Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. (I used a thermometer to reach 170 degrees). The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees. Remove from heat and refrigerate.

(Note: I doubled this recipe and made individual gifts. This filled 6 – 6 3/4 oz. jars)

CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD WITH GRAPES & CASHEWS

What’s spring without a great chicken salad, this one has succulent oven roasted chicken, juicy grapes and crunchy cashews drenched with a creamy curry dressing!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (Use Hellmann’s)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup salted cashews, lightly chopped
  • 6 large stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
  • 6 scallions, finely sliced

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange chicken breast skin side up on baking sheet. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until done. Let cool.

In the meantime, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, curry powder, honey and a heaping 3/4 teaspoons salt in a medium bowl.

When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and pull meat off bones. Cut into small bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken to dressing. Add the cashews, celery, grapes, and scallions. Toss well. Taste, adjust seasonings to taste. Serves 8

TOMATO BASIL SOUP WITH FRESH CROUTONS & FETA CRUMBLE

Elevate your soup with a topping of fresh croutons and feta crumble and optional, a splash of olive oil with truffles!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium diced yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 —28 oz. cans San Marzano tomatoes in juice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipped cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • bunch of basil (about 8 leaves)
  • feta cheese, crumbled
  • ciabatta bread to make croutons
  • garlic salt for croutons
  • olive oil for drizzle

DIRECTIONS:

Add butter to a large pot over medium low heat until melted. Add in the onions and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add the sugar, mix and cook for 7-9 minutes until browned. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes and stew for 5-6 minutes. Add in the chicken stock and ten add in the balsamic vinegar. Either use an immersion blender or a regular blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth.,

Add the soup back to the pot if using a food processor. Stir in the cream, salt and pepper. Chiffonade a bunch of basil leaves (around 7-8) and add it to the soup. Stir and keep warm until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, cut up the ciabatta bread into small squares. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. Toast in the oven at 350 degrees for 6-7 minutes, take out and stir, bake for another 6 minutes or until golden brown and crispy (can store in an airtight container for up to one week. When serving, top with a few croutons, about a tablespoon of crumbled feta and a splash of olive oil.

CARROT AND PINEAPPLE MUFFINS

This is delicious as well as nutritious. Made with 3 lbs. of carrots and using Stevia instead of sugar! Great for snacks, breakfast, or along side a salad lunch! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar or Stevia substitute
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots (about 3 lb. bag)
  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place about 15 paper baking cups in muffin pans.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, mix well with a large whisk. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the pineapple, canola oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until well blended. Fold in the carrots, pecans, and raisins. Mix well with large spool or spatula. Using a large spoon, spoon batter into baking cups, filling about two-thirds full.

Bake at 350 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Eggplant parmigiana

This is the real deal! If you want to try a dish from the old country, full of flavor, light and delicious, you must prepare this authentic recipe of Eggplant Parmigiana. You will marvel how basic and yet elevated this dish taste!

By: Maddalena Clemente and Anna Silvestri FROM La Casa Del Pane

INGREDIENTS:
For the sauce:
• 3 tbsp. of olive oil
• 3 cloves of garlic (whole)
• Pinch of hot pepper flakes (optional)
• 2-28 oz. can of San Marzano Tomato (whole) • Fresh basil
• Salt to taste

For the eggplant:

• 2 large to medium eggplants 🍆 (peeled and cut into rings or lengthwise-your preference)

• 6 eggs
• 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour (approx.)
• Salt & pepper to taste
• Frying oil (vegetable oil-at lease 1 inch thick in frying pan)

Additional ingredients:
• Fresh mozzarella (shredded) (about 2 cups)
• Fresh grated Parmiggiano (about 1 1/2 cups) • Fresh basil (torn)
• Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Start by making the sauce. In a saucepan; add the oil, garlic and hot pepper flakes (if using), bring to a sizzle and once the garlic becomes fragrant and lightly golden, add the cans of tomatoes (and place a small amount of water-about 1/4 cup, in the bottom of one empty can, pour from can to can to pick up any sauce in the cans and pour the water mixture in the saucepan), add salt and basil, give it a stir, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer on medium low for about 30 minutes while you fry the eggplant. (Taste in about 15 minutes and add more salt if needed, according to taste). When sauce is cooked, take off the stove and blend with an immersion blender or place in food processor to blend. Set aside.

While sauce is cooking, slice the eggplant medium thin with either a mandolin or a sharp knife.
In a shallow plate, add the flour, salt and pepper, set aside. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, add about one inch of vegetable oil, preheat over medium heat (not too hot or the eggplant will burn on the outside but will remain raw on the inside–test when the oil is hot enough to fry by sprinkling with a few drops of water, if the oil sizzles, it’s ready to fry). While the oil is heating, dredge each piece of eggplant in the flour, shake off any excess, dip into the beaten egg mixture. Add about 6 or 7 at a time to the egg mixture, then fry the eggplant 6 or 7 at a time in the hot oil and cook for a few minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain the eggplant on a paper towel lined plater, blot excess oil, repeat this process until all the eggplant is cooked. (Cook in batches, remove all in the batch before adding more eggplant to the fry pan).

To assemble the baked version: Use a large, deep baking dish, place a couple ladles of sauce on the bottom of the dish, place the first layer of fried eggplant in the dish, add some Parmiggiano cheese, fresh mozzarella, torn fresh basil and top of a ladle of sauce. Repeat this procedure with the 2nd layer of eggplant. The final layer is topped with more sauce, especially around the edges. Bake for about 1/2 hour, in a 450 degree oven until bubbly and the cheese is melted, allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving. (Serve along side a crusty, toasted bread rubbed with garlic and sprinkled with olive oil which you bake for 10 minutes—Optional).

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