Lemon aid: Pack some sunshine into your menu

23 Mar Lemon aid: Pack some sunshine into your menu

Most people would agree that birthdays are cause for celebration.

And a 90th birthday, well, that defi­nitely calls for a party. When my mom graciously offered to fly us to sunny California last week to wish my grandmother well on her mile­stone birthday, we jumped at the chance. How lucky were we?

Stepping off the plane in Palm Springs, our warm weather wel­come quickly swept clean our mem­ories of snow and wind back home.

How happy we were to drink in the heat of the desert.

We found lemons dripping off a tree next to the pool in my grand­mother’s complex. The fruit trees there are community property, ripe for the picking, so my mom and I grabbed a ladder and began the har­vest. Breathing in the fresh citrus aroma, we savored a long-awaited taste of spring.

Loaded up with lemons and tip­ping the airport check-in luggage scale at maximum weight, we lugged them home, those plump fresh beauties, still smelling so citrusy and sweet.

As it turns out, if life gives you lemons, you are in luck.

Here for you is my Special of the Day: A Suitcase Full of Lemons with recipes

Lemon Crepes Suzette with Fresh Raspberries


 1 cup milk

 3 eggs

 2 tbsp. vanilla extract

 3 tbsp. melted butter (cooled)

 2 tbsp. Grand Marnier liqueur

 ¾ cup cornstarch

 Dash of salt

 1 tbsp. sugar

In a blender combine ingredi­ents, in order. Mix on high speed until well blended, about 15 sec­onds. Scrape sides of blender with rubber spatula if necessary.

Heat a crepe pan or a small saute pan with a nonstick sur­face over medium high heat.

Brush pan lightly with melted butter. Carefully pour about 2 tablespoons batter from the blender into the pan, swirling the pan so batter covers bottom.

Cook until the edges of the crepe begin to lightly brown, about 15 seconds.

Using a small table knife, lift an edge of the crepe, pick it up with both hands, and flip it over.

Cook the other side about 15 seconds. Remove the crepe from the pan and cool, layering sheets of waxed paper in between crepes to prevent sticking.

Repeat with remaining batter, brushing pan with melted butter before pouring batter to prevent sticking.

Store crepes in a covered refrigerator container until ready to serve. Makes about 24.


 ¾ cup butter

 1 cup sugar

 2 tsp. lemon peel

 ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a large saucepan over medi­um heat, melt butter.

Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved.

Fold refrigerated crepes in half and in half again, making quar­ters. Slide folded crepes into sauce in saucepan and heat through.

Garnish with lemon peel, fresh berries and mint sprigs.

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad


  2 cups cooked orzo pasta (cook according to package direc­tions), drained

 1 cup asparagus tips

 ¾ cup prosciutto, sliced into thin strips

 2 tbsp. olive oil

 ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

 1 tsp. shallots, minced

 1 tsp. honey

 Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

 4 large butter lettuce leaves

 Freshly grated lemon peel

In a pot of simmering water, cook asparagus for six minutes to blanch.

Immediately drain into strain­er. Cover with ice cubes to stop further cooking and retain bright green color.

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt and pepper.

Add cooked orzo, blanched asparagus tips and prosciutto strips.

Toss to combine.

Serve in butter lettuce leaves.

Garnish with lemon peel.

Seared Scallops with Lemon Beurre Blanc



 18 lemon wedges

 ¾ cup white wine

 ¼ cup white wine vinegar

 ¼ cup shallots, minced

 ¼ cup heavy cream

 ½ cup real butter, cut in 1 tbsp. pats

 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

 1 pound sea scallops, patted dry with paper towels

 ½ cup canola oil

 Salt and freshly ground pepper

 3 cups angel hair pasta, cooked

 Snipped chives, for garnish

To make the Lemon Beurre Blanc, in a medium heavy saucepan over medium high heat, simmer wine, vinegar and shallots until reduced by half.

Strain. Return strained mix­ture to pan and return to stove.

Add lemon juice and cream to pan and whisk in butter, one tablespoon at a time. Keep warm.

To sear the scallops, toss scal­lops and canola oil in large plas­tic baggie to coat. Remove scal­lops from baggie and salt and pepper both sides of each one.

Cover bottom only of a large ovenproof saute pan with canola oil. Heat over high heat until hot. Add scallops and sear until golden brown. Turn to sear other side of scallops.

Place pan of seared scallops on lower middle rack in preheat­ed oven to finish while lemons are broiling on the top rack, about five minutes.

To broil the lemon wedges, heat oven broiler.

Place lemon wedges on broiler pan, leaving room between. Broil on upper rack of oven until nice­ly browned.

Remove from oven and set aside.

To plate, mound angel hair pasta in center of plate. Arrange seared scallops atop pasta.

Top with Lemon Beurre Blanc. Garnish plates with broiled lemons and snipped chives.

Serves six. 
Sydne George is a food journal­ist specializing in recipe develop­ment, food writing and food pho­tography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com.

  • marnie
    Posted at 09:56h, 23 March Reply

    What gorgeous photographs! You need to publish a book very soon!

    • Sydne George
      Posted at 10:39h, 23 March Reply

      Thanks, Marnie!
      Working on the book proposal now…
      Have a great day!

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