Tag Archives: lemon

will I or will I not keep my herb mincer

off to a rolling start

Looking at this rolling herb mincer with its nine blades I thought it should make short work of mincing parsley for a simple garnish called Gremolata. Taking out the chopping board, parsley washed and dried, the herb mincer at hand…and its off to a rolling start…or so I thought.

A couple of quick rolls over the parsley and my thoughts were “you’ve just ruined my lovely fresh parsley.” The parsley very quickly got stuck between the blades and looked mangled, bruised, wet and started to turn my chopping board green. Not good! The blades are very blunt and I am sure that is one good reason for my badly bruised parsley. Also this herb mincer has a curved top which dragged the parsley into the blades and it all just got stuck. So, putting the herb mincer aside and taking the reliable chopping knife out, I finished the job in a breeze.

quick and easy

Gremolata is a combination of lemon zest, garlic, parsley, and olive oil, preparation only takes a couple of minutes and is best made close to serving time. Traditionally an addition to Osso Bucco (braised veal shanks), Gremolata is also great as a garnish on grilled meats and seafood.

Geremolata

Ingredients:

  • zest of one lemon
  • 1  small garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
Useful Kitchen Jewellery:
  • knife
  • chopping board
  • citrus zester

 How to make: In a small bowl mix all the above ingredients together and let the Gremolata stand for about 10 minutes before serving, so all the flavours can blend together. Sprinkle over grilled meats and seafood of your choice.

the last word

There are many brands and designs of herb minces on the market and I am sure some may have better blades, however the herb mincer is not a kitchen tool that I would rush out to buy, a chopping knife or mezzaluna is my preferred choice for chopping herbs. I will not be putting this rolling herb mincer back into the kitchen drawer for further use. It has been suggested that I use it for cutting fresh pasta sheets into ribbons but I think I will leave that job for my pasta machine.

 

Dried Orange and Lemon Rinds

Getting rid of the guilt… do not throw out orange and lemon rinds!

I always felt a bit guilty throwing out the rinds of oranges and lemons after juicing. So now when I know that I will be juicing lots of oranges and lemons, I make plans to recycle the citrus rinds instead of throwing them into the rubbish (at least the bin smelt nice), it just seemed such a waste of so much scent and flavour.

Recycle

choose fruit that feels firm and free of blemishes

One of my favourite ways of recycling citrus rinds is to dry them or make candied orange peel. It’s a simple process and much more rewarding than having a rubbish bin that smells nice! Always choose citrus fruit that feels firm and free from any blemishes.

I always wash the citrus fruit in hot water and gently scrub with a vegetable brush, this  helps to remove the wax coating. Organic citrus fruit don’t always have this wax coating.

Removing the rind

When removing the rind of citrus fruit I use my swivel vegetable peeler ( y-shaped ) for the task, resulting in thin parings of citrus rind with none of the bitter pith. Avoid using a knife, it’s harder to get the same results.

Drying

Before juicing the citrus fruit,  pare the rind using the swivel vegetable peeler. I have a small dehydrator (not a necessity)  which I use for drying citrus rinds, but you can use an oven.

drying orange rind in a dehydrator

Take the prepared citrus rind and lay skin side down in a single layer on a baking tray. Place the tray into the oven and turn the temperature to its lowest setting. Drying the citrus rinds can take anywhere between one and  two hours, depending on how low the temperature of your oven can go. Aim for about 50C/122F setting or lower by propping the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Once the citrus rinds feel dry and crisp to touch, they are done.

OR

Take the prepared citrus rind and lay skin side down, in a single layer on a baking tray. Leave the citrus rinds to air dry for a day or two until dry and crisp.

Store the dried citrus rind in a clean jar or airtight container until needed. A great store cupboard item to have.

Ways of using the dried lemon and orange rind:

  • I like to add a few pieces of dried lemon or orange rind into some of my marinades and dressings, infusing them with citrus flavours.
  • When making a fruit salad I like to add some dried pieces of lemon and orange to marinate with the fruit for a few hours, removing them before serving.
  • Sometimes I like to add dried lemon to my green tea.
  • I like to infuse a jug of water with some dried lemon, giving a slight citrus taste to the plain water.
  • At Christmas when making mulled wine my dried citrus rinds come in handy.
  • When I am roasting fish, meat, poultry or vegetables I will throw in a few pieces of the  dried citrus rind into the roasting pan to add a citrus note to the food…e.g. I add lemon with white fish, orange with salmon, lemon with lamb and chicken, orange with duck and orange with carrots and pumpkin.

This list could go on but hopefully I have given you enough good reasons for ”  not throwing out your orange and lemon rinds”.

Do you dry citrus rinds? What is your favourite way of using them?

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