Sunday, November 22, 2009


Week 1
Theme: Citrus
Cookbook Used: Marie Clair Flavours

Author: Donna Hay

Well, the citrus cooking challenge turned into an absolute citrus-fest. I turned to one of my favourite cookbooks, Marie Claire Flavours. It seemed the obvious choice as it has a chapter titled lemon + lime. Problem was deciding on one recipe. I solved that problem by making three.

Roast lamb with preserved lemon (served with Sicilian Broad Beans)
Fresh salmon and lime cakes (served with fresh beans and lemony onions)
Spaghetti with lime and rocket

All three were delicious, and as with most of the Marie Claire Flavours recipes, all three are easy and quick to prepare.

My favourite were the salmon cakes, so let me start there. They combine the lovely flavour of kaffir lime leaves in the cakes themselves and tart and tangy lime juice in the dipping sauce.
Fresh salmon and lime cakes
Serves 4 (or in our case 2 for dinner with enough cakes left over to combine with a quick salad for lunch the next day)
500g salmon fillet, skin removed
1 egg white
3 tablespoons rice flour
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
1 tablespoon grated ginger
(recipe calls for 1 tsp wasabi paste- I left this out as Rusty and I both hate wasabi)
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Oil to shallow fry

Lime dipping sauce
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar

Remove any bones from the salmon and chop into 5mm dice. Combine with the egg white, rice flour, lime leaves, ginger, (wasabi), and parsley
Heat oil over medium heat. Place 2 tbsp of the mixture into the hot oil, flatten out and cook till golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and keep warm while you cook the rest.
For the dipping sauce, combine the ingredients and stir till the sugar is dissolved.
I served this with fresh beans and lemony onions. Soaking red onions in lemon juice overnight changes their flavour and texture- making them mild and delicious. So combine 1 sliced red onion with lemon juice, pop in the fridge over night and use to spice up steamed vegetables or with simple salads. (Courtesy of Taking Tea in the Medina, by Julie le Clerc).

Spaghetti with Lime and Rocket
So simple and quick, this was the perfect worknight meal. Rusty was pretty skeptical about pasta and rocket (he thought it sounded as exciting as lettuce soup)- but succumbed to the great combination of flavours.
Serves 2
250g spaghetti
1 tbsp olive oil
Lime rind from 1 lime
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp. capers, rinsed
6 slices of prosciutto, chopped
100g rocket, torn
3 tbs lime juice
80 g soft feta marinated in feta (I used Persian Feta from the supermarket)

Cook the spaghetti as per the pack instructions and drain.
While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Lightly sauté the lime rind, garlic, chilli and capers- for around 1 minute or until aromatic
Add the prosciutto and cook for another couple of minutes- till the prosciutto is nice and crispy.
Add the spaghetti to the pan and toss to coat and heat through.
To serve, toss through the rocket and lime juice and pile into serving bowls. Top them with feta and some of the marinating oil and cracked pepper.

The lamb doesn’t really count, as I made this on the Sunday night before the challenge started (through winter we have a roast every Sunday night, and though its getting a bit warm, we just can’t break the habit). This was delicious (though I overcooked the lamb a bit!). Lamb was sourced from Vic markets (as was the salmon above) and was tender and tasty!

Roast Lamb with Preserved Lemon
1 leg of lamb – about 1½ kilo (recipe recommends tunnel boned- I didn’t get this, but inserted a slit down the bone with a big sharp knife for the stuffing)
1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon
¼ cup fresh oregano
2 garlic cloves sliced
½ tablespoon cracked pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200°.
Trim the lamb of any excess fat
Combine the preserved lemon, oregano, garlic, pepper and oil in a bowl.
Stuff the cavity of the lamb with the filling.
If using a tunneled leg, tie together with kitchen twine and place on a rack in a baking dish.
Bake for 45 minutes for a quite rare roast, or longer until cooked to your liking.

Serve with mashed potatoes and minted peas.
Or with Sicilian broadbeans as I did. At the Vic markets last weekend, I saw broad beans for only $3.99 a kilo so I grabbed a kilo to make this- an old favourite I sourced off the internet ages ago.

Sicilian Broad Beans
1 tbsp oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 tbsp chicken or vegetable stock
350 g broad beans (about 1 kilo still in the bean)
350 g fresh peas
4 small artichoke hearts, cooked, quartered and marinated (I use the ones from the jar)
4 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to season
Pinch grated nutmeg
10 leaves fresh mint

Sauté onion till transparent
Add all other ingredients except the mint.
Simmer gently for 30 minutes
Stir in the mint and cook for 5 more minutes


Rilsta said...

Wow, I bow down to you to be able to make 3 recipes, and all from the same cookbook too!! :) They all sound great!

Karine said...

All your recipes sound delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

Ange said...

3 recipes is pretty amazing in one week. I've got the book and will have to try thse recipes as they all sound right up my alley

info said...

yum sounds great. I made preserved lemons so will have to try out your lamb recipe when they are ready!

Anonymous said...

the pasta seems awesome. im going to try that.

Agnes said...

A citrus fest indeed - what an effort! The salmon cakes sound particularly fantastic.

Vee - A Melbourne Munchkin. said...

The lamb looks gorgeous! How long did you cook it for? I'm always very apprehensive about cooking big roasts of meats because I like my meat under-done and I always seem to get it too raw or too cooked =o/ said...

3 recipes...well done. I love the look of your roast...delicous!

Maree said...

Rilsta, Agnes, Chitchatchomp and Karine, thanks very much.
Ange, good luck with the recipes, they really are super simple!
Info, I'm going to try and make some preserved lemons myself- I'll check out your recipe!
Spatulaspoon and Saturday, let me kow how you go...I hope you like it.
Vee, I think it was in the oven about an hour and a half. Rusty and I like lamb well done- but honestly, this was a bit much...the recipe says 45 minutes- personally, I reckon somewhere in between

Gaby said...

Thanks a lot for posting these, I am a real fan of the pasta with lime and rocket recipe and I could not access the book to retrieve all ingredients, so because of your blog, I'll cook this fresh and delightful pasta tonight again!