Category Archives: Lemon

Corn, Pears and Mike and Ikes…Oh My!

Since graduating culinary school I have had a desire to make crepes.  If you have ever been to Israel, crepe stands are like ice cream shops.  Their is a crepe maker stand in every mall and shopping area around Israel and you can get your basketball sized crepe served with anything you wish (like my favorites, nutella and Israeli chocolate)!

Using both my desire to make crepes and the fact that I just enjoy eating them, I went for it and made a crepe for the link-up challenge this month. This month we were given three ingredients: Canned corn, Pears, and….Mike and Ikes!  The last one was throwing me off.  Although we had to use two out of the three I decided to really challenge myself and use the candy.  You can totally opt out of the Mike and Ikes for the recipe, but they do add a fruity flavor to the pears.     

Tip: Crepes are really thin, so use the first few you make as practice. You will get that perfectly cooked and round thin pancake most likely on your third try.  Keep trying because the outcome is very rewarding!

Cornmeal Crepe with Pear Compote
1 C. Corn
3 Tbs. Cornmeal
1/3 C. Flour
3/4 C. Milk
2 Eggs
2 Tbs. Butter, melted
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Pears, sliced
2 Tbs. Sugar
1 Tbs. Buter
1 Tbs. Canola Oil
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1/2 Tbs. Cinnamon
Pinch of Anise Seeds
1/2 tsp. Dried Ginger
Pinch of Salt
Optional: 1/4 C. Mike and Ike infused Rum (Put a handful of Mike and Ikes in 1/4 C. Rum and let sit for an hour)
1/2 C. Cream Cheese
1 Lemon, zested
Puree the corn in a food processor till smooth (or as smooth as you can).  In a separate bowl whisk the cornmeal, flour and milk together till smooth.  Whisk in the pureed corn, eggs, butter and salt.
Let sit for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
In a sauce pot, melt the butter and oil.  Add the pears, sugar, lemon juice and spices.  Simmer for 5 minutes and add the Mike and Ike infused rum (when adding, take the pot off the stove away from the fire…this will prevent a potential fire with possibly spilled alcohol).  Simmer for another 5-10 minutes till pears become soft and syrupy.
Whip the cream cheese and lemon zest till it becomes lighter.  Put to the side.
Lightly grease and heat an 8 inch non stick pan or crepe pan.  Add 3 Tbs. of batter and swirl till it covers the bottom of the pan.  Cook on medium for about 30 seconds or until the top looks dry.  Carefully flip the crepe over and finish cooking another 15-20 seconds.  Remove and repeat. 
Add about on spoonful of pear filling in the middle of the crepe and fold over both sides.  Dollop the top with the cream cheese mixture and sprinkle cinnamon, pine nuts and lemon zest for garnish.  Serve immediately.  This can be served for a fun and different dessert or breakfast.



Be Picky!

Fruit picking is a great summer pastime.   In an article I wrote for KosherEye, I give ideas of what you can do with the fruit once it’s in your basket. 
Here’s the article – Summer Fruit Desserts
Let me know what you do with your freshly picked fruit!  
Plum Upside Down Cake
Strawberry Shortcake
Raspberry Sorbet
Frozen Lemon Meringue

Introducing…Chef Alison!

This past Monday my lifelong dreams became a reality when I graduated culinary school and became a professional chef!  
Our final project was to create a banquet, or as Orthodox Jews may call it, a shmorg.   My class and I made an abundance of delicious freshly made foods.   We were each assigned to make two or three original recipes and had the entire day to complete the mission. I made Jamaican spring rolls with spicy mango dipping sauce and my infamous mojito hamantashen, all of which were not kosher.  My parents flew in all the way from Columbus, Ohio to partake in my graduation celebrations.  Since my parents, two sisters, and a bunch of my friends were coming, I brought along kosher pots and pans so I was able to make them some Kosher treats.  I seared up pomegranate-citrus glazed salmon and lemon-curry mashed potatoes (I snuck in some frozen lemon meringue bars too). 

The day was hectic and such an adrenaline rush.  We were each called up individually and were given a book and a toque.  I think I donned my toque quite well if i do say so myself!

Here I go, out into the culinary world, armed with knives and a uniform.  Some would describe that as going out to war, but I would call it living my dream!

Lemon-Curry Mashed Potatoes

Serves 8-10 people
8 Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
½ Cup Butter
¾ C. Milk
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (adjust to your desired spiciness)
1 TBS. Curry
1 Lemon, juiced
Salt and Pepper
Walnuts, crushed  (Optional)
Boil potatoes in water till soft.  Drain.   While hot, mash in the butter, milk and spices.  Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.   

Chef Alison 

Starting Monday I will be interning at Solo 🙂

Frozen Lemon Meringue

One day, in a very tiny apartment in NYC, my sister and I were enjoying a fabulous piece of fresh lemon meringue pie.  Savoring each bite, we thought “It couldn’t get better than this!”  The tangy lemon filling, contrasted by the sweet meringue top, finished off by the flaky buttery crust. Suddenly an idea popped in our heads…the only way this could be ANY better was if it were FROZEN!! Genius!

It might be a Barnett thing, but the rule is, (almost) any dessert is better frozen.  Chocolate chip cookies (or any kind of cookie), gushers (that ones for my sis Becca), chocolate…
The only thing we regret is not thinking of this sooner.

Lemon Meringue Pie
Pastry for single pie crust (on bottom)

3/4 C. Fresh Lemon Juice (5 lemons) and 1 T. Peel, zested (1 Lemon) 
1/3 C. Cornstarch
Pinch of Salt
1 C. Sugar + 1/2 C. Sugar
1 ½ C. Water
2 T. Earth Balance Butter
3 Egg Yolk
4 Egg Whites
¼ t. Cream of Tarter
Make dough and chill.  Preheat oven to 425.  Meanwhile, take a 9X13 pan and cover the bottom with foil till it overlaps on all edges (this will make taking the bars out the pan easy).  Spray the foil with Pam.  Take the dough out of the fridge and press it into the bottom of the foil lined pan till it covers the bottom.  Bake 20 minutes till lightly golden.  Turn oven to 400.

Zest the lemon peel and squeeze the lemon juice, reserve for later.  In a 2 QT. saucepan, mix cornstarch,   pinch of salt, and 1 C. Sugar; stir in water.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.  Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, stir in small amount of the hot cornstarch mixture until blended; slowly pour egg-yolk mixture back into the hot cornstarch mixture in the saucepan, stirring rapidly to prevent curdling (no scrambled eggs!).   Place saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes, until thick.  Remove from heat and stir in butter, lemon juice and peel.  Pour into cooled pie crust.

In a small bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted.  Gradually sprinkle in remaining ½ C. Sugar, 2 T. at a time, beating until sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites stand in stiff peaks when beaters are lifted. 

Spread meringue over filling to the edge of the crust (meringue shrinks when cooked).  Swirl the meringue with the back of a spoon to make an attractive top.  Bake 10 minutes, until meringue is golden.  When pie is cool, freeze.  When ready to serve, take the foil out of the pan and cut into bars. 

Best Pie Crust in The World
Makes 1 Pie Crust (I usually make a few batches at a time and freeze them.  They freeze great!)

1 ¼ C. Flour
¼ t. Salt
6 T. Earth Balance Shortening
3-5 T. Ice Water
Process the flour, salt, and shortening in a blender or with a pastry blender.  Sprinkle in ice water till a ball is formed.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight. 

Frozen Lemon Meringue Pie…Mission accomplished!

On another note: In the culinary world….I finished Module 1!!  Aced my test and I am 1/5 of the way to becoming Chef Ali!