I first learned about lemon dice from my cousin Jimmy Fiala who owns the Crossing and three other great restaurants in St. Louis. He was a young chef working at Spiaggia in Chicago, one of the best Italian restaurants in the country. Jimmy came to work with me for a summer doing an internship. He showed me a fish dish using lemon dice and I was hooked! (pun intended) It is not hard to do, but does take some time. Buy the bigger lemons as they are easier to work with.
Another interesting item in this week’s repertoire is the basil chiffonade. To accomplish this, roll the basil leaves up into a tight cylinder, then slice them thinly. This will create long, thin strips of basil, called a chiffonade (shiff-oh-nod).
I served the fish with fresh green beans and a boxed pasta. For the green beans, cut the ends off (stem-end only). Bring some water to boil and cook until tender. This is a personal preference. I like to cook them about 4 minutes. Some like to cook them more and some less. After cooking, immediately plunge into ice water. When ready to serve, sauté the beans in a little butter mixed with some olive oil, a little salt, and a little pepper. Money in the bank!
The Pasta a Roni angel hair pasta has been a staple in our house for years. My kids absolutely love it, as do I. It is easy to do and is a really tasty side dish for fish or chicken.
In This Menu:
- Tilapia with Lemon Dice
- Cucumber Feta Salad
- Fresh Green Beans
- Pasta a Roni Angel Hair Pasta
- Blueberry Crepes with Edy’s Vanilla Ice Cream
Tilapia with Lemon Dice
- 4 fillets of tilapia
- ½ cup seasoned flour
- Olive oil
- 1 T. butter
- 1 T. olive oil
- 2 teaspoons minced shallot or white onion
- 1 T. fresh oregano or sage
- 1 T. lemon dice
- Salt and pepper
Grill fish to desired temperature.
Cut the ends on the lemon and set the lemon vertically on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, remove the zest and white part of the lemon peel, exposing the meat of the lemon. Cut between each segment and remove the meat from the lemon. Remove the seeds and dice lemon segments. This is called lemon dice oddly enough.
For the sauce:
In sauté pan, heat butter and olive oil, add shallots, sage, and lemon dice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over fish. Serve with green beans and pasta.
- 1 lb. vine ripe tomatoes
- 1 lb. red onion, cut into 1/4″ crescent shaped pieces
- 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, thinly sliced
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 4 to 6 large, fresh basil leaves cut in “chiffonade” (see above)
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup feta
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine the tomatoes, onion, and cucumbers in a large bowl. In a small bowl, coat avocado slices with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Add avocados to salad along with remaining ingredients. Gently toss and serve or refrigerate.
Blueberry Crepes and Vanilla Ice Cream
For the Crepes:
- ¾ cup flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 T. sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 T. butter
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
Place flour and salt in food processor and pulse to mix. Melt butter in milk in small saucepan over low heat. After butter is melted, let the milk mixture cool until you can touch the surface without it being uncomfortable. Add milk mixture to flour, running processor constantly to blend well. Add eggs one at a time and blend well. Let batter sit for at least 30 minutes before using.
To cook crepes, heat a 6-inch non-stick pan until sizzling. Spray pan with pan release. Pour 1 oz. of batter in pan and swirl until batter coats bottom of pan (very thin!). Cook for about one minute or until you can see the edges of the crepe turning brown. Remove crepe and place on parchment paper to cool. Contrary to many beliefs and recipes, it is not necessary to turn and cook crepe on both sides.
For the Berries:
- 2 T. butter
- 1 pint blueberries
- ½ cup sugar
Heat a small saucepan over medium high heat and add butter. Cook blueberries in butter until they begin to burst. Add sugar and continue to cook until sauce thickens. Pour warm over crepes and garnish with whipped cream and powdered sugar.