The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

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September 21, 2013

COOKING WITH SIMON: Tasty Lesson about Life’s Lemons

PALESTINE — You know the old saying, “Sometimes life hands you a bowl of lemons, so why not make lemonade?”

Well if you ask me there are better things to make with lemons than just lemonade. This week, that’s exactly what happened. I had a bowl of lemons and to make it even worse, these lemons didn’t even have any skins.

I had removed the skins so I could make a batch of one of my favorite liqueur, limoncello. This wonderful Italian liqueur is easy to make and requires soaking the skins of eight to ten large lemons in a liter of grain alcohol.

The lemon skins sit in the alcohol for two weeks to two months. The longer the better, as someone from Italy told me, because more of the color and flavor from the skins infuses into the alcohol. After infusion, it is strained and mixed with about 1/2 gallon of simple syrup. Then, just chill and enjoy. It’s great to sip after dinner, use as a mixer with cocktails or as an ingredient in desserts.

So back to the bowl of lemons – I certainly can’t chuck them in the garbage bin just because their skins are gone. So I squeezed out all of the juice and created this sauce. It is great with chicken fingers, fried shrimp or in a stir-fry. It’s sweet, sour, tangy and spicy – simply satisfying for every part of your palate.

LEMON CHILI SAUCE

Ingredients

8 lemons, juice only

1 cup brown sugar

2 cubes chicken bouillon

1 cup warm water

1/2 onion chopped fine

2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with a small amount of water to make a paste

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, or more to taste

Directions

Place the juice in a pan with water, sugar and chili flakes. Add chicken bouillon, chopped onion and bring to a boil. Add cornstarch paste to thicken and whisk together. Cool for ten minutes and blend until smooth. This can be served hot or chilled.

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Recipe by Simon Webster, www.saborapasion.com, 903-729-9500

 

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