Wednesday, February 1, 2012


It's time for my workplace's IRON CHEF BATTLE again. This time, the secret ingredient was LEMON! What a tasty, refreshing challenge!

1st Place Winner!! Mun!! 
Lemon Panna Cotta with Lemon Marmalade
YES!! Me for the first time! Somehow, I always came second. Now that I had a taste of winning, not sure if I could go back ;) I must say, it turned out well and quite addictive.
This is a popular dessert in Italy called Panna cotta. It is usually served with sweet fruits like strawberries and cherries, but since today is all about the lemon, I made the creamy Panna cotta with fresh lemons.  It is
served with a homemade lemon marmalade from the lemon juice and peel. The sweet and creamy flavors balance out each other. Yummy!

I got the recipe from with a few little twists on my own. The step-by-step guide (recipe and pictures) will be followed shortly after this post.

2nd Place Winner!! Faye Smith!! 
Lemon Cream Pie with Raspberry Sauce
Really really tasty. Tangy lemon cream pie. The candied lemon peel was delicious.You simply just couldn't resist it.
Here's her recipe (combination of several different ones):
Yield: Makes one 9-inch pie, or 6 to 8 servings

6 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 prepared crumb crust

1. Combine the eggs, sugar, and lemon zest in a heavy medium-size saucepan and whisk the mixture until it is smooth. Add the lemon juice and butter and cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it is thickened, 7 to 9 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil.

2. Pour the lemon curd through a fine mesh strainer into a glass bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the lemon curd until it is cold and thick, at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.

3. In a medium-size mixing bowl using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the lemon curd and scrape the filling into the prepared pie shell. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until the filling is completely set, at least 6 ho urs and up to 1 day.

The crust is a traditional vanilla wafer crust with the addition of almond extract.

Dressing it up
Make candied peel:
Remove zest (peel) from 2 lemons in wide strips with a vegetable peeler, then cut lengthwise with a sharp knife into 1/8-inch-wide julienne strips. Reserve lemons for juicing. Fill a 2-quart heavy saucepan halfway with water, then add julienned peel. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes. Drain peel in a sieve and rinse. Bring water (1 cup) and 1 cup granulated sugar to a boil in saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add peel and gently simmer until translucent, about 15 minutes.

Remove peel from syrup with a slotted spoon, letting syrup drain off into saucepan. Spread out on a sheet of wax paper and cool to room temperature. Toss peel with remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, stirring with a fork to coat and separate. Transfer sugared peel to clean dry sieve and shake off excess sugar, then spread out on a fresh sheet of wax paper to dry slightly.

Raspberry Sauce

2 pints raspberries
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

1. Crush the raspberries with water in a saucepan.
2. Add sugar and cornstarch.
3. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
4. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes.
5. Push through a foodmill or strainer.

Tom's Chicken Picatta: Tom Gardner!
 A hearty, tasty chicken dish that you would not want to miss. I loved it so much that I ate more for lunch. Thank you Tom!
"Chicken Picatta is very easy to prepare.  I used chicken tenders as opposed to the whole chicken breast.  "I dredge the chicken in a milk/egg mixture and then roll them in Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs.  I melt half of a stick of butter (to start) and place the breaded chicken in the hot skillet until golden brown on both sides.  Once all of the chicken as been browned and removed from the skillet and placed in a casserole dish, I add 1/4 cup of white zinfindel wine and let evaporate.  Then add a cup of chicken broth and simmer on low to medium heat.  I add about a whole stalk of diced celery, sliced mushrooms and squeeze half of a lemon ov4r the mixture.  Once the starts to become translucent, pour over the chiken and cook at 375°
for 30-35 minutes.  Enjoy!" Tom.

The Big Lemon Meringue Sundae: Alisa Benson
A colorful, welcoming dessert that no one could or wanted to refuse!

4 egg whites
1 c sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 jar maraschino cherries
1 can pineapple (chunks are better than crushed)
1 big container of cool whip
Dark chocolate candy bar if desired for garnish.

1. Beat the egg whites until they are fluffy, then beat in the sugar and lemon juice.
2. Spoon the meringue into cookie-size mounds on a slightly greased cookie sheet.
3.Bake at 300 for 10 minutes or so until brown on top.  Allow to cool.
4. Layer meringue, cool whip, fruit and nuts.
5. Can garnish with shredded dark chocolate.

What a wonderful lemon day!

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