So, it’s lemongrass season. Do you have a bundle in your produce drawer? What? You don’t cook with lemongrass everyday? This post will change all that! I like cooking with lemons, but prior to my Watermelon Salad post, I really hadn’t given lemongrass a second thought. But, since then I’ve discovered that lemongrass is not only used to diffuse olive oils like the one in my salad dressing. It is also an herb used in a lot of Asian cooking and has been used medicinally in countries like India, Africa and Indonesia.
Check out these recipes that use lemongrass. Using it during summer months assures it’s at its freshest.
We usually purchase our flavored oils and vinegars because I like to do everything the easy way, but here is a suggestion from Epicurious for infusing your own lemongrass oil. It’s not near as involved as I originally thought.
“Oil infused with garlic, onion, or other aromatic vegetables (like lemongrass) is delicious for both dipping and cooking. It’s important to thoroughly wash and dry your aromatics, even after you’ve peeled them, to remove all traces of dirt and impurities. Larger items like onions can be cut into rings or halved, while smaller ones, such as garlic cloves, can be left whole. Help release their flavors and fragrances by roasting aromatics before heating them in oil; cook them at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until lightly golden. Then, in a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the aromatics in the oil for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is lightly bubbling. Remove from heat, and let the oil cool completely before funneling it into vessels.
Unlike herbs, leaving the aromatics in the oil after bottling will not result in cloudiness; however, the aromatics will continue infusing the oil, and their flavors will grow stronger over time.”
Bon Appetit Roasted Lemongrass Chicken is a gourmet recipe without the hours of preparation. I’ve cut the recipe in half to prepare for two people.
- 1/8 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil or vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nuoc nam or nam pla), divided
- 1 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoons chopped shallot
- 1 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 fresh lemongrass stalk, tough outer leaves removed, 4 inches of thick end finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 large chicken leg quarters
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
* Oyster sauce, lemongrass, fish sauce and chili-garlic sauce can be found either in the ethnic or produce section of your favorite grocery, or in a local Asian market.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Whisk 1/8 cup oil, 1 tablespoons fish sauce, 1/2 tablespoon sugar, and next 6 ingredients in large bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature 1 hour.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, to skillet (reserve marinade in bowl). Cook 4 minutes. Turn chicken, add reserved marinade to skillet, and transfer to oven. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, about 25 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate.
- Add 1/4 cup water, lime juice, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, and remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar to skillet. Bring to boil. Remove from heat, spoon fat from surface, and strain pan juices into small pitcher. Serve chicken with pan juices.
To complete this meal, serve with yellow rice and steamed green beans.
For dessert, a light and fruity salad topped with lemongrass syrup and yogurt rounds off this summery meal.
- Chop the lemongrass stalks, halve or quarter the strawberries, peel and cut the melon into 3/4″ cubes, and sliver the mint leaves. Fill a large bowl with ice and then place a smaller bowl into the ice. Combine the lemongrass, chili, zest from one lime, and agave with 1 cup of water and bring to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir for about 8 minutes, or until it is slightly thickened, simmer the mixture. Pour mix into the ice water bath and chill for 15 minutes.
- Toss the strawberries, melon, and mint in a large bowl. Pour the lemongrass syrup over the fruit and gently toss until evenly coated. Refrigerate until chilled.
- Stir the ginger into the Greek yogurt and use the mix to top the salad when serving.
Serve with Gingersnap Cookies.
One bunch of lemongrass should work for this whole meal, so stop by the market today and add delicious freshness to tonight’s meal.