Saturday, March 9, 2013

Drying Lemon Peels

I had a dream last night that I gave up on my Whole 30, which is bizarre because I only have like two weeks left and have not in my waking moments thought anything of the sort. Anyway, when I began this back in mid-late February I went through my pantry and stuck every spice I own that has some obscure ingredient I don't usually care about (soy lecithin, small amounts of sugar, etc.) in my "no" cupboard, which is where I put things I don't want to get rid of but which I currently can't eat.

Unfortunately, all of my lemon pepper went in there, too. And I really love lemon pepper. Luckily I found out that lemon pepper is relatively easy to make. Today I went out to re-fill my fridge and freezer, and bought a bunch of standard lemons as well as two bags of Meyer lemons (a cross between a true lemon and a Mandarin orange), ready to make a new batch of lemon pepper.

The problem was my last batch was far too salty and sometimes I want different proportions, so I decided instead of making lemon pepper I would just dry and grind some lemon peels and zest and use it at will. So I did.
I don't have a lemon zester, so I just used a vegetable peeler and then
cut the lemon peel into slices. The Meyer lemons peel easy so I just
threw them in there.

Tossed in the oven for a while.  Some of them are a little... uh... burnt.
I would recommend a dehydrator for this, but mine is currently being
used for jerky, so I baked it for a couple hours at around 200 degrees
Fahrenheit instead.

I put the dried peels in my smoothie blender (haven't been using it
on my Whole 30 anyway).  Didn't grind perfectly, but that's actually
kind of a good thing; it'll make for a nice mix of bigger chunks and
powdered lemon peel.
My favorite use for this is chicken.  I buy chicken quarters, pull the skin up, sprinkle lemon peel, thyme, pepper, and salt (sometimes garlic), replace the skin, and then bake until it's done (for me it usually takes roughly an hour at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in a delicious crispy skin).  If you don't have lemon pepper or lemon peel, you should totally still do that, but with just salt and pepper and garlic.  It's one of my favorite go-to meals.