Lemon muffins

I love lemon in desserts, lemon on meat and fish, limoncello¬†so I had to try these simple fluffy lemon muffins. They are even more delicious with the lemon drizzle topping. They turned out way better than my first attempt at muffins. They were really good: moist and fluffy and lemony ūüôā

I also learned a valuable trick. You don’t need a mixer to make these muffins. They are made by using the muffin method, which means mixing the dry ingredients in one bowl, the liquids in another bowl and then combining the two together with a spoon or a spatula. No beating required.

prep time 15 min     cook time 20 min
ingredients for 12 muffins
for the muffins
  • 250 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 135 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 g ¬†plain yogurt
  • 85 g butter, melted
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
for the lemon glaze
  • 120g powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbls lemon juice
    1. Preheat oven to 220 C. Butter 12 muffin cups or line them with liner paper.
    2.  In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix in the sugar and lemon zest.
    3. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs with the yogurt, melted butter, lemon juice and vanilla extract, if using, just until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon or a spatula just until combined. Do not over mix. The batter should be thick and lumpy.
    4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups almost all the way to the top.
    5. Bake for 3 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 180C and continue to bake for additional 15-17 min or until the toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
    6. For the lemon drizzle topping sift in a small bowl the powdered sugar. Add lemon juice until you achieve desired consistency (pourable).
    7. When the muffins are cooled, pour the drizzle over the muffins.

Tip:  I prefer to butter or oil the muffin tray and put the muffins into pretty liner paper cups after baking them. Otherwise they stick to the paper.

    Tip: the muffins are best the same day they are made but can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or they can be frozen for a few months.
    BUON APPETITO!

Chicken piccata

Chicken piccata hides behind a fancy name simply chicken breast cutlets, dredged in seasoned flour, browned and served with a sauce of butter, lemon juice, capers and white wine. If you buy capers in brine, make sure to drain the liquid before adding them to a recipe; and if your capers are packed in salt, give them a rinse and a soak in water for 15 minutes.

prep time 5 min     cook time 15-20 min
ingredients for 4
  • 600g boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or cutlets
  • 30g flour
  • 10 g grated Parmigiano
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 ml white wine
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3 Tbsp capers
  • salt and pepper
  • optional: parsley

1. Slice the chicken breasts into cutlets and pound them lightly in between parchment paper until an even thickness, about 1 cm.

2. Mix flour, Parmigiano, salt and pepper and toss the cutlets in the flour.

3. Heat oil  with 2 Tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Working in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding the pan, cook cutlets, without moving them, until browned underneath, about 2-3 minutes. Turn over and cook on the other side for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate.

4. Now add the wine, lemon juice and the capers and cook, swirling pan and scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of skillet, until liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining butter and swirl pan while butter melts about 1 minute.

5. Return the chicken to the pan and let simmer for a minute or two.

6. Plate and serve immediately (topping with parsley).

BUON APPETITO!

 

Ricotta rustic pie

Spinach ricotta rustic pie makes a yummy light dinner or a fantastic appetiser.  If you are looking for something light and meatless, this pie is perfect.

prep time 10 min     cook time 30-40 min
ingredients
  • 1 pre-made puff pastry
  • 300g spinach, cooked to wilt
  • 1 Tbls olive oil
  • 250g ricotta
  • 60g Parmigiano, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 yolk + a dash of milk

1. Preheat oven to 180 C

2. Roll out the pastry dough and place it in a lightly greased round pan.

3. Cook the spinach in oil for 10 min to wilt. Add some salt. Then drain well.

4. Mix in a bowl ricotta and Parmigiano and add the well drained spinach, a dash of salt and some pepper.

5. Place the filling onto the pie crust and brush the dough with a beaten yolk and milk mixture.

6. Bake in a 180 C oven for 30-40 min until the crust is golden.

BUON APPETITO!