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Lemon pepper is love

February 17, 2009

I don’t know about you, but if I remember, I always ask for lemon pepper at the fish and chip shop. It’s the perfect offset to greasy chips. However, recently I found out it’s also bloody marvelous as a flavouring to stir fry. In an attempt to add less pans to the growing pile of unwashed dishes, and to incorporate fried potatoes in this somehow (because lemon pepper + fried potato is a match made in heaven), I did pan fried potato cubes and then added all the other veges to the mix. It ended up being an incredibly summery, refreshing meal that was both quick and easy. Thanks to Clare for the lemon and for grating the lemon zest! We had lemon-y buttermilk pancakes that morning…which were also fabulous, needless to say (if you haven’t made pancakes with buttermilk before, you are MISSING OUT). Anyway, as if lemon pepper wasn’t good enough, I used real lemon zest for this and let me tell you…the fish and chip stuff does NOT compare.

lemonpepperstirfry1

Now, I used beans, celery and marrow (zucchini/courgette left to grow BIG), but you can use pretty much any vegetable (preferably green or summer vegetables that are mild in flavour). Celery tastes GREAT with this, as do the beans, but go with your instincts. Before you proceed, I strongly recommend a large non stick wok or frypan with relatively high sides to make this in, because you want things to cook on one layer as much as you can (especially with the potatoes) to make this quick and painless. To make this vegan, you can just omit the feta cheese, and it would go nicely with some slivered almonds or pine nuts (what doesn’t?!).

Real lemon pepper stir fry

a guide for two

enough potatoes for two, diced into 1cm cubes
enough beans for two, snapped into 1″ lengths (about 1c)
enough celery for two (about 2-3 medium stalks), chopped into 1cm lengths
enough zucchini/courgette or marrow, sliced (approx 2mm thick)
cooking oil
salt and pepper (lots of it)
approx 1/3 cup finely grated lemon zest

optional: feta cheese, cubed to garnish (and because it goes AMAZINGLY with lemon pepper!)

Heat about 1/4c cooking oil in a very large non stick frypan or wok on medium heat. Add potato cubes, about half a teaspoon of salt, and some pepper. Let sizzle away until the underside is golden, then flip (or quickly jerk the pan forwards and then suddenly backwards), and let the other side cook until golden. Clear out an area in the middle of the pan for the beans, and add them to the heat. Cover, and let cook for about a minute. Uncover, stir, and cover again, letting cook for another minute or so. Uncover, add celery and courgette, and stir while letting the veges cook slightly for about two minutes, until they begin to turn translucent. Turn off heat, add lemon zest, and stir through to mix in. Taste, adding more salt or pepper if required, and mix it through again. Serve up on plates, sprinkling with small cubes of chopped feta cheese (my favourite to date is Whitestone cow’s milk feta…just enough tang and richness, and it keeps its shape quite well too). Garnish with more lemon zest if desired, and enjoy!

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