Sunday, 10 August 2008

Using Lemongrass by Brenda Hyde

Usually the tender white part of the lemongrass stalk is used for adding to dishes, but the remainder can be used for stocks or infusions or even dried to use in potpourri and tea. So, don't waste any part of it! Some cooks will grind the stalks and use this for seasoning. Or you can treat it more like bay leaf and leave it in larger pieces that can be removed before serving.
Try tying several blades together with cooking string and place them on top of fish as you are grilling, baking or broiling. Another neat thing to do is to take a few of the blades, tie them together and pound them with a meat tenderizer to bruise them, then use them as a brush to baste meat or seafood as you grill.

Lemongrass is a great herb to use with chicken. Stuff a roasting chicken with it before baking and season with garlic, pepper and salt for a great dish. Below are some of the recipes using lemongrass:

Lemongrass Marinade
3 fresh lemongrass stalks, chopped
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried hot pepper flakes
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. sugar
4 1/2 tsp. fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)

Mix together and marinate 2-4 pounds of chicken. Marinate 4 hours or overnight. Grill or broil until done. You can also use a cut up chicken and roast it in a roasting pan.

Shrimp Marinade
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
2 tsp. fresh lemongrass, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 tsp. honey mustard
4 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Mix all and add to 1 or 1/2 pounds shrimp. Marinate for several hours. The shrimp can be sauted in a large skillet or grilled.

Lemongrass Fried Rice:
vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 tbsp. fresh minced ginger
3 stalks lemongrass, minced, white only
4 cups cooked rice
juice of one lemon

In a large nonstick skillet heat a little bit of oil. Saute the onions, garlic, ginger and lemongrass til they soften-don't brown. Add the rice and saute all for about 5 minutes til heated through. Add the lemon juice and salt if desired. Serve with chicken or seafood.

Lemongrass Tea
1 tsp. lemongrass
1 cup boiling water

Pour the water over the lemongrass and steep for 5 minutes. Sweeten as desired. Makes one cup of tea.

Lemongrass and Mint Tea
1 cup chopped mint
1 cup chopped lemongrass
2 cups boiling water
3 cups brewed black tea
juice of one lime
Lemonade concentrate or a sweetened lemonade mix-enough to make 2 quarts (use it as is, not mixed).
Steep the mint and lemongrass in the boiling water for several hours or even overnight. Mix with the 3 cups of cooled brewed tea. Add the remaining ingredients and then add enough cold water to bring it to one gallon total.

Brenda Hyde is an avid gardener, freelance writer, mom and wife. She is also editor of Old Fashioned Living.

No comments: