06 June


Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

June: National Lemon Month

Many cultures have their own version of boneless meat, which is coated in seasoned flour/breadcrumbs/batter, then fried or baked, and accompanied with gravy or sauce. Lemon chicken from L&L Drive-Inn, a popular chain restaurant in Hawaii and in select spots around the world, is one of Islander and her brother’s favorite deep fried chicken dishes with a tangy sweet lemon sauce.

During our undergraduate years in Hawaii, we would walk down our hilly campus to the L&L restaurant and treat ourselves to a cheap lunch or dinner when we did not want to eat cafeteria food or cook in our dorm kitchen. When we first ordered the lemon chicken, it looked like a giant, sliced chicken nugget with a sunny yellow dipping sauce on the side. As simple as the entrée was, we just loved the lemon sauce! It really is what makes the chicken a delicious dish.

For National Lemon Month, make lemon chicken for a local-style plate lunch.

Recipe

(Adapted from L&L Drive-Inn via the Star-Bulletin Archives)

For the chicken

  • 2 pounds boneless chicken (we used thinly sliced chicken breast meat)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chicken-flavored bouillon (we crushed a bouillon cube)
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

Pound the chicken meat to ¼-inch thickness or cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside and make the marinade. In a large glass bowl, mix together the water and vegetable oil. Blend in the cornstarch and flour. Stir in the egg. Season with salt, bouillon, white pepper and garlic powder.

Lemon Chicken

Mix to make a smooth batter. Coat the chicken in the marinade and leave for at least two hours. Deep fry the chicken in 350-degree oil until golden brown (5 minutes). Drain on paper towels. Keep warm.

Lemon Chicken

For the lemon sauce

  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white vinegar (we used cane sugar vinegar)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • small piece of ginger, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • ½ teaspoon of yellow food coloring
  • slices of lemon

Directions

In a measuring cup, make a slurry by dissolving the cornstarch in lemon juice. Set aside. In a saucepan, combine the water, vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil.

Lemon Chicken

Add the ginger, lemon extract and a few slices of lemon. Tint with yellow food coloring. Slowly stir in the cornstarch-lemon juice mixture until thickened and smooth. Discard the ginger. Serve the sauce on the side with the lemon chicken.

Lemon Chicken

Notes

  • The lemon sauce may be made ahead of time and re-heated. Garnish with fresh lemon slices.
  • This lemon chicken is a Chinese-influenced recipe. There are other lemon chicken recipes inspired by international ingredients.
  • Serve L&L Drive-Inn lemon chicken with scoops of rice and macaroni salad. Onolicious!
  • For another fruit-flavored sauce with chicken, try the recipe for honey orange glazed chicken listed in our September archives (National Chicken Month).
  • Love lemons? Search our blog for more lemon recipes.

Ice Cream Soda

Ice Cream Soda

June 30: National Ice Cream Soda Day

Cool off during the hot summer season with something fun, frosty and fizzy—an old-fashioned ice cream soda (also called an ice cream float). Highlander ate it as a youngster and wanted Islander to try this traditional summertime treat. Until recently, because of her lactose intolerance, she was unable to enjoy desserts with dairy. But after discovering a lactose-free ice cream at the grocery store, Highlander now can prepare an ice cream soda for his wife. Making it at home is just as sweet and simple and quicker and cheaper than going to an ice cream parlor or shop.

Try this retro recipe for an old-fashioned ice cream soda for summertime and on National Ice Cream Soda Day.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2-3 scoops vanilla ice cream (we used Breyer’s brand)
  • 7Up (or carbonated/soda water)
  • whipped cream (we used Cool Whip brand)
  • maraschino cherry

Directions

In a tall chilled glass, scoop some vanilla ice cream. Fill with 7Up until foam floats to the top of the glass. Alternatively, add another scoop of ice cream on top of the foam. Swirl whipped cream on top and add a maraschino cherry (optional). Insert a straw and enjoy immediately.

Ice Cream Soda

Notes

Peach Schnapps and Cream Cake

Peach Schnapps and Cream Cake

June 21: National Peaches and Cream Day

Those who like drinking a Fuzzy Navel cocktail will enjoy eating the cake version as it also contains peach schnapps, a fruit-flavored liqueur.

Islander used to send an unfrosted Fuzzy Navel cake to her friend Lisa L., who was stationed in Kuwait as a naval reservist. She said the troops wanted a treat that had a bit of booze baked into it because they were in the “dry” Middle East. Years later, Lisa requested this cake flavor for her wedding in Germany, as peach schnapps was a popular alcoholic beverage in her village. Islander frosted the tiers with sweet, whipped, white cream. The “peach schnapps and cream cake” was light and luscious and everyone loved it!

When Islander makes this moist cake on occasion, she would put peaches on top to showcase the fruit flavor. Instead of plain peaches and cream, switch to schnapps and prepare a peach schnapps and cream cake on National Peaches and Cream Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn)

For the cake

  • 1 box (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix (we recommend Duncan Hines brand classic yellow)
  • 1 box (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • ¾ cup peach schnapps
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the cake and pudding mixes. Pour in the peach schnapps and orange juice.

Peach Schnapps and Cream Cake

Add the eggs, oil and orange extract. Blend on low speed, scrape the sides and continue mixing until the batter is smooth.

Peach Schnapps and Cream Cake

Pour the batter in a lightly greased pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan. Invert the cake into a cake board or platter. Prepare the cream frosting.

Peach Schnapps and Cream Cake

For the sweet cream frosting

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • orange, peach or vanilla extract/flavoring
  • 2-3 cans of sliced peaches, drained (for optional decoration)

Directions

In a chilled mixing bowl, whip the cream until thickened. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat until blended. Stir in the orange/peach/vanilla and continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread a little frosting on a cake board or platter to act as an adhesive so the cake does not slide off.

Peach Schnapps and Cream Cake

Generously spread the cream frosting on top of the cake and onto the sides until smooth and covered.

Peach Schnapps and Cream Cake

Use a pastry bag to pipe borders with extra cream (we used Wilton tip 2D). Refrigerate for at least half an hour for the frosting to set slightly. Drain the canned, sliced peaches and dry with paper towels. Arrange the peach slices on top of the cake. Chill to set. Remove the cake from the refrigerator 10-15 minutes before serving.

Peach Schnapps and Cream Cake

Notes

  • Islander was Lisa’s maid of honor at her multicultural wedding celebration in Germany on 08/08/08. The peach schnapps and cream cake was a gift for her BFF and new husband John L. Prosit! 

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