Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More on Lemon Grass

Here's more on Lemon Grass from Ellen Zimmerman's June Newsletter from 2009:

HERB OF THE MONTH – Lemongrass Revisited - June 2009

Every summer I enjoy making delicious, fresh Lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus, tea from my beautiful, full, ever-sweet Lemongrass plant. I remember my sweet friend Dorothy giving me a black plastic pot with just two skinny sharp leaves sticking up, and saying, “Here’s some Lemongrass for you”. Well before you knew it, those two tiny leaves became a full-bodied, large incredible herb that I use all summer long. To harvest fresh Lemongrass you need to cut the leaf way at the bottom of the plant. This thick part of the leaf, which is whitish, is where the best flavor is. Of course I use the entire leaf as well, cut up in smaller pieces. You need to gently boil, or decoct, the Lemongrass for awhile (approximately 30 minutes) to help release the flavor. Then I let it sit on the stove for an hour or so, to steep even more. Finally I strain it and add a little honey. It is wonderful hot, but these days I like it iced. It keeps well in the refrigerator for at least three days staying tasty, fresh and wonderful. My very popular Summer Lemon Tea is made with these fresh Lemongrass stalks, Lemon Balm, Melissa officinale and Lemon Verbena, Aloysia triphylla. Lemon Verbena is mentioned in the famous movie, Gone with the Wind, as Scarlet O’Hara’s mothers favorite plant. I decoct these three herbs together and enjoy an incredible iced summer lemon tea at a picnic, a pool party or any summer celebration.

Lemongrass is not only refreshing but quite medicinal too. Lemongrass, also known as Fever Grass, is used just for that, fevers. It is also useful for coughs and colds. It can promote perspiration and the excretion of phlegm; eases stomach cramps, and is especially useful for children and infants. Lemongrass is also considered a stimulant so you can use it as such. Lemongrass has significant anti-fungal properties, acts as a wonderful anti-oxidant and also works as an insect repellent.
Lemongrass is easy to grow in our warm Central Texas environment. It will grow vigorously during the summer and may die back in the winter if we have a frost or two. I usually mulch it during the winter season. In early spring, I like to cut it back and allow it to begin it’s growth once again. In my experience the plant will last several years as long as you nurture it appropriately.

If you don’t already have a Lemongrass plant, get one A perennial member of the Poacea (Grass) family, Lemongrass can be enjoyed as tea, in soups, stews, Vietnamese and Chinese dishes, and as a valuable and safe medicinal plant.

Shrimp season is in full blast down here in south Texas!

OH BOY! Shrimp season is in full blast down here in south Texas! I went down to the Fulton Dock on Saturday and bought 2 pounds of 8-10 count shrimp for only $8.00 a pound. OH BOY were they good! I made Shrimp Kabobs for dinner Saturday night. Then on Sunday I cooked the rest of them for lunch. I melted a stick of butter and added two 6" to 8" stems of lemongrass chopped into 2" sticks, about a tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning, about a tablespoon of White Wine Worcestershire Sauce, and about a half cup of dry white wine. I let it reduce a little, then added the shrimp and cooked until they were done. With shrimp that big it took about 4-5 minutes. Oh yes, and lemon slices were put into all the shrimp dishes! OH BOY, were they the best. Then last night I fixed a Cobb salad, and we ate it with the remaining 4 shrimp. And today we are getting 5 pounds of 16-20 count shrimp today for Labor Day weekend! OH BOY, I do love living on the coast!

And then after using the lemongrass stems, I took all of the leaves and added some mint and steeped them together in hot water for about an hour. OH BOY does that ever make a great refreshing summertime tea!

And if you want to check out growing your own lemongrass be sure to check out GROW SOME LEMONGRASS. AND while we are on the subjecct of lemongrass, be sure to check out this website that was forwarded to me by Cindy Curing properties of Lemongrass. Very interesting!

I guess that we had an OH BOY weekend! Anyway, I decided to type up my OH BOY SHRIMP recipe as follows:


*1 to 1 ½ pounds shrimp with heads and shells (8-10 count)
1 stick butter (not margarine)
2 6” to 8” sticks lemongrass, chopped in 1” to 2” pieces
1 tablespoon shrimp seasoning
1 tablespoon White Wine Worcestershire Sauce
½ cup dry white wine
1 garlic clove minced
½ lemon sliced
** Mexican Mint Marigold a/k/a Texas Tarragon (optional)

Melt the butter over medium heat and add the lemongrass pieces, shrimp seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, wine, and garlic. Continue cooking and reduce by about 1/3 to 1/2; then add shrimp and continue reducing, about 5 minutes, don’t over cook the shrimp. Add sliced lemons, stir and serve.

* You can use any size shrimp, BUT remember the smaller the shrimp the less time they take to cook. Cook shrimp until they turn pink all over. Overcooked shrimp are tough.

** (Optional) You can add about a tablespoon of fresh Mexican Mint Marigold a/k/a Texas Tarragon about a minute or so before serving.

Also I found the following recipe that looks very good at website: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe-Tools/Print/Recipe.aspx?RecipeID=36200&origin=detail&servings=10

Lemongrass and Citrus Poached Salmon

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes

"This is a very light and delicate dish with a smooth and subtle lemon and citrus flavor that melts in your mouth."

2 1/2 pounds salmon fillet
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart orange juice
2 cups white wine
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups chopped lemon grass
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper

1. Remove skin from salmon, then cut into desired portions.
2. In a large pot, combine chicken stock, orange juice, white wine, onion, garlic and lemon grass. Season with salt and white pepper. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to a low boil. Place the salmon in the poaching liquid until flaky and tender, about 5 minutes.