It's time for another spice mix!
This one was inspired by a big bowl of lemons sitting on my counter. I juice them and use some of the peel fresh, but I came across a blog post about drying lemon peels to use in seasonings. It looked easy enough so I tried it. And yes, it takes some work, but since I was going to throw out the peels anyway, I'd call it a success.
The easy way I found is to use a vegetable peeler. Wash the lemons first to remove any dirt or residue on the peels. Then peel thin strips of just the yellow peel from the lemon. If you get some of the white, don't worry. That's the next step. Use a knife, a serrated steak knife works pretty well, and gently scrape off most of the white. Lay your peel strips on a baking sheet. Put it in a sunny spot and let them dry. I ended up leaving mine out on the counter for a week just to make sure they were fully dried.
These keep for a long time in your spice cupboard. Chop them really fine or grind them when you need a hit of lemon in a recipe. Just keep in mind that 1 T. of fresh lemon peel is only about 1/2 t. of dried. It gets concentrated.
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
3 T. salt
1 T. dried lemon peel
1 T. black peppercorns
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. sugar
1 t. dried parsley (optional)
Grind everything together. I use a coffee grinder. It works great. You can buy one at most stores that carry small kitchen appliances for less than $20. It's a very useful tool if you do a lot of spice mixes.
Otherwise, use ground black pepper and chop the lemon peel very fine.
Mix it together and store in an airtight container. Shake it up before using it just to make sure everything is well mixed.
To use: Sprinkle it over fish or chicken before you cook it;
OR toss 1 T. seasoning with 2 T. oil, 4 c. pasta, 1 c. chopped bell peppers, and 1/2 c. chopped sweet onion. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve hot.