Saturday, 4 December 2010

Lemon & thyme salt - Christmas gifts vol. 1

Few weeks ago I was bit concerned with the fact that I probably will not be able to show you some exciting Christmas recipes this year. First of all I do not have much spare time to cook complicated and time consuming dishes and in addition I probably would not be able to buy some of the ingredients required to cook some Polish festive recipes. Also, when I am away from home and dishes that my Mum cooks the best, I am not bothered about cooking any special dishes for Christmas, especially there will only be two of us, so there is no point going crazy with the amount of food.

However I didn't want to disappoint you, My Dear Readers so I managed to prepare two things so far, that can be lovely Christmas presents for food lovers. In my opinion most people appreciate handmade gifts. What better could you wish for foodie?

Bad weather certainly helped me - since Tuesday I finish work earlier and fitness centre cancelled classes and closes much earlier, so I spend more time and home.

Do you wonder where I have found an inspiration for this? Few weeks ago I have found a salt grinder by Jamie Oliver on a sale. It was thyme and lemon salt and I went absolutely crazy about it. I add it almost to everything - meat, fish soups, vegetables. I am not sure if I can manage to get some more so I decided to make my own. This is how it turned out:

Nice, isn't it? And so tasty! So place this lovely salt in a fancy jar and you have pretty Christmas gif. Perhaps you will manage to buy nice grinder and make a lovely set? I think somebody will appreciate your work and hand made gift. This is all you need:

about 10 tbsp of rock sea salt (or flaky)
about 30g fresh thyme (or lemon thyme)
1 bay leaf
rind of one lemon (try to peel it quite thin, the white bit could e bitter)

Preheat the oven to about 100 C.

Cut the lemon peel into small squares and place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper together with bay leaf and thyme. Place in the oven and bake until the thyme is completely dry, turning once or twice.

Remove thyme and bay leaf from the tray, return the lemon to the oven and turn the oven off. Leave it closed in the oven until completely cold.

Shake the leaves off the thyme springs. Crush bay leaf into a salt and mix with thyme.

Remove the lemon peel from the oven and mix with the rest of ingredients.

You can obviously grind your salt in a grinder or food processor and you will end up with fine flavoured salt.

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