Genevieve Ko’s new recipe adds lemon zest to a snappy shortbread crust for even more lemony brightness and flavor.
By Melissa Clark
Lemon bars are a Clark family favorite. My mother made them for every bake sale, holiday party and potluck, following the recipe for Lucy’s lemon squares from the “Peanuts” cookbook. Once, she baked a batch for a school function and put them in the back of the kitchen counter for safekeeping. Later, when she saw that half of them had vanished, she started to scold my sister and me until, in a scene fit for a “Peanuts” strip, the dog strolled by with a snout thickly dusted with powdered sugar. Everyone loves a lemon bar.
Genevieve Ko’s new lemon bar recipe is similar to my mother’s — or rather, “Lucy’s” — in its utter simplicity. But it out-lemons Lucy with its extra tangy, citrus flavor and especially crisp crust. Why not make a batch this week? Just put them in a closed container if you have a wily dog with a sweet (sour) tooth.
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Here’s another crowd-pleaser of a recipe starring something yellow: Millie Peartree’s Southern fried corn, which cooks up glossy and fragrant, dotted with bits of roasted red pepper and crisp nuggets of bacon. The bacon makes this hearty enough to serve as a light main course, perhaps paired with Samin Nosrat’s salad-e Shirazi, a Persian cucumber, tomato, and onion salad dressed with lime juice and dried mint. Or, more traditionally, serve the fried corn as a side dish to fish, pork chops or chicken.
Speaking of chicken: There are several steps involved in the chef Chintan Pandya’s chicken tikka, but none are hard, and all are absolutely worth the effort to bring this bracingly gingery, fragrant dish to your table. Chintan marinates pieces of boneless chicken thighs in spices and yogurt, then skewers and roasts them in an oven instead of the traditional tandoor. The liberal amount of butter used for basting adds richness and balances out the deggi mirch, the vibrant Indian red chile powder in the marinade. Make it for anyone who appreciates foods with complexity, verve and a slow, deep burn.
If lemon bars aren’t enough dessert for you, or if you want to go in an even fruitier direction, I have a new recipe for upside-down peach cobbler that I’m excited for you to try. It took a lot of recipe testing to get the balance of caramel, juicy peaches and fluffy, cakelike biscuits just right. Here are a few answers to questions that came up in the notes: No, you don’t have to peel the peaches; yes, you can substitute other stone fruits like nectarines, apricots and plums; as for using canned biscuits, I think they’d work, but they may not be as light and airy as homemade. If you try that, leave a note to let other bakers know how it turned out. And you can write to me as well if you’d like — I’m at [email protected].
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One final thing! In my last send, we misstated how many reader notes were left on a blistered broccoli pasta recipe. (It got 1,300 ratings, not notes!)
That’s all for now. I’ll see you next week!
Melissa Clark has been a columnist for the Food section since 2007. She reports on food trends, creates recipes and appears in cooking videos linked to her column, A Good Appetite. She has also written dozens of cookbooks. More about Melissa Clark
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