The Lemon Challenge was held Saturday at the Lake Oswego Farmers' Market. Hosted by the city's Youth Action Council, participants were to bring their favorite dish and recipe featuring lemon as the key ingredient.
After careful deliberation, the judges selected Danie Lavois' Lemon Cheesecake Supreme with No Fat Raspberry Sauce as the top winning entry. Second place went to Susan Marks for her Lemons3 salad, featuring lemon-flavored homemade pasta and lemon-grilled chicken tossed with a lemon balsamic vinaigrette. Third place went to the culinary trio of Krissy Hengesh, Sarah Gomez and Allie Mitchell for their Cupcakes Full of Love. This entry featured from scratch lemon cupcakes with a strawberry baked inside, iced with a lemon frosting and garnished with blueberries and lemon zest.
Lemon Cheesecake Supreme with No Fat Raspberry Sauce
1 ½ cups finely crushed low fat honey graham crackers
¼ cups finely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
½ cup melted butter (preferably salted)
3 eight-ounce packages low fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
3 slightly beaten eggs
1 ½ tablespoons finely grated lemon peel (from about 4 lemons)
½ cups lemon juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
No Fat Raspberry Sauce ingredients:
3 cups fresh or frozen slightly sweetened raspberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
For crust: Combine graham crackers, walnuts, sugar and if desired, cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in melted butter. Press crumb mixture into the bottom and two inches up the sides of an 8 or 9-inch spring form pan. Set aside in refrigerator.
For filling: In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in milk until smooth. Stir in eggs, lemon peel and lemon juice. Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Place pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes for an 8-inch pan, about 35 minutes for a 9-inch pan, or until 2 ½ inch area around the outside edge appears set when gently shaken. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, loosen the crust from sides of the pan: cool for 30 minutes more. Remove the sides of the pan; cool cheesecake completely on rack. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours. Drizzle with raspberry sauce before serving. Add thin slices of lemon zest on top for decoration if desired.
For the sauce: Thaw berries, if frozen. Do not drain. Place half of the berries in a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover and blend until berries are smooth. Press berries through a fine-mesh sieve; discard seeds. Repeat with remaining berries. You should have about 1 ¾ cups sieved puree.
Serves 4 to 6
Fresh lemon pasta, lemon grilled chicken, balsamic lemon vinaigrette
Fresh lemon pasta (recipe follows)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
4 cloves garlic
Herbes de Provence
Fraga Farm Goat Cheese in oil and herbs
Fresh vegetables: red or yellow bell pepper, English cucumber, baby carrots, sweet or green onion, black olives, grilled asparagus
For the chicken: Make a marinade of 2 cloves of garlic, 1/3 cup EVOO, juice of two lemons and the zest, 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence. Marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 2 hours, then grill and chop into bite sized pieces.
For the vinaigrette: Whisk together ½ cup EVOO, ¼ cup lemon balsamic vinegar, juice and zest of one lemon, 2 cloves minced garlic and ½ teaspoon Herbs de Provence.
For the vegetables: Thinly slice, chop of julienne the vegetables of your choice. Suggested quantities: ¼ sweet onion, 1 bell pepper or 4 mini peppers, ½ English cucumber, 6 spears asparagus and 1 cup baby carrots.
For the pasta: In a food processor mix 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour, 2 eggs, scant ½ cup water, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 cup all purpose flour and zest of one lemon. Mix until dough forms a ball, let rest for 30 minutes. Use a pasta machine to make fettuccini or roll thinly and cut into strips. Let dry, cook for 3 to 4 minutes in boiling salted water with lemon slices.
Even easier: Use your favorite dry pasta cooked in salted water with lemon slices.
Assembly: In a large bowl add the cooked pasta and toss with a small amount of dressing to coat. Add the chicken and vegetables. Drizzle with dressing, taking care not to use too much. Arrange on a serving plate, garnish with lemon slices, parsley, and the Fraga Farm Goat Cheese.