Welcome to the next installment of my Meet the Spice Blend series, where I'm sharing the inspiration for, back stories of, and uses for my ever-expanding collection of small batch, handcrafted spice blends. Next up, let's meet Sgt. Lemon Pepper (formerly known as Lemon Pepper Spice Blend)!!
The Inspiration - Lemon Pepper... but Better
While some of my spice blends are completely unique and totally inspired by my own life/travels/etc, others come about from my desire to take familiar spice blends and make them.... well, better. Lemon Pepper is a perfect example. It's an ingredient (or at least a flavor profile) that's familiar, and plenty of people already probably have a jar of it in their spice drawer. And while I understand that you might have brand loyalty to your existing Lemon Pepper, I'm guessing that my Sgt. Lemon Pepper will make your taste buds stand up and salute because, unlike that old jar of grocery store Lemon Pepper in your spice drawer, Sgt. Lemon Pepper starts with real, whole lemons. Not citric acid. Not lemon extract. Real. Whole. Lemons. Real whole lemons that get dehydrated and then ground up with whole black peppercorns and mixed with granulated onion, granulated garlic, thyme, and Diamond Kosher Salt. Can your old jar of Lemon Pepper say that?
Flavor Profile - Sgt. Lemon Pepper
Sgt. Lemon Pepper offers a tantalizing flavor profile that awakens the palate with a harmonious blend of zesty and savory notes. At its core, the dehydrated whole lemon infuses a bright and citrusy pop of flavor that dances playfully with the bold and robust kick of black pepper. This dynamic duo is expertly balanced by the subtle sweetness of onion and the rich depth of garlic, adding layers of complexity to every bite. The inclusion of fragrant thyme lends an earthy and herbal undertone, while kosher salt ties everything together, enhancing the overall savoriness and ensuring a perfectly seasoned culinary experience. Sgt. Lemon Pepper elevates dishes to new heights, delivering a symphony of flavors that leaves a lasting impression.
Versatility in the Kitchen - Sgt. Lemon Pepper
Sgt. Lemon Pepper is a versatile spice blend that can elevate a wide range of dishes. Here are some creative ways to use it in your home cooking:
1. Lemon Pepper Chicken: Rub Sgt. Lemon Pepper generously over chicken breasts or thighs before roasting, grilling, or pan-frying. The citrusy kick and savory blend will create a flavorful, crispy crust.
2. Roasted Vegetables: Toss your favorite vegetables in olive oil and sprinkle Sgt. Lemon Pepper for an instant burst of zesty flavor. Roast them in the oven until caramelized and tender for a delicious side dish.
3. Salad Dressing: Mix Sgt. Lemon Pepper into homemade salad dressings made with olive oil, lemon juice, and a touch of honey for a refreshing and tangy dressing that pairs wonderfully with greens.
4. Popcorn Seasoning: Sprinkle Sgt. Lemon Pepper over freshly popped popcorn for a unique and addictive snack. It adds a savory, citrusy twist to your movie night treat.
5. Seafood Delight: Season shrimp, fish fillets, or scallops with Sgt. Lemon Pepper before cooking. Whether you bake, grill, or pan-sear, it enhances the natural flavors of seafood beautifully.
6. Grilled Vegetables: Coat vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and asparagus with olive oil and Sgt. Lemon Pepper before grilling. The charred smokiness combined with the spice blend creates a mouthwatering side dish.
7. Pasta Perfection: Sprinkle Sgt. Lemon Pepper on pasta dishes, particularly those with cream-based sauces. It adds a refreshing citrusy kick that complements creamy textures.
8. Homemade Seasoned Fries: Toss hand-cut potato fries with a drizzle of olive oil and Sgt. Lemon Pepper before baking them. The result is crispy, seasoned fries with a delightful lemony twist.
9. Marinades: Create a marinade by mixing Sgt. Lemon Pepper with olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs. Use it to marinate meat, tofu, or vegetables before grilling or broiling.
10. Lemon Pepper Butter: Blend Sgt. Lemon Pepper into softened butter for a flavorful condiment to top off steamed vegetables, grilled corn on the cob, or baked potatoes.
11. Lemon Pepper Aioli: Mix some Sgt. Lemon Pepper into mayonnaise to make an easy spread that will take your sandwich game to the next level.
12. Avocado Toast: Sprinkle Sgt. Lemon Pepper on avocado toast for a delightful twist on this classic breakfast or snack.
These are just a few creative ideas to get you started, but feel free to experiment and incorporate Sgt. Lemon Pepper into your favorite recipes to enhance their flavors with its unique blend of ingredients.
A Bite of Good Recipes that use Sgt. Lemon Pepper
Looking for some more concrete guidance on how to use Sgt. Lemon Pepper? Check out these A Bite of Good recipes!
Roasted Lemon Pepper Broccoli Soup - A quick and delicious way to use up that broccoli that has been languishing in the crisper drawer.
Pantry Raid Tinned Fish Pasta - Perfect for busy weeknights, this pasta recipe is jam-packed with flavor and probably won't even require a trip to the grocery store.
Grilled Lemon Pepper Trout with Asparagus - I grew up eating seafood from the ocean and have never loved freshwater fish. This recipe had me going back for seconds.
My Favorite Roast Chicken - You can make this recipe with pretty much any spice blend you have available, but Sgt. Lemon Pepper works particularly nicely with the buttermilk brine.
Ready to get your own Sgt. Lemon Pepper? Get it here.