Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Preserved lemons are so easy

I'm so excited to use my batch of preserved lemons.  The sous-chef at the restaurant where I'm interning recommended I preserve lemons this way (as he does).  As the year goes by I will update my list of how to use them.  For now this is what I've got:

  • Throw one into a chicken tagine for added flavor
  • Cut the rind up into tiny pieces with garlic and parsley and sautee with vegetables (a little goes a long way)
  • Use in a marinade
  • Goes well with grilled squid
  • Goes well with olives
  • Try with salad dressings
  • I've heard it's nice in stews
  • Use it to flavor butter sauces (buerre blanc) or other sauces.  Could go with chicken, fish, pasta, lamb and more. 
  • Could replace lemon zest in a number of things.  When the lemon is fresh you only want to use the zest because the rind will have a bitter taste.  Preserving lemons takes away that bitter taste and makes the whole rind usable.
Any more suggestions?  Leave them in the comments section!

Preserved lemons:  lemons, salt

Cut the lemons into wedges.  Freeze overnight.  The next day take them out and let them defrost.  As they are defrosting salt liberally; the pores in the lemons will open up while defrosting.  Store in a jar or something, outside the fridge for at least a few weeks.  You could keep them in or out of the fridge once they are ready.  Turn over the jar once a day for the first three days or so to mix the salt and juices with all the lemons.When you use them normally you would discard the flesh and use the rind (a little goes a long way).  Easier than pie.