Friday, September 25

MAKE IT: Preserved Lemons

Okay, this is may sound like an unusual ingredient/recipe. But actually I picked it up traveling, the taste of a preserved lemon is often used to enhance many eastern dishes. It blends well into a variety of recipes including lamb roasts, slow cookers, and baked pumpkin. If your looking for a new ingredient to play with or to try out, try adding a little preserved lemon to your pantry.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Full time: 2 months

The Needs-

8 un-waxed lemons, wash the day before
8 dried bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 quart fresh squeezed sugar free lemon juice (get more just in case)
2 lb. coarse sea salt
1/2 lb. fine sea salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp dried red chili flakes

The know-

Start with a large, air tight 2 quart container. Run it under hot water for a few minutes and set aside to air dry upside down while working with lemons

Wipe but do not rinse the outside of the lemons

Cut into the lemons but not all the way down, go only 1/2 to 2/3 of the way down

Gently squeeze the uncut bottom of lemon, to force the cuts to open, pack with coarse sea salt. Then press slices back together

Place enough lemons to fill the bottom of container then pack with coarse salt

Top and cover with fine sea salt

Place remaining lemons on top in a second layer

Pack coarse salt between but not on top of these lemons

Top lemons with spices

Fill in remaining space with any reaming salt

Pour in enough juice to completely cover. Do this slowly, it takes a while for juice to sink to the bottom and some of the smaller spices may rise to the top, this is okay. Just keep an eye out if you can see the lemons, try to gently move salt over with a spoon

Cover with lid and seal tight. I like to add a piece of plastic wrap over lid with a date tag and elastic band for extra airtight protection

Sit in cool place to store for two months.

Salt will dissolve and form a clear liquid. Once your time has come. Use lemons in various dishes to enhance flavor. Cheers!