Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Preserved Lemons


  • Please log in to reply
259 replies to this topic

#61 slbunge

slbunge
  • participating member
  • 783 posts
  • Location:St Paul, MN

Posted 23 February 2004 - 06:30 PM

When the peel is uniformly translucent and the liquid has become viscous I consider them "done". Then I leave them a little longer just because, and I have no idea why.

Well then, that is exactly how long and why I will leave mine out as long as I do.
Stephen Bunge
St Paul, MN

#62 fifi

fifi
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 7,727 posts
  • Location:Houston, TX

Posted 23 February 2004 - 06:34 PM

Exactly. :laugh: :wink:
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#63 sabg

sabg
  • participating member
  • 432 posts

Posted 25 February 2004 - 11:03 AM

does anyone use any special type of salt for the lemons. i bot 2 diff sea slats this weekend...one from spaina and one from france...can't believe there really is difference. they were inexpensive at the reg supermarket..i can't iamagine getting into the really expensive, beautifully packaged article

#64 Wolfert

Wolfert
  • participating member
  • 1,214 posts
  • Location:sonoma

Posted 25 February 2004 - 12:06 PM

In my moroccan cookbook, I do not suggest refrigerating the lemons.
Fifi,, you are right no one refrigerates them in Morocco. The reason I changed my recipe in later cookbooks: many people showed up at my cooking classes with weird smelling specimens and I freaked out. My editors and I decided to suggest storing them in the fridge to keep any lawsuits at bey.

the five or seven day preserved lemon doesn't keep. You must use them as soon as possible.



As for the salt question: use coarse sea salt or kosher.
“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

#65 fimbul

fimbul
  • participating member
  • 340 posts
  • Location:Alexandria, VA

Posted 25 February 2004 - 12:49 PM

I am, as an experiment, trying to preserve clementines, just to see what happens. I've quartered (but not cut all the way through the stem) 4 clementines, rubbed them with kosher salt, and covered them with clementine juice (with a touch of vinegar and meyer lemon juice for acidity). Thus far (2 weeks into Operation Orange Mush), they look a little manky. Where their yellow cousins are sitting sedately in a more or less homogenous yellow broth, my clementine liquid has separated into a liquid and a (more) solid strata, despite my shaking things up on a regular basis. I still hope, but am braced for the worst.

(Er. I'm assuming "the worst" will entail inedible orange muck rather than a horrible death for me and mine. I'm lead to believe this is a safe assumption, and will find myself most disappointed if I'm proven wrong. :unsure: )
A jumped-up pantry boy who never knew his place.

#66 fifi

fifi
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 7,727 posts
  • Location:Houston, TX

Posted 25 February 2004 - 09:06 PM

Kroger had boneless pork loin on sale for $1.99 a pound so I bought one. When they do this, I normally cut off some chops for the freezer and reserve a small roast. At that price I figure I can afford to experiment and won't be too bummed if it doesn't work out.

I am thinking of trying to revise Slow Roasted Pork Loin with Lime Mojo from Bon Appetite, January 2000. This has been a favorite in the family since I first made it. (I hope the link works. Epicurious has been screwing around with the web site and I like to have never found it.)

I became enamoured with the savory combination of pork and orange with some preparations of Cuban or Puerto Rican recipes using "sour orange". Those little preserved calamondins may have a role to play here. I looked in everything I could find in my library and on the web and this type of approach is the only thing I could come up with for a savory use of orange. Remember, those little suckers are sour and now salty having been preserved.

Any other ideas out there?

fimbul... I am wondering if clementines aren't too sweet and don't have enough acid for this to work. If I were going to go with a citrus like that I would lean toward one of the recipes that uses more salt and add some lemon juice like you did.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#67 fimbul

fimbul
  • participating member
  • 340 posts
  • Location:Alexandria, VA

Posted 26 February 2004 - 08:56 AM

fimbul... I am wondering if clementines aren't too sweet and don't have enough acid for this to work. If I were going to go with a citrus like that I would lean toward one of the recipes that uses more salt and add some lemon juice like you did.


My fear is that you're right, but hope springs eternal. Perhaps the lemon juice will carry the day.

Any other ideas out there?


You could maybe butterfly the pork loin and stuff it with the preserved calamondin peels? You could first rub the inside of the loin with spices, either to give it a Cuban/Puerto Rican lilt, or with raz-al-hanout to give it a North African touch, using the flavor of the preserved calamondins to replace the more standard preserved lemon.
A jumped-up pantry boy who never knew his place.

#68 Wolfert

Wolfert
  • participating member
  • 1,214 posts
  • Location:sonoma

Posted 26 February 2004 - 10:27 AM

Have you thought about dehydration for the clementines? If you slice and dry them out in a dehydrator or in a very low oven on parchment paper lined sheets you might like the results. My own experience is the taste is very pure and bright.
Use a pair of scissors to cut them up before you add them to the stuffing.

Edited by Wolfert, 26 February 2004 - 10:27 AM.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

#69 slkinsey

slkinsey
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 11,106 posts
  • Location:New York, New York

Posted 26 February 2004 - 11:42 AM

does anyone use any special type of salt for the lemons.  i bot 2 diff sea slats this weekend...one from spaina and one from france...can't believe there really is difference.  they were inexpensive at the reg supermarket..i can't iamagine getting into the really expensive, beautifully packaged article

No reason to use expensive sea salt when it will be dissolved in liquid. The perceived difference between types of edible salt has >90% to do with the shape of the salt crystals.

Edit: Exactly what Paula says. No reason not to use the cheapo sea salt, but every reason not to use fleur de sel or something like that.

Edited by slkinsey, 26 February 2004 - 11:44 AM.

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#70 fimbul

fimbul
  • participating member
  • 340 posts
  • Location:Alexandria, VA

Posted 26 February 2004 - 12:31 PM

Have you thought about dehydration for the clementines? If you slice and dry them out in a dehydrator or in a very low oven on parchment paper lined sheets you might like the results. My own experience is the taste is very pure and bright.
Use a pair of scissors to cut them up before you add them to the stuffing.

*Claps hand to forehead*

Damn. I never thought of this. I do it all the time with tomatoes and the like, but never thought to try it with clementines.

You're a genius.

If anyone needs me, I'll be in the kitchen. :biggrin:
A jumped-up pantry boy who never knew his place.

#71 fifi

fifi
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 7,727 posts
  • Location:Houston, TX

Posted 26 February 2004 - 06:25 PM

You could maybe butterfly the pork loin and stuff it with the preserved calamondin peels? You could first rub the inside of the loin with spices, either to give it a Cuban/Puerto Rican lilt, or with raz-al-hanout to give it a North African touch, using the flavor of the preserved calamondins to replace the more standard preserved lemon.

I've got the Cuban/Puerto Rican lilt pretty much in my repertoire. That is why I was headed that way but your suggestion for raz-al-hanout sounds intriguing. Now I will have to get that Wolfert book out. :biggrin: (I haven't made my way through all of them yet.) I agree with trying the substitution where preserved lemon is the norm.

Isn't it odd that I haven't found any other savory/orange traditional combinations?

Now what about those limes? :biggrin:
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#72 Wolfert

Wolfert
  • participating member
  • 1,214 posts
  • Location:sonoma

Posted 27 February 2004 - 09:43 AM

ras el hanout forumlas are everywhere but gathering all those spices will cost ya. After trying lots of blends created by different spice merchants around the US, I decided to try Nigella Lawson's recommendation of seasonedpioneers.com based in Liverpool, England. The packets are lightweight and the total price including shipping is under 10 dollars..
“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

#73 Adam Balic

Adam Balic
  • participating member
  • 4,882 posts

Posted 27 February 2004 - 09:52 AM

Isn't it odd that I haven't found any other savory/orange traditional combinations?

The use of preserved oranges (sour) or lemons in pre-17th century european savoury dishes is pretty common. In some recipes meat is larded with the preserved citrus peel, but often they are just sliced and added or if fresh fruit was availible the juice was added. Salmon braised with claret (use a rose, not a red wine), orange slices and a little nutmeg is good, I imagine the the preserved fruit would work well too.

The are extant Spanish recipes that use the juice of sour oranges with hake.

#74 Mottmott

Mottmott
  • participating member
  • 1,303 posts

Posted 28 February 2004 - 11:02 PM

Where did I hear or see something the other day about using dried tangerine skin in an oriental dish. I looked for it at my Hong Kong Market and couldn't find any so I figure I will have to dry my own. Does anyone know about that?

For a couple years I've been drying out tangerine skins just by exposing them to the air as I don't have a dehydrator. It seems to work pretty well as they are certainly dry and slowly darkening.

As I understand it, the real stuff is about 20 years old, but this is a start.

Perhaps someone can suggest how it is used in authentically eastern dishes. I've been adding it to winter braises with pleasing results, but there must be other dishes where it would star.
"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

#75 fifi

fifi
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 7,727 posts
  • Location:Houston, TX

Posted 29 February 2004 - 06:46 PM

Where did I hear or see something the other day about using dried tangerine skin in an oriental dish. I looked for it at my Hong Kong Market and couldn't find any so I figure I will have to dry my own. Does anyone know about that?

For a couple years I've been drying out tangerine skins just by exposing them to the air as I don't have a dehydrator. It seems to work pretty well as they are certainly dry and slowly darkening.

As I understand it, the real stuff is about 20 years old, but this is a start.

Yikes. 20 years! That is taking slow cooking to an extreme. :biggrin:

Here is what I tried this evening... I had a boneless pork loin ($1.99 a pound, couldn't pass that up.) and decided to take a small roast off of it for an experiment. I opened it up and layed it out flat. I took 5 of my little preserved calamondin halves, squeezing off most of the salty juice, and kind of mushed them up (that is a technical term) and spread them on the surface. I was gifted some Penzey's garlic powder and put just a little bit in there. After rolling and tieing, I slathered the surface with about a teaspoon of the calamondin salty juice, using that instead of salt. I roasted it at 325F until it was 160F in the center. Let it rest and sliced. SUCCESS! The salt level was just right. The orange flavor came through in a delightful way and was not bitter as I had feared. After this rather plain experiment, I think I know more about the flavor now and will be better able to incorporate it into the next experiment. In the meantime, I am having delightful orangy pork snacks.

Now, onward to the limes.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#76 Gale

Gale
  • participating member
  • 32 posts
  • Location:Apex North Carolina

Posted 01 March 2004 - 06:57 AM

ras el hanout forumlas are everywhere but gathering all those spices will cost ya. After trying lots of blends created by different spice merchants around the US, I decided to try Nigella Lawson's recommendation of seasonedpioneers.com based in Liverpool, England. The packets are lightweight and the total price including shipping is under 10 dollars..


I have seen this site and wondered about the quality. I think I'll give them a try.
Too bad that all the people who know
how to run the country are busy driving
taxicabs and cutting hair.

--George Burns


#77 pogophiles

pogophiles
  • participating member
  • 215 posts

Posted 12 April 2004 - 01:43 PM

I've tasted Chef Sean's crab cakes with preserved meyer lemon coulis, [snip] -- and yes, it's really, really good. But more complicated than what I normally cook at home.

Agree on Chef Sean's crab cakes with preserved lemon coulis...very, very good!!
Those who do not remember the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

#78 tanabutler

tanabutler
  • legacy participant
  • 2,798 posts

Posted 12 April 2004 - 01:46 PM

I use 1 tablespoon sea or coarse salt for each lemon plus 1 for the jar. -

I'm sure it will turn out okay as long as you really wash each lemon well before using it.

Why do you need to wash the lemons? If mine are growing (organically, of course) in my back yard, what am I washing off?

#79 SobaAddict70

SobaAddict70
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 7,549 posts
  • Location:Hobbiton, the Shire

Posted 12 April 2004 - 01:58 PM

she means to wash the brine off the lemon, I think.

Soba

#80 Toliver

Toliver
  • participating member
  • 4,602 posts
  • Location:Bakersfield, California

Posted 12 April 2004 - 02:06 PM

Why do you need to wash the lemons? If mine are growing (organically, of course) in my back yard, what am I washing off?

Bird pee, bug spit, exhaust from that helicopter that was flying kind of low, the pesticide that your next door neighbor was spraying a little too enthusiasticly on his plants so the excess drifted across the fence and onto your lemons...you know, stuff like that.

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'
Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”
– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


#81 Bond Girl

Bond Girl
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 1,636 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 12 April 2004 - 05:54 PM

I do a modified version of Suzanne's recipe, which is to layer the salt and sugar on each lemon. Then top it off with olive oil and stick it in the fridge. I use the lemon oil for my salad, or as a flavoring to my seafood ceviche. The lemon, I use on everything from fish to vegetables like brussel sprouts and spiced carrots.

Sean, will you share your lemon emulsification recipe with us?
Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

#82 Wolfert

Wolfert
  • participating member
  • 1,214 posts
  • Location:sonoma

Posted 13 April 2004 - 05:29 AM

you wash the lemons twıce


fırst tıme ıs before you brıne them to soften the skın and remove any anımal peeö etc as lısted above.


you must wash off the salty brıne before usıng or you wıll alter the recıpe.
“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

#83 ianeccleston

ianeccleston
  • participating member
  • 339 posts
  • Location:Chicago

Posted 13 April 2004 - 06:40 AM

I also made preserved lemons according to Paula's recipe, and they seem fine - they smell 'wonderful and lemony' and taste good. But my wife is pregnant - should I be concerned? The recipe for the tagine I plan to make tonight calls for the preserved lemons to be cooked for 15 minutes. From what I understand this is enough to kill all the little buggies in there. What do you all think?

Cheers,

Ian

#84 Wolfert

Wolfert
  • participating member
  • 1,214 posts
  • Location:sonoma

Posted 13 April 2004 - 07:42 AM

ıf ıt smells great ı doubt there are any buggıes ın your jar of preserved lemons.

By the way, preserved lemons are used uncooked ın salads, tto. Just be sure to wash off all the salty brıne and remove the pulp. You can use the pulp for marınatıng ıf you wısh.

Edited by Wolfert, 13 April 2004 - 07:42 AM.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

#85 ianeccleston

ianeccleston
  • participating member
  • 339 posts
  • Location:Chicago

Posted 13 April 2004 - 07:57 AM

Thanks! My wife is a bit of a nervous nellie - getting assurance from you will no doubt let her experience preserved lemons in a tagine for the first time.

Can I just say that egullet is great? And how nice Paula is?

Cheers,

Ian

#86 ianeccleston

ianeccleston
  • participating member
  • 339 posts
  • Location:Chicago

Posted 13 April 2004 - 05:16 PM

Thanks again; finished off the tagine to rave reviews.

Ian

#87 Smithy

Smithy
  • host
  • 3,369 posts
  • Location:North Shore of Lake Superior

Posted 13 April 2004 - 08:20 PM

Ian, I'm so glad you and your wife went ahead with the tagine!

Now, I'd like to explore the topic of "bugs" and decomposition in the preserved lemons. I hope someone with the right knowledge will say "you're right on" or "you're all wet" - and the why of it. I've been speculating on another forum, far away, that not much really could grow in that acidic environment...lemon juice and salt seem a pretty hostile environment, no matter how tasty when I'm biting into them. :raz: My last batch of preserved lemons never really cured, and it took on a distinct smell of ammonia. I don't know that there would have been any bugs as such, but I decided there was a chemical breakdown in progress and threw them out - bugs or no. It smelled icky. This more or less goes along with Wolfert's statement, although I wouldn't have likened it to furniture polish either.

(Excuse me while I fawn a moment: Paula Wolfert! Wow!) ..er...ahem...sorry

So... really, could there be any bugs growing in that preserve? If not, is it just a chemical decomposition, generating strange compounds - the unliving, so to speak - that causes them to go "off"? I realize this may fall into the "so what - cyanide is deadly but it ain't alive" category for most readers, but I'm really interested in whether and how preserved lemons could go bad.

Enquiring minds, and all that -
Nancy

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown


#88 Bond Girl

Bond Girl
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 1,636 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 13 April 2004 - 08:40 PM

?f ?t smells great ? doubt there are any bugg?es ?n your jar of preserved lemons.

By the way, preserved lemons are used uncooked ?n salads, tto. Just be sure to wash off all the salty br?ne and remove the pulp. You can use the pulp for mar?nat?ng ?f you w?sh.

I know a chef that used preserved lemon uncooked on top of his sushi as a substitution for salt. Though I never tried it, or tasted it, I think it's pretty good on top of some shaved fennel or finely minced in a scallop ceviche.
Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

#89 forever_young_ca

forever_young_ca
  • participating member
  • 433 posts
  • Location:BC, Canada

Posted 06 January 2005 - 08:25 AM

I am doing Paula Wolfert's 30 day preserved lemons. I have them in a jar - 6 lemons plus the juice of 4 more with salt. After 5 days the lemons have juiced up nicely. The lemons however seem to float leaving the top lemon exposed a bit.

Is this normal? Will that exposed bit of lemon on the top get enough juice to preserve (I am turning the jar once a day) or will they finally soften enough not to float any more?

This is my first try at preserved lemons and just looking at them in the jar makes my mouth water :biggrin:
Life is short, eat dessert first

#90 Suzanne F

Suzanne F
  • legacy participant
  • 7,398 posts
  • Location:NY, NY

Posted 06 January 2005 - 08:31 AM

I filled the heaviest-weight plastic food storage bag I had with water and placed it on top to weight down the lemons. It conforms nicely to the odd shape.

I prefer this to using plates ever since an unfortunate incident of being unable to clean the unglazed part of a plate that weighted stuffed grape leaves. Did you know that mold can grow WITHIN china?? :shock: