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Suvir Saran

Preserved Lemons

290 posts in this topic

FYI: I made some 2 years ago, substituting a sugar for about 1/4 of the salt, topping it up with extra lemon juice, and keeping a weight on the lemons until they settled down of their own accord. I keep them in the fridge, and the last of them are still fine.

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I have a jar on my counter that I made last summer. I used some after a month or so and they were perfect, but I'm afraid now. Is there any way to determine if they are lethal without resorting to eating one?


Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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I made a jar of lemon preserves very similar about 8 months, only I added additional spices. It will only get better as time goes on. It has been a while so my lemons are a very dark brown and have such a fresh, spicy aroma.

I put my jar out in the sun (during the summer) during the day, it makes the lemons even more tasty. Or, if it happened to be rainy and cold a particular day, I would keep them on top of the fridge.

My FIL makes lemon preserves that are incredible and they are the best when they are BLACK.

I'd say as long as they don't have anything growing on them ;), they are ok.


--Jenn

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from my experiences the best way to make preserved lemons is in the freezer, i worked with walter bundy for two years as his sous chef, he helped open the french laundry with thomas keller and spent a couple of years there. everything we did at the restaurant was exactlly the way thomas did it.....here is the way thomas does preserved lemons.........

cut the lemons into quarters but not all the way through, just so they open up, add your sugar, salt, spice mixture and let stand at room temp for a few days depending on the temperature in your kitchen.........when you see that alot of the liquid has dissolved, divide them into plastic ziploc bags, i put three or four in each bag, then place them in the freezer, they will continue to preserve in the freezer (the salt and sugar doesn't allow it to freeze..........it usually takes a couple of months, enjoy..........we make an emulsification of the rind for our crab cakes, people love them..............

sean

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I have a jar on my counter that I made last summer. I used some after a month or so and they were perfect, but I'm afraid now. Is there any way to determine if they are lethal without resorting to eating one?

If they smell like furniture polish throw them out. If they smell wonderful and lemony they are fine. If you are scared, you can simmer them in water to cover for about 10 minutes to be sure you haven't any strange bacteria lurking around.

I keep my lemons in a cool place or the fridge after I open them. t


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

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I know I don't need to tell you this, but eGullet rocks. Not only did I hear back from the chef who had originally suggested preserving my lemons (chefseanbrock) but also the cookbook author (wolfert) whos recipe I followed. Damn, this place is cool.

I'm sticking with Paula Wolfert's original recipe for now. Next time I see some Meyer lemons for sale, though, I'm going to try Chef Sean Brock's technique. I may well do a head-to-head comparison with trout meuniere. I will report on the results.

I've tasted Chef Sean's crab cakes with preserved meyer lemon coulis, as well as an amuse bouche of shrimp with the same sauce (I believe) -- and yes, it's really, really good. But more complicated than what I normally cook at home.

Any other suggestions for (home) menus involving preserved lemons?


Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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They are very sly little fruit, bleachboy. Once you start using them, you'll start thinking maybe a little will work in this, or that, and it nearly always does. I put some into green chile pork tonight, and it was really good, and accentuated the tomatillos in the verde.

fifi, I want some of those calamondin sooo bad! And that's just like citrus. Baby one along, hiccup around it one day, and it goes toes up. Leave one be, it'll produce like the furies.

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Update on the mystery tree. On Sunday, my sister and I returned to the tree to get a few more. The nephew requested some for infused vodka. We had used all of the first haul for preserving and for marmalade.

This guy was out walking his dog and stopped to talk after we admired the dog. As it turns out, he was the guy who had planted the tree!!! He called it a "kumquat" but knew that it wasn't what we call a kumquat. A friend had given him a little plant in a beer can in 1991 and he planted it in the little garden that was there before the parking lot was expanded and the fence removed. I told him of my research here and that we had decided they were calamondins and that they are called kumquats in Australia. He gave us some tips for getting to the upper reaches of the tree. (We are bringing nephew's BIG PICK-UP next time.) As it turned out, I had loaded my case of marmalade into the car so we gave him a jar. The tree is starting to put on blooms so another cycle is starting. He says it typically has about three bloom cycles a year.

Now to change the subject.

Now that the limes and calamondins are about done, does anyone have a clue as to what to do with them? About as far as I have gotten with the limes is some obvious rif on the Mageurita with chicken. Change out some ingredients in the typical lemon and white wine approaches to use the limes and a good tequila. I haven't a clue about the calamondins.

Help... Please. :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

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Update on the lemons and limes. They should probably go a couple more weeks at room temperature. I don't know if you can tell but the lime liquid is thicker than the lemon. It is almost jelly like. The lemon is developing a nice viscous liquid.

I just started a batch of preserved meyer lemons over the weekend following a Paula Wolffert recipe for 'seven day' preserved lemons (Gourmet: August, 1994).

Fifi, it seems like you keep yours on the counter much longer. How do I tell that they are getting 'done'? Is it the viscosity of the liquid? The texture of the skin?


Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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I dunno... (now that is an intelligent response :biggrin: ) 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. I am really wondering why I clutter up my fridge with them at all. I have just always done that because that is what the recipes say. They sure won't "spoil" with all of that acid and salt. Maybe they just continue to break down or something but then maybe they just get better. I am doubting that they are refrigerated where they are an indigenous ingredient. I mean, wouldn't the salting have started as a preservation technique in the first place? And they are called preserved after all.

Paula... Where are you?


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

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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

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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

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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

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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’.

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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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 (log)

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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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.

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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

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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’.

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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.

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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

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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

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