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Suvir Saran

Preserved Lemons

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I never even knew those existed! Thank you Andiesenji!

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I finally got around to making these yesterday...I've got 3 24 oz jars sitting on my counter now!

I've seen people say I should keep them in a warm place for the month, but haven't heard whether or not light is OK. Should I hide them in the cabinet above the stove, or would somewhere near a window be OK?

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My natural inclination was to keep them in the dark. A paper bag sounds like a great way to do it... I think if I started only shaking my lemons in the dark, my roommates would (appropriately?) start to think I was crazy.

Unless I hear some strong opinions either way, I'll keep one jar in a bag and one jar out and report back in a month!


Edited by davidkeay (log)

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On a slightly different topic, I've found that the type of salt used determines how thick the brine eventually gets. I had preserved some lemons with table-grind sea salt and the brine got very thick indeed. I made another batch using coarse sea salt and the brine still got thick, but not nearly as thick as the batch made with table-grind salt.

I wonder why this is?

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I now find myself putting preserved lemons in just about everything. Certainly any steamed or boiled vegetables. Fish. Most pasta dishes that aren't tomato based. Risotto. Anything with olives or artichokes or flavors of that sort. Rice. Couscous. Beans. Omelets. Sometimes my glass of white wine gets a sliver. Certainly my gin and tonic does.

We don't really cook much meat, but if I made chicken, most of those dishes would get some.

Also a good pizza topping, with goat cheese, carmelized onions, braised mushrooms, and rosemary, for example.

Basically anything vaguely Mediterranean.

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Certainly my gin and tonic does.

Have you ever tried using the lemon brine? I've been wondering about a dash in a gin Martini with old-skool Noilly Prat....


Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I've been using them in place of lime in guacamole lately, which has been a great way to introduce people to them with practically no prep time!

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I now find myself putting preserved lemons in just about everything. Certainly any steamed or boiled vegetables. Fish. Most pasta dishes that aren't tomato based. Risotto. Anything with olives or artichokes or flavors of that sort. Rice. Couscous. Beans. Omelets. Sometimes my glass of white wine gets a sliver. Certainly my gin and tonic does.

We don't really cook much meat, but if I made chicken, most of those dishes would get some.

Also a good pizza topping, with goat cheese, carmelized onions, braised mushrooms, and rosemary, for example.

Basically anything vaguely Mediterranean.

I cut the segments, stripped of the pulp, into slivers and add to antipasti plates. Excellent rolled in a slice of prosciutto.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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On a slightly different topic, I've found that the type of salt used determines how thick the brine eventually gets. I had preserved some lemons with table-grind sea salt and the brine got very thick indeed. I made another batch using coarse sea salt and the brine still got thick, but not nearly as thick as the batch made with table-grind salt.

I wonder why this is?

If you measured by volume this would explain it.

Because of gaps left between the granules of coarsely ground salt, it will contain less weight of salt than the same sized container of finely ground salt. Less weight = less dense brine.

Another very good reason for moving to weighing with scales rather than measuring with cups.


Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
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On a slightly different topic, I've found that the type of salt used determines how thick the brine eventually gets. I had preserved some lemons with table-grind sea salt and the brine got very thick indeed. I made another batch using coarse sea salt and the brine still got thick, but not nearly as thick as the batch made with table-grind salt.

I wonder why this is?

If you measured by volume this would explain it.

Because of gaps left between the granules of coarsely ground salt, it will contain less weight of salt than the same sized container of finely ground salt. Less weight = less dense brine.

Another very good reason for moving to weighing with scales rather than measuring with cups.

I did indeed measure by volume, so your explanation is spot-on. Thanks.

But now I am wondering why salt makes the brine thick at all....

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Certainly my gin and tonic does.

Have you ever tried using the lemon brine? I've been wondering about a dash in a gin Martini with old-skool Noilly Prat....

I haven't...I figured it would be more briny than lemony. I'd be more inclined to muddle the pulp. But feel free to take one for the team.

I've been using them in place of lime in guacamole lately, which has been a great way to introduce people to them with practically no prep time!

Brilliant! Thanks for that idea!

I cut the segments, stripped of the pulp, into slivers and add to antipasti plates. Excellent rolled in a slice of prosciutto.

Another great idea -- thank you Andie!

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reading this thread made me put up my own today, had to squeeze some 6 or so extras to fill the glass, now we'll see what happens, 30 days and counting!


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Just had another idea -- I bet some finely minced preserved lemon peel would be perfect in shortbread.

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Bittman's got a video up today on the New York Times for a "Quick pickle" lemon preserve. Basically it calls for chopping up some lemons, and tossing them in a 2:1 ratio of sugar and salt, and then keeping them in a bottle; presumably in the fridge.

I had some lemons that were hopelessly dry but fresh, and since I lack the counter space and patience to make real preserved lemons, I thought I'd give his method a try. I made a jar in the early afternoon, and had some ready for our roast chicken dinner at 6. They were..okay. Not nearly as bitter as I expected they would be. I'm going to see if they get any softer over the next couple of days and report back.

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the brine is much too salty to add to a cocktail.


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Yesterday, I finished off my last two jars of lemons and put up two more. I am so reluctant to toss that wonderful brine, is there any use for it? Perhaps for marinating chicken or fish or something, or is it too salty to be of any use on it's own?


Brenda

I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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Yesterday, I finished off my last two jars of lemons and put up two more. I am so reluctant to toss that wonderful brine, is there any use for it? Perhaps for marinating chicken or fish or something, or is it too salty to be of any use on it's own?

Use it to make your next batch!

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You could some of the brine to a salad dressing or vinaigrette. It really brightens bean salads, especially if you are adding chopped up preserved lemon anyway.

Jayne

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Thank you. I would add it to the new batch, but the jars are too full already! The vinaigrette idea is a great one as I always add lemon juice and salt to them anyway.


Brenda

I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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Just opened up egullet and found this terrific thread. I just started my first batch of preserved lemons yesterday using Epicurious' recipe and 5-day method. They're for use later this week when I make couscous with butternut squash and preserved lemon.

After reading this thread, I'm going back to the farmers market tomorrow for more lemons to start a batch using PW's 30-day method.

My jar after 1 day...

Preserved Lemons Jan-11.jpg

Rhonda

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i am making a new batch of lemons...last time i know added a few things...maybe star anise, cardomon, cloves ?? and cant find the recipe...found a bunch online and they all have only salt...anybody make them with a few additions ? they are so good..i have have eaten about 10 with just a delish vodka on the rox

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Following Paula Wolfert, I usually add coriander seeds, cloves, a bay leaf and a cinnamon stick. Peppercorns are good, too. Basically any spices should work!


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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i also use preserved lemons and olives for roast chicken.


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Re the thickening - I think it's actually the result of the pectin in the peel rather than the salt thickening. Salt doesn't thicken like sugar would when its concentrated (think of the Dead Sea or the Great Salt Lake - it's not a lake of viscous goo!) The reason the lemon scent becomes so intense in preserved lemons is that the salt draws the liquids out of the cells. Citrus peel, especially the white part, has lots of pectin in it. So I'd imagine (though I haven't done empirical research) is that if you have a thicker peel with more pith, you might get thicker brine over time.

As for using the brine - I'd think it would be wonderful to use in combination with regular salt for brining a chicken or turkey before roasting. Anyone tried it? Thanksgiving is upon us!


"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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