Friday, August 27, 2010

Preserved Lemons

I initially liked to make preserved lemons because I adore, adore, adore (understatement) Moroccan food. Chicken and olives with preserved lemons is a classic dish. Lately, I've been experimenting with other uses for it and here are two ideas I came up with.

1) Almost every shabbos I make a giant tray of roasted vegetables - whatever is in the fridge. A few weeks ago I started slicing up one half of a preserved lemon in addition to olive or canola oil, kosher salt, and garlic. WOW! It was so good. The real surprise? It was an unimaginably perfect companion to the roasted green peppers. I never would have guessed that.

2) I have a quick chicken dish I make somewhat often where I just take rice + the amount of water needed to cook the rice into a baking pan. I replace about 1/2 cup of the water with lemon juice. Then I set chicken legs and thighs on top, sprinkle with garlic salt and bake, sometimes in a slow oven, sometimes in a fast oven depending on how much time I have. It always comes out delicious, and it's also our traditional pre-fast meal (sans the garlic salt). This time when I made it, I used Basmati rice instead of brown rice and diced up half of a preserved lemon. WOW! The rice baked in the chicken juices with the preserved lemon was simply out of this world.

I can't wait to experiment some more. I just put up 20 more lemons (3 quarts, which will probably compress down to 2 quarts in a few days). I still have a few lemons left. For such a simple thing they pack a lot of flavor into a dish. I'm looking forward to experimenting with other pickled/preserved veggies, especially since I have nearly completely missed the whole summer fruit season. My canning jars are sitting sadly empty this year. I think I have a few good excuses, though! Just hoping I can manage to make grape juice in the next couple of weeks before we miss that season too.

Good shabbos, all!

No comments: