Sunday, June 5, 2011

Preserved Lemon

Since being given a tagine for a Christmas gift (I had given a big hint to my brother), I haven't even used it yet! I went through a big Moroccan food phase toward the end of last year, but just haven't had the time to sit down and choose something to cook.

Instead, I decided to preserve my own lemon (yes, a single lemon) as I had one that needed to be used. I had some small, empty, clean jars in the tupperware cupboard, and also some bay leaves in the pantry. In about one month the preserved lemon will be ready to use in a Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon recipe that I plan to make for friends one night.

1 juicy lemon
cold water
rock salt
glass screw-top jar
3 bay leaves
boiling water

Break the pores of the lemon by scraping gently against the medium setting of grater. Place in large bowl and cover completely with cold water. Put aside in cool place.
Next day, pour the water off the lemons and cover with fresh water. This removes any bitterness.

On the third day, pour off the water. Using a sharp knife, make four deep slits in the lemon (they should go about halfway to the centre). Pack each incision with a good heaped teaspoon of rock salt.
Place stuffed lemon in a glass jar, add bay leaves. Pour boiling water over contents and screw on lid while the water is still hot. Leave for 40 days in a cool dark place.

Serve by themselves as an accompaniment to a cold beer; or use in tagine and couscous dishes.

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