Preserved Lemons: A Connector to Another World

My good friends Richard Bonomo and Marla Hazan, whose ancestors are Sephardic Jews from exotic, far-away lands like Turkey, Spain, and Morocco, always have a jar of preserved lemons in their kitchen, for flavoring stews, soups, salads, sauces, marinades and dressings. 

I am working on a 5th edition of Cooking for Dummies with my co-author Bryan Miller, and for a chapter on international cuisines we are exploring and explaining some of the ingredients and techniques used in Mediterranean cooking. Lemons, both fresh and preserved with salt, are as ubiquitous as olive oil and tomatoes throughout the entire Mediterranean world.

I set out this last weekend to preserve some lemons myself and to also borrow some from Richard and Marla so I could add them to the Chicken and Green Olive Tagine I created for Cooking for Dummies V. I don’t know if it’s just me, (I admit to being a bit quirky), but when I make a dish like preserved lemons, the process pleasantly carries me back and connects me to a culture and kitchen practices that are tried and true and centuries old.  I become a little Moroccan, a little Turkish, a little Mediterranean.   

Preserved Lemons

4 medium, thick-skinned lemons

About 6 tablespoons (not iodized) salt

Juice of 4 lemons, or more if needed

1.) Scrub the lemons well. Using a sharp knife slice the lemons into quarters, stopping about ½-inch from one end to leave the quarters attached to the fruit.

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Pack about 1 tablespoon of salt into the center of each cut lemon.

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Place them in a one-quart, wide-mouth mason jar, fitted with a lid, and press them down so they fit snuggly.

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2.) Sprinkle them with one additional tablespoon of salt. Add the lemon juice and press them gently into the juice as much as possible. Cover the jar and let set 3 to 4 days, turning the jar over a couple of times a day, during which time they will soften and release their juice.

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3.) Press them down again and add 1 more tablespoon salt and additional juice, if necessary to completely cover. Close the jar and let set for at least one month, turning the jar over every few days to redistribute the salt and juices. Before using, remove and discard the pulp, then rinse the rind well. A harmless white mold may appear on the fruit; simply rinse it off before cutting up and using the peel. After opening, preserved lemons will keep up to a year, without refrigerating. The pickling juices can be used to make salad dressings or marinades for vegetable salads.

Tip: Cut up the juiced lemon rinds, and if you have a rose garden compost them into the soil around the roots of the plant. Roses love the acidity of lemon peel.

Originally posted 2014-03-24 14:56:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Bacon Burrito you say?

I enjoy a good burrito, but lets face it, it’s not really something you would associate with bacon. Well those crazy kids over at Taco Bell have limited time snack for us baconistas, the Bacon Cheesy Potato Burrito. I guess they are not content with Wendy’s getting all the bacon mentions online.
Now I could go all bacon snob here and say how the bacon is of an inferior quality compared to good bacon. But its TACO BELL!!!… the best part of taco bell is they have Mountain Dew on tap and the drive thru is open late. No place for snobbery.
Of course the product doesn’t match the picture, that’s a given. For a fast food burrito it wasn’t bad, every bite had enough bacony flavor that I did not feel ripped off. It wasn’t over powered by sauce or other parts of the burrito. Not sure it is worth $3 but if I have the need for the taste of bacon wrapped in a soft flour tortilla, I would get this again.

Originally posted 2009-07-10 13:08:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2758. ROASTED HAMILTON POUSSIN wrapped with STREAKY BACON and stuffed with POTATOES and SAGE

serves four?

4 poussin chickens?
12 rashers dry-curled streaky bacon?
1 lb. potato, peeled?
handful fresh sage or handful fresh rosemary, or handful fresh thyme?
12 cloves garlic, peeled?
1 1/2 cups white wine
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper?
olive oil

Preheat your oven and an appropriately sized roasting tray to 425 to 450 degrees. Boil your potatoes in salted water until perfectly cooked (don’t overcook). Drain and allow to cool. Remove any fat from inside the chicken cavity. Wash and pat dry with kitchen paper. Slice your potatoes thickly, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, add your freshly torn herbs and enough olive oil just to coat. Toss over and then stuff your chickens with the potatoes. Place them into the tray with about 12 cloves of garlic and cook for 30 minutes. After this time, the chicken should be looking as handsome as its inventor and the skin should be crisp and golden. At this point, lay your streaky bacon snugly over the breast meat and add a 1/2 cup of wine to the pan to get some sticky marmitey juices happening. Cook for another 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven. Take them out of the tray and allow them to rest for 5 minutes while you make a quick bit of gravy. I normally remove as much fat as possible from the tray before placing on gentle heat. Splash the remaining 1 cup of white wine into it. Then boil up and scrape away all the goodness from the sides of the tray. Simmer this for a couple of minutes until tasty. It’s not a thick, robust gravy, just a tasty gesture. Served with something nice and green like steamed spinach and the potatoes pulled out from the chickens.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Jamie Oliver, Naked Chef, for Asian Food Channel, 3 Fusionopolis Way, 12-21 Symbiosis, Singapore 138633

Originally posted 2012-11-26 09:07:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Bacon Scented Candles

Ohh how I love the smell of flesh in the morning. Well, now you can smell crispy bacon bits all day long!

For a measly $11 you can fill your home with yummy(bad ass) bacon smells. Go here to take a peek and then BUY that sucker.

Oh and btw… these beauties are triple-scented. Cause single or double is just freakin’ lame.

Originally posted 2009-09-02 13:10:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pulled Beef Brisket

This brisket joint is cooked is cooked very slowly in a low oven, tomatoes, barbecue sauce, honey, Worcestershire sauce, stock and smoked paprika.  The tender meat is ‘pulled’, before it is shredded to serve. We have served it in a baguette with our homemade cucumber and onion pickle or with creamy mash and the sauce.

Pulled Beef Brisket

Originally posted 2013-08-20 06:02:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

It’s Bacon Grease Week!!

Yes, that’s right…I am declaring this week at TDB World Headquarters “Bacon Grease Week” as we explore just some of the great things those dripping from our favorite meat can be used for!

Like this “gem” from 1942…

Click here to view the embedded video.

So join us the week as we journey into bacon grease!

Originally posted 2012-09-17 20:04:37.

Related Stories:September 18, 2012 Bacon Grease Week – Best Storage Option…?September 19, 2012 Bacon Grease Pic of the Week – The More You Know…


Originally posted 2014-07-15 01:06:01. Republished by Blog Post Promoter