Friday, April 15, 2016

M is for... Moroccan Preserved Lemons

Have you heard of these? Tried these? What do you think?

I've been seeing them mentioned online and in magazines for a long time now.  In fact I may have even tried to make these once upon a time, but it must have been unsuccessful as I don't actually ever remember ever tasting them... (Probably I didn't think about sterilizing the jar until they were brining.)

Today's the day!  A chance to try something new.

For starters, I looked through several recipes:
Daring Gourmet's Moroccan or Middle Eastern Preserved Lemons (#2)
Alexandra's Preserved Lemons Two Ways (one of the ways is #1)
Nourished Kitchen's Moroccan Preserved Lemons
Jamie Oliver's Salted Preserved Lemons
David Lebovitz's Morroccan Preserved Lemons
Bon Appetit's Preserved Lemons  (#1)

And decided on trying two.
#1. Bon Appetit's Preserved Lemons (ready in 2 weeks! and a little different; will only last 1 month; salt and sugar both)
#2. Daring Gourmet's Moroccan Preserved Lemons (simple/traditional; ready in 3+weeks, will last 6 months; salt only )

Overall, these were both very simple to put together.  The trickiest part being to make sure to sterilize the glass jars/keep everything very clean, the same as you would if you were canning. I'd also recommend using a quart jar or larger. Originally I was going to use pint jars, but it fit exactly 1 lemon very tightly...

This is probably okay for the #2 option if you don't add extra water/just use the juice of the lemon, but not so much for the #1 option which is supposed to have additional brine added in around it.  Also, I skipped the spices in #1, just going with the salt and sugar brine. That was a personal safety choice only (allergies) and not a taste choice.

Here is what Alexandra had to say after the completion of the two types (here for the full post). She used the spices.

I had my doubts about the sugary brine, if ever I run out of preserved lemons, this will be the recipe I turn to.  Much to my surprise, the BA lemons do not taste sweet at all- they taste salty but less salty than the Jerusalem lemons.  In a side-by-side test, the winner was clear.  What I also like about the BA lemons is the inclusion of tumeric, whose taste is indiscernible but whose color goves the lemons a more vibrant hue.  In sum, the differences are subtle, and I can't say I can detect a difference in taste in the finished dishes, but for what it's worth, I'm a fan of the untraditional brine-preserved lemons.

sterilizing the jars

check out how much lemon juice from pressing down on these two lemons (#2)!

Here I've been putting these off forever and they were so simple!  Now to hit the snooze button and see how they taste when they are done.  Check back at  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........ For the results of # 1 anyway. It will be a week post the AZ challenge for the results of #2 to be ready. So pretty!

Labelled and Brined. Now to wait...

***Also, stay tuned for a special Mac & Cheese post from Colonel Mustard sometime in the next few days.  He had hoped to get it in for the official letter M, but time and technology conspired against him! So instead, you get an extra M post coming your way sometime soon.

1 comment:

  1. these look intriguing. I haven't ever had preserved lemons that weren't sweet. Interested to hear how they taste. I know people with lemon trees who can never use them all... they might be interested. All the best in the rest of the A to Z blog challenge. We are half way through now