Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Lemons

MP3: Limoncito by Los Dinners
Lemons in the sun
The lemon is an important ingredient around the world. We tasted potent lemon pickle in India and tried some fragrant preserved lemons in Morocco. Lemon ice at Johnnies in Chicago draws a crowd even at subzero temperatures. I can never pass up a lemonade stand. Lemon is the star ingredient in Desi's Arugala Bucatini, and I squeeze lemon juice over grilled vegetables. This year we made lemon ginger marmelade, candied lemon zest, preserved lemons, and we used lemons in salad dressings, sauces, and drinks. We even used lemon juice to curdle goat milk for ricotta goat cheese cannolis.MP3:She Makes Good Jelly by Champion Jack Dupree
Lemon ginger marmelade
Preserved lemons:
8 meyer lemons
4 lemons
1/2 - 3/4 cup salt
3 Tablespoons harissa chile paste (recipe below)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Cut the lemons into quarters and coat with salt. Sterilize a 2 quart jar by heating in a 275 degree oven while you measure out the ingredients and cut the lemons.
Fill jar with lemons and top with remaining salt and harissa. Close lid and store at room temperature. Add the olive oil after one week. Lemons will be ready after 2 weeks but will have bast flavor and texture after one month. I use two thirds organic meyer lemons and 1/3 regular organic lemons for a nice balance of flavor and acidity.

Harissa:
1 Cup hot water
1/2 Cup Dried New Mexican red chilies
2 Cloves garlic
1 teaspoop whole caraway seeds
1 taplespoon whole cumin seeds
1/2 Tablespoon whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 Tablespoons olive oil

Remove the seeds and stems from the chiles and soak in hot water for 30 minutes and strain.
Toast the caraway, cumin, and coriander seeds in a dry saute pan over medium heat.
Crush the garlic, and spices in a mortar and pestel until smooth. Add the oil, salt and the rehydrated chiles and continue to puree until smooth.
Citrus vendors on the streets of Mumbai

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