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The Joys of Jewish Preserving: Modern Recipes with Traditional Roots, for Jams, Pickles, Fruit Butters, and More--for Holidays and Every Day Hardcover – July 15, 2017
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From the Publisher
North African Preserved Lemons
Makes 2 pints (946 ml)
Lemons preserved in a salt brine are a staple of North African cuisine. The addition of cinnamon sticks is a particularly Jewish touch.
A small amount of preserved lemon in a dish goes a long way and it is a versatile ingredient. Try a small amount of diced preserved lemon in grain salads, pasta dishes, with fish, in salad dressings, as well as in all your Middle Eastern–inspired tagines and stews. Preserved lemons also make an impressive edible gift.
Sterilize a quart-sized (946 ml) jar by filling it with boiling water, draining it, and allowing it to air-dry. Place a layer of kosher salt at the bottom, about 1 tablespoon (15 g). Cut a deep x into the tops of 4 lemons, but do not cut through the bottom. Place 1 tablespoon (15 g) salt inside each lemon.
Place the first lemon in the jar and press down on it with the end of a wooden spoon to flatten it and release the juice. Layer ¼ cup (60 g) of salt around the lemon. Repeat with the remaining 3 cut lemons.
Juice the 2 uncut lemons and add the juice to the jar. the lemons in the jar should be submerged in a mixture of salt and lemon juice. If they are not, add another ¼ cup (60 g) of salt and the juice of an additional lemon. Slip the chiles and cinnamon sticks into the jar. Cover the jar and store in a cool, dark place for 4 weeks, shaking several times a week to distribute the salt.
After 1 month, the lemon rinds should be soft and pliable. Remove the lemons from the jar and rinse off the excess salt. Place 2 lemons in each jar with some of the brine. store the jar in the refrigerator, where it will keep for 6 months. To use, scrape off the flesh and use the rind only.
- 6 to 7 organic lemons
- 1 to 1 ½ cups (230 to 350 g) kosher salt
- 3 dried red chiles
- 2 cinnamon sticks
About the Author
Emily Paster was born and raised in Washington, DC, where her mother was the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library and her father was chairman of the public relations firm Hill and Knowlton. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Michigan Law School, she redirected her career from law to cooking and food writing beginning about 10 years ago, when she had her second child. She writes the widely admired blog West of the Loop, primarily about food but with forays into parenting and family life. She is the co-founder of the Chicago Food Swap and is a national leader in the growing food swap movement (community get-togethers where handmade foods are bartered and exchanged). Her previous book is Food Swap (Storey 2016). A resident of River Forest, Illinois, in suburban Chicago, she speaks often in the Chicago area on farm-to-table and garden-to-table provisioning and cooking and she has appeared numerous times on food and cooking segments for the major TV network affiliates in Chicago.
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Learning more about 25% of my heritage combined with some wonderful recipes was both interesting and educational. I love that the author also explained the geographic food availability differences of regional traditions. I first heard her interview on NPR and after getting one copy for my family, I also got a second copy to send to newly found cousins. (luckily they love researching genealogy).
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