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Mediterranean Preserved Lemons Recipe

Mediterranean Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons are used as a condiment in Mediterranean recipes. They are quite simple to make, but the lemons will need to ripen for 30 days before using, so plan way in advance.


5 lemons
1/4 cup salt, more if desired

Optional Safi Mixture:

1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
5 to 6 coriander seeds
3 to 4 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, if necessary

If you wish to soften the peel, soak the lemons in lukewarm water for 3 days, changing the water daily.

Quarter the lemons from the top to within 1/2 inch of the bottom, sprinkle salt on the exposed flesh, then reshape the fruit.

Place 1 tablespoon salt on the bottom of a sterile 1 pint mason jar. Pack in the lemons and push them down, adding more salt, and the optional spices between layers. Press the lemons down to release their juices and to make room for the remaining lemons. (If the juice released from the squashed fruit does not cover them, add freshly squeezed lemon juice, not chemically produced lemon juice and not water.) Leave some air space before sealing the jar.

Let the lemons ripen in a warm place, shaking the jar each day to distribute the salt and juice. Let ripen for 30 days.

To use, rinse the lemons, as needed, under running water, removing and discarding the pulp, if desired. There is no need to refrigerate after opening. Preserved lemons will keep up to a year, and the pickling juice can be used two or three times over the course of a year.

Source: Epicurean.com

How to make Rice Pilaf

Rice pilaf might sound like an exotic dish but it is so easy to make. The word pilaf comes from the Turkish word "pilav" and this dish is known around the world, although different countries prefer different flavorings. This dish is always started by browning rice in oil or butter. Stock is then added, as well as other ingredients. A pilaf might contain meat, seafood, poultry, vegetables, herbs, or spices and it can be served as an entree or side dish.
When making a pilaf, it is best to use homemade stock for a superior result. If you do not have any, you can use water or low-sodium broth. Converted rice is good to use for this dish and this is rice, which is boiled briefly with the husks on. This sends some of the husk nutrients into the actual rice, giving it a light brown color. Medium grain or long grain rice is also good. Try basmati rice if you like but it is best to avoid starch-coated Asian rice because its stickiness means it does not work so well for pilaf.
Try experimenting with different stocks or adding aromatic ingredients like thyme, parsley, bay leaf or oregano. Add the contents of one of the little seasoning packets you get with noodles for a salty, spicy flavor. To make your pilaf creamy, you can substitute half a cup of the water for cream of chicken, celery, or mushroom soup.
Basic Pilaf Instructions
Melt three tablespoons of butter in a big pot over a medium high heat, then add a cup of rice and saute it for a minute or two. Add two and a half cups of chicken broth or water, two cups of chopped vegetables and some seasonings.
Turn the heat down and simmer the pilaf, in a tightly covered pot, for fifteen minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit for ten minutes. Do not lift the lid. The rice stays hot for half an hour so you can make the rest of the dinner in the meantime.
Rice Pilaf Around the World
Many cultures have their own versions of this tasty dish. Middle Eastern and Arabic rice pilaf features dried fruits, almonds, and pine nuts. You can use basmati or long grain rice to make this and serve it with chicken or lamb kabobs. Historians think that pilaf is traditionally an Arabic dish.
Mexican pilaf includes celery, peas, and carrots and the rice is topped with hot sauce and cilantro. For Indian pilaf, you can use basmati rice, which is a long-grained rice. Add onions and carrots and also some bay leaves, cumin seeds, whole cloves, and peppercorns to give the dish a delicate fragrance. Be careful when handling cooked basmati. Its length means it can break if you are rough with it.
A classic recipe for pilaf features onions, celery, nuts and peas and to make this you should brown the celery, onions and nuts in butter, then add the rice. Cook the rice in chicken broth and add the peas near the end of the cooking time. You can cook this on the stove or in the oven. Adding saffron to the rice makes it more aromatic and gives it an attractive golden yellow color.
Pilaf is just one of the thousands of recipes you can make easily at home. Why not try a recipe search by ingredient to find the perfect recipe? Whether you want easy recipes, holiday recipes or another kind of cuisine, a recipe search engine is the quickest way to find what you are looking for.

Source: Ezine article

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