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Preserved Lemons

I have experience using preserved lemons (during a friendly coworker food competition where the ingredient provided was preserved lemons-which I won thank you very much) but I never actually made them. So when I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, I just had to make them. There are quite a few different recipes around for preserved lemons but mostly the ingredients are similar. It requires patience because you have to wait for a few weeks for them to "preserve" - you know that watched pot thing.

I started these beauties about a month ago and figured it was time to crack the jar open and see how they turned out:

I wanted to make them with a basic dish so that I could really taste them. So I decided to use them in rice. I typically put this homemade bouillon in my rice. It adds a lot of flavor to boring old rice. It's convenient because you just store it in your freezer. I've actually given up on making vegetable stock and just use the bouillon.

Lemon Rice

1 cup of rice
2 cups of water
2 tsps bouillon
about 1/2 of a preserved lemon (these were mutant large lemons)

Cook for about 20 minutes or until almost all the water is absorbed. Cover with a lid and let it sit for 5 minutes to absorb the remaining liquid. 

I pretty much followed the recipe for the preserved lemons, but the only thing I would do different next time is cut the lemons in half.  It was really difficult getting a lemon out of the jar. They sort of fall apart but because the lemon was so large it kept breaking apart trying to pull it out. It was like getting pickles out of jar. I also put the lemons into two jars and seemed to have extra liquid - again this might have been because of the mutant size lemons.

This is what happens if you don't make sure the tail isn't touching your convection fan:

I did not use the preserved lemons on the fish because I figured if the lemons were not good I'd rather lose 1 cup of rice rather than a whole red snapper. But since the lemons passed the test taste, I can't wait to test them out in a few other things now.


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