Caroline: I LOVE making preserved lemons! Mainly because it is SO easy. It makes me feel really productive and culinary without too much effort…
All you need is rock salt, washed and dried lemons, some bay leaves and a sterile jar to put them in. For our’s, we used about 12 lemons with the juice of another 2 and 1 1/2 bags (500g bags) of rock sea salt.Preserved lemons are a condiment and great in sauces, dips and almost anything! They are widely used in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is a great way of preserving lemons if you have a lemon tree or just to have on hand because it is so delicious!
All you do is quarter all of your lemons and start smashing them really tightly (skin up) into your jar. Alternate layers of lemons with layers of rock salt and tuck bay leaves in (I think they look pretty when they’re pressed against the sides like that).
As you squeeze in your layers of lemons their juice will start to come out (duh) but by the time you fill up your jar it is important that the top layer is totally covered with lemon juice and salt. Hence, the extra lemons. Of course it depends how juicy your lemons are, you might not need them, but we squeezed 2 extras over our preserved lemons to completely submerge them.
Now the waiting game. Place the jar in a dark dry cupboard for at least 6 weeks. After opening, refrigerate. Because of the salt and acid of the lemons, they’ll never go off.
To use, simply use a knife to cut out the pith (it is the peel you want to use), dice the soft peel and put it in whatever you like.
ENJOY.Kris: It was a relatively warm afternoon while we were making preserved lemons, so I thought I would make a quick dish that uses this simple and tasty ingredient. It was also an ideal afternoon to drink St Feuillien Saison.
Coconut and Sumac Prawns with Preserved Lemon and Lager Mayonaise
Peeled and de-veined green prawns
sunflower oil for frying
Good quality whole egg mayonnaise
50ml lager or pilsner
Mix 4 Tbs of whole egg mayonnaise, the lager and the preserved lemons to make the dipping sauce (the lager thins out the mayo)
Make a wash with the egg and milk
Heat the sunflower oil to 160-170 C
Coat the prawns in flour
Dip them in the egg wash
Coat the prawns in the coconut
Fry the prawns in the oil for 3-4 minutes until golden
Drain on paper towel and season with sumac and sea salt
(Sumac is the dried, ground fruit, mainly grown in Northern Africa, that adds an earthy/lemony flavour to dishes)
Kris: The St Feuillien Saison is a great example of a Belgian Farmhouse Ale. It is an earthy, spicy golden ale with a slightly tangy finish. It was a perfect match with this dish, the coconut and lemon complimented the beer and the carbonation cut through the mayonnaise.
Caroline: This was delicious. A perfect mix of sweet (coconut and prawn) with salty and zippy (preserved lemons and sumac), and great mix of textures as well! The Saison matched really well with the coconut crust for me, and the mayo mixture was the perfect contrast…