How to Make "Preserved Lemons" for Moroccan Cuisine
Moroccan cuisine is the culinary star of North Africa. At the crossroads of many civilizations, the cuisine of
Morocco is a mélange of Arab, Berber, Moorish, French, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean African, Iberian, and Jewish influences.
Moroccan cooking is enhanced with such fruits as, dried and fresh — apricots, dates, figs, and raisins. Lemons preserved in a salt-lemon juice mixture are unique to many Moroccan dishes. Nuts are prominent; pine nuts, almonds, and pistachios. Moroccan Sweets are rich and dense confections of cinnamon, almond, and fruit perfumes that are rolled in filo dough, soaked in honey, and stirred into puddings.
Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food. Common spices include karfa (cinnamon), kamoun (cumin), kharkoum (turmeric), skingbir (ginger), libzar (pepper) , tahmira (paprika), anis seed, sesame seed, kasbour (coriander), maadnous (parsley), zaafrane beldi (saffron) and mint. Spices are the defining point to any authentic Moroccan meal and are also known to be used for their medicinal value. It’s the special blend of spices that makes Moroccan cuisine taste so good. One special blend is the Ras El Hanout.
The ten spices considered the most important to Moroccan cuisine are:
Cayenne (felfla), cinnamon (karfa), turmeric (quekoum), ginger (skinjbir), black pepper (elbezar), aniseed (nafaa), sesame seeds (jinjelan), cumin (kamoon), paprika (felfla hlouwa), and saffron (zafrane).A trip to a Souk will find you the essentials needed for your kitchen and home.
A Souk is a market, which may be held in a designated commercial quarter, or in an open-air location. Souks are an important part of life in the Middle East and their merchants carry a wide assortment of products from rugs to vegetables, just the place to find ingredients for your Moroccan recipes.
Moroccan dishes are fragrant and full of flavor. Many include preserved lemons which can be purchased, but difficult to find in the U.S. However, making them is easy.
Preserved Lemons can take up to 30 days to prepare and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 year. A quick preserving method can be used but they will only last 2 days.
I’m going to share how to make Preserved Lemons using the 30 day method from Paula Wolferts cookbook, “The Food of Morocco.” Then, next Monday I will share with you a wonderful recipe using these Preserved Lemons, so when yours are ready you’ll have a luscious recipe to use them in.
|Quartered Lemons, Juice, Salt and Jar with Tight Fitting Lid|
|Quartered Lemons placed in Jar with Salt and Juice Sealed Tightly|
Taken Directly from The Food of Morocco
Don’t forget to try this simple recipe for Preserved Lemons and meet me back here next week, for another recipe to use them in. Until then……