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Preserved Lemon problem

I made the food52 recipe for Braised Moroccan Chicken & Olives – wonderful ingredients but I did not have a jar of preserved lemons. Instead, I used Mark Bittman’s recipe for same-day preserved lemons (http://nyti.ms/9iRFH7). I used regular lemons (not organic or Meyer) and knowing they were waxed, followed a tip I’d read to first drop them in boiling water for a few minutes to dissolve the wax, then wipe them thoroughly before adding the salt, etc. Even so, they were dreadfully bitter and unfortunately ruined the dish. Does anyone know if it was definitely wax that caused this problem? (I’ve got a new batch of preserved lemons going using Paula Wolfert’s traditional 30-day recipe and Meyer lemons.) If so I guess the boiling water tip is not fool-proof. Thanks.

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

asked over 6 years ago

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8 answers 4373 views
susan g
added over 6 years ago

Just a side note -- reading about preserved lemons, I saw mention that the preferred lemons are thick skinned (since it's the skin that is usually required).
When I made them I used organic lemons because there's more than wax on those skins!

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Pegeen
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago


Interesting: the imported preserved lemons I've seen in decent local gourmet stores (imported via the sexy shipyards of Newark, NJ) are all teeny and appear thin-skinned. Obviously they are entirely different fruits than what is available to us in NorthAm.

pierino
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 6 years ago

Now that Bittman has turned into this vegan dork I just don't trust him anymore. There are lemons and there are lemons. Meyer's happen to be a very sweet hybird (but what citrus isn't a hybrid these days?). If this is a DIY project, yes, go with a thick rind variety. And good luck.

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Pegeen
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

I'm sorry - I do not understand your answer. This is a hotline for problem-solving. I can't tell if you're recommending thick or thin-skinned lemons or what your actual recommendation is (ideally based on your experience?).

creamtea
creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

They really need time (i.e.) for the lemons to thoroughly absorb all the salt and spices. This turns the rind soft and silky and imparts a particular flavor that needs time to develop.

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Pegeen
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

Thanks, creamtea. Very helpful. I did also see a previous exchange between AntoniaJames and others about salt for preserved lemons, etc. I just don't want another dish to get ruined if my DIY lemons are not right...

creamtea
creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

sorry for the typo, I meant to say: "(I.e. the full month)"

Pegeen
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

Thank you. Very helpful!

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