What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Preserved Meyer Lemons

I am so lucky to have been raised by MY parents, who garden, fish and hunt, eating the best of what is in season and in the off season, eat what was canned and frozen, something I must have in my genes and must continue. I like it. Now it is wonderful to have access to wonderful markets in addition to the garden, pantry and freezer and be inspired to try new things.

I buy cookbooks (duh!) and subscribe to food magazines and read them over and over. Some things are tucked away in my memory so when I see an ingredient, even though I may not know what I will use it for, I buy it.

In Whole Foods, I came across Meyer lemons. I have a new cookbook, recently updated and re-released, From Tapas to Meze, by Joanne Weir. It came highly recommended from my friend Leslie, a wonderful cook in Memphis. It has several recipes for preserved lemons. I already had out several appetizer cookbooks including another Tapas cookbook because I am planning a wine and Tapas tasting. On top of that, our wonderful cookin' neighbor and friend, Marne, gave another 'cooking' neighbor and I a cooking class at A Southern Season (thank you Marne!). A Southern Season is another wonderful store close by that carries a huge array of hard-to-find ingredients. In fact, you should check out their website, A Southern Season because they mail order. It is the first cooking lesson I have had outside of my mother and grandmother's kitchen. Everything I have ever cooked was by experimenting with by myself or with friends, cookbooks, or TV, starting with Julia Child, The Galloping Gourmet and James Beard, moving into the current luxury of the Food Network. We give cooking lessons but taking one was fun, I have to tell you. The class was "A Classic Persian Feast" and was taught by a local celebrity chef, Farah Hadjitaghi. It is really a demo, but the kitchen is well done, the interaction is good and you get to taste everything.

The Menu: Marinated Olives with Walnuts, Pomegranate Juice and Herbs; Green Bean Salad with Yellow Potatoes, Garlic and Lemon; Lamb Shanks with Lentil Rice, Raisins, Walnuts and Dates; Celery Stew with Chicken, Mint, Parsley, Caramelized Onion and Tumeric; Roasted Chickpea Flour Cookies with Cardamon and Pistachio Nuts; Mulberry shaped Almond Paste with Pistachios and Rose Water.

I liked everything that was served, but my absolute favorite was the marinated olives. I have made both the olive and the lentil rice. I served the lentil rice
ith Chicken Marinated with Lemon, Mint and Tumeric.

In the class, she mentioned preserved lemons. I have already been reading recipes including preserved lemons and I see Meyer Lemons in the store! So now I have preserved lemons in the works. It'll take a few weeks for them to be ready, in time for the Tapas party. In the meantime, the recipe is on our website Swank Recipes and the picture below is what they looked like right after they were jarred. I will take a picture of them later, if they change sustantially. I can't wait the weeks required. I will post recipes using them in a few weeks.

Enough for now for I need to get back to pruning.

Eat well. Laugh often. Call or write if you have something to say or want us to cook for you!


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