I 'uncorked' my preserved lemons the other day. I used a recipe from Gregg and Lucy Malouf's "Moorish" cookbook of Middle Eastern recipes. This dish is breathtaking. Really wonderful.
The recipe calls for lemon rind only which leave some lovely pulp. Since I hate to waste anything, I muddled the lemon pulp with cucumber juice, added a pinch of salt, and topped it with fizzy water for a fabulous preserved lemon and cucumber soda.
I use a pressure cooker for risotto, and anyone who's ever used one will swear it's the ONLY way to make risotto. The entire prep and cooking time for this recipe is about 20-25 minutes. If you don't have a pressure cooker, use the same ingredients in the same proportions, but make it in the conventional manner.
Preserved lemon risotto
(adapted for a pressure cooker from “Moorish” a Middle Eastern cook book by Gregg and Lucy Malouf)
1 1/2 cups risotto 3 1/2 cups chicken stock (divided use) 1 preserved lemon, peel only, finely chopped (divided use) 2 stalks celery, fine dice 1/2 onion, fine dice 2 Tbsp XVOO 2 oz dry white wine 2 Tbsp butter 1/4 - 1/2 cup grated parmesan (or grana padana) Salt TT
Saute onion and celery in OO until slightly translucent. Add wine and reduce by half. Add rice, stir to coat completely. Add 1/2 preserved lemon peel. Add 3 c stock. Bring to a simmer, close pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for six minutes. Use quick release method at the end of six minutes (hold the cooker under cold running water, quickly reducing pressure). Unseal pressure cooker. Risotto should be almost fully cooked, with plenty of liquid. Bring to a simmer, add butter and the remaining lemon. Add additional stock if needed. Season, fold in parmesan and serve immediately.
So.... I uncorked this batch of eggs at work last night. They are fantastic. The eggs are a lovely "antique white" (according to Kean, one of the other cooks), and delicious. They're slightly sweet, tasting of vinegar and spices. The onions I put in are also delightful.
12 HB eggs, peeled 4 cups white vinegar
1 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup cold water (set aside)
1 small onion, sliced
1/4 cup pickling spice
1/4 cup sugar
4 cloves garlic, whole
peeled zest of one lemon
1 Tbsp salt
Bring vinegar and spices to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add cold water and cool brine to room temp. Arrange peeled eggs in a jar. Top with sliced onions (the onions hold the eggs under the brine). Pour brine and spices over onions and eggs and refrigerate for 3 or 4 days.
After four batches of yogurt that ranged from mediocre to OK, I've finally made a damn near perfect batch. It's smooth and slightly sweet, with a soft texture.
Here's the formula. Whole milk, Nancy's yogurt as a starter (it has live cultures), and a max of 18 hours in the yogurt maker. Next time, I won't even need a starter culture. I'll use my own yogurt.
1 qt milk
1 heaping Tbsp yogurt with live cultures
Bring milk to a boil. Pour into a bowl to cool. When cooled to lukewarm, add yougurt. I temper it by adding the starter to a cup or two of milk, then mix with the rest of the milk. Pour into yogurt cups (I use a Salton yogurt maker from the 1970s), heat for 18 hours.
Here's a good look at the worst batch I made. It was made from 2% milk, using Tage yogurt as a starter. The yield was dreadful. I got about a cup or so of yogurt from one quart of milk. It's chunky and clotted with a ton of whey in each cup.
I assume it's clumpy because of the low fat milk. Unfortunately, I don't know how to use low fat milk and still get a good product. I suppose commercial yogurt makers use some kind of binder or something else to hold the whey in the yogurt.
I can't wait till this summer when I can get fresh milk from the Farmer's Market and start cooking with yogurt, making more Middle Eastern (or Greek) dishes.