Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I like old food.

There I said it.
I like cured meats. I like aged cheese. I like old wine. I like old whisky.

Last night I decanted from my 2 liter oak cask un-aged rye manhattans. I aged them for 6 weeks. I know, it's not a long time, but it's long enough to make those bad boys taste REAL good.

I refilled the cask with gin, vermouth, and Campari to make aged Negronis. (Is negroni already plural since it ends with an "I" ?) Friends will attest that they are wickedly delicious and potentially dangerous.  

Today on the cutting board I made old lemons. Lemons that will become old. Preserved might be the better word. Preserved in salt to be specific. Salt and black pepper and dried chilies.

You see, I'm thinking ahead. Next month I'll be teaching a Spanish Tapas class at Kristos Olive Oil in Old Town Arvada. I'm going to do a goat cheese, olive oil and preserved lemon spread. I'll let the lemons sit for three or so weeks, then chop them up and use them for the spread. I'll also use some in vinaigrettes, put some on seafood, eat the stuff right out of the jar.   

Here's how to do it.

Preserved Lemons:

6 lemons

2 cups kosher salt

1 stick cinnamon

1 t. whole cloves

6 cloves garlic, peeled

3 dried chilies

olive oil

Cut lemons in half and juice them.

Place a one-inch layer of salt on bottom of a quart-size glass far.

Pack the lemons into the jar.

Add remaining salt, lemon juice, garlic, cinnamon sticks, chilies and cloves.

Cover with olive oil, then lid the jar.

Leave at room temperature for 2 to 3 weeks.


When ready, the fleshy part of lemon will have broken down and eaten away by salt.
Rinse lemons, scrape out remaining pulp.
Preserved rinds can now be used or packed in olive oil for future use.
You may chop into 1/8 inch pieces before packing or chop in food processor.
By the way, you can go to the class at Kristos. April 18th, 6:30 p.m.
5760 Olde Wadsworth
Call them and let them know you're interested.

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