Sunday, January 29, 2012

Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons are a popular Morrocan and Middle Eastern ingredient, typically found in tagines and stuff.  You can buy them, but you might as well make them, its so easy, it just takes about a month.  

Here, I used Meyer Lemons which are not as sour as regular lemons.  Cut an X through the top of the lemon, going most of the way down, just leave it connected at the bottom.  Fill each lemon with salt  (I used kosher salt, French gris sea salt and Hawaiin Alaea salt) and smash all the lemons into the jar, so some of the juice is released. Toss in some chili flakes, bay leaf, coriander and fennel seeds and top it off with some more lemon juice if necessary to cover all the lemons.  Leave it on the counter for a couple days then stick it in the fridge for a few weeks.  You can then use the rinds in a variety of dishes.  Check out the risotto recipe below.


Roasted Root Vegetable Risotto with Preserved Meyer Lemon Ricotta

Like ravioli, risotto is one of those perfect vehicles for leftovers.  Once you get the risotto technique down, there are endless possibilities.  You can pretty much throw anything in there.  We had a bunch of leftover roasted root vegetables from dinner on Friday night- sweet potato, golden beets, brussel sprouts and zucchini, all simply roasted with olive oil, salt & pepper-  so thats what went into this risotto. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Duck Breast, Rutabega Mash, Sauteed Chanterelles, Pomegranate Gastrique

I love duck.  I love the slight gaminess, almost a cross between chicken and beef, but totally not. It's it's own ducky thing. The problem is, my wife has always hated it; or so she thought, until today.  She would never let me cook duck in the house, because I made it once while she was pregnant and she got sick from the smell, but in all fairness, she got sick from almost EVERYTHING while she was prego.... so thats not a very good indicator anyway.  Nevertheless, she LOVED this dish.

I found this website, that sells really high quality Glatt Kosher grass-fed beef and lamb, and organic, humanely and sustainably-raised poultry (hows that for buzz words).  So I ordered a bunch of stuff from there including these duck breasts.  Experiments with the rest of my order from Kol Foods coming soon (duck liver, lamb sausage, really thick rib eye steaks). Exciting stuff, so go over to the ROCK THIS ONION Facebook Page and "LIKE" it so you can keep up with the updates.