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Chiars!

Chia Cookies

My version of http://deliciouslyella.com/chocolate-chia-cookies/ so delicious I had to share.

I didn’t have coconut oil so used our olive oil, I didn’t have enough hazelnuts so made up the shortfall with walnuts, I didn’t have maple syrup so used local honey, I didn’t have dates so used prunes, nor did I have quinoa or buckwheat so used wholewheat flour, however, they were gorgeous.

Chiars Ella !

 

 

 

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Preserved Lemons

preserved lemons with chillies, bay leaf and peppercornsPreserved lemons are delicious, easy to make and used in many dishes, especially Moroccan and Middle Eastern.

They take 3-4 weeks to cure and yes, you eat the skin.

Our little lemon tree here at Arete has produced the most fruit ever this year and so I’ve decided to make and share these jars of zing with friends and neighbours this Christmas.

Here’s how you can make them………………..

Firstly, sterilize your jars of choice, I put mine in boiling water in a large pan on the log fire for hours and just let them bubble.

You will need some ripe and unblemished lemons, as a general rule 3-4 medium lemons will squeeze into an average size jam jar.

Wash and dry the lemons, cut them lengthwise into quarters and rub each quarter with plenty of sea salt, or any salt you have.

Place a few pieces in the bottom of the jar, squeeze them down hard and sprinkle on some more salt, then continue with another few pieces all the time adding any additional flavours you may fancy.

You can see in the picture above I added dried birds eye chilies, bay leaves and peppercorns.

When the jar is full and lemons are well packed in, add enough lemon juice to cover them completely, pop the lid on and agitate, turn upside down and shake about a bit making sure the lemon juice has got into every gap.

Let settle upright, unscrew the lid and just make sure with one last press down that the lemons are still covered with the juice, if not add more juice until they are. I also pour in a little olive oil to seal the top, optional.

Put the jars in a place of honour, out of direct sunlight in your kitchen, they look really lovely, why not show them off.

Wait at least 3 weeks, 4 is better, the longer you leave them the better they taste and then make something.

Scoop out and discard the soft flesh  and use the peel, chopped, sliced or whole, it’s best added towards the end of cooking time for a salty, aromatic, zingy complement to your dish.

The lemons are ideal for slow cooked casseroles and stews, salads and rice dishes, there is no end to their versatility and they will keep for months in the fridge once opened.

As soon as mine are ready I will be making a Lamb Tagine, with classic Moroccan flavours of ginger, saffron and my very own homemade preserved lemons.

Can’t wait!

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