Monday, May 10, 2010
PRESERVED LEMON CEVICHE
The idea of ceviche has been creeping up on me ... Nigella has one in her Express book, there is a lovely recipe in Tessa Kiros's Venezia (my two favourites in one book - cooking and Venice!)... I decided to dip my toe in the ceviche sea (in a manner of speaking), when I came home from the fishmonger with more than enough lemon sole for dinner.
I just wanted to make a small amount (not sure how fish cooked by lime juice would go down with the family) so I cut up a small sole fillet, and added some monkfish (which I had bought for the following day's dinner) and placed them in the marinade.
I marinated the fish for 24 hours, testing and tasting after 6 hours and then 12 hours and again after 18 (it still had a raw texture) but 24 hours was probably about 4 too many as although it tasted fantastic, the texture was a bit tough. The ceviche would make a lovely starter, but I would cut the fish up much smaller and marinade for a shorter time.
The monkfish probably took better to this cooking method (texture wise) but both fish tasted fresh, zingy and pleasantly different.
For one portion I used:
Preserved lemon ceviche
1 small lemon sole
small piece of monkfish
1/4 preserved lemon
1 tbsp juice from preserved lemons
zest and juice of 1 lime
1/4 mild chili grated.
green part from 2 scallions (spring onions)
Mix the marinade ingredients and pour over the fish, store in a sealed container in the fridge until ready.
Serve with your salad of choice, I used rockett, spinich, red peppers and apples, dressed simply with lemon and oil.
This is my jar of recently resurrected preserved lemons. The photo alone makes my mouth water!!!
I turned to Diana Henry's "Crazy Water Pickled Lemons" (where else?!) when looking for a recipe to make my lemons, and this one is excellent, the cinnamon and coriander giving a nice undertone to the flavour.
(every home should have them!!)
Coarse sea salt
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Olive oil (extra virgin)
Wash and dry the lemons.
Not cutting the whole way through, cut the lemons length ways in quarters. It is important to keep the base of the lemon intact, so that the lemon opens out like a flower.
Hold each lemon open and fill with about 2 tsp salt, squeeze it closed and put into a sterilized jar.
Repeat until your jar is jam packed full.
Put a weight on top (I used a stone wrapped in clingfilm)
Put away for 3 days while the juices run out.
Remove the weight and add the cinnamon, pepper, coriander and bay leaves.
Add enough extra lemon juice to cover the lemons.
Then pour a layer of olive oil on top - this prevents the whole jar going mouldy - very important!
Ready to use in about 6 weeks.