Food Flirt

Food, recipes, cooking, travel,

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Location: Petaluma, California, United States

Jacqueline is an international award winning journalist whose stories about food never fail to tantalize her reader's taste buds.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Rijad Dar Surya - Marrakech

Lunch at the Rijad Dar Surya – Marrakech

It was a hot, sunny day at the villa and we were all lazing around the pool. At lunch, served in the pavilion, we found a selection of our Chef Zara’s delicious salads, including wonderful concoction of sweet oranges tossed in olive oil with black-pitted Kalamata olives. It tasted wonderful and was an immediate favorite with the Wild Writing Women.

Orange and Olive Salad


4-5 medium oranges, peeled and cut into cubes
1 cup black pitted Kalamata olives - halved
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1-tablespoon ground cumin
1-tablespoon ground red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons olive oil

Whisk olive oil, cumin, and red pepper together in a large salad bowl until the mixture turns blood orange in color and the flavors really start to combine and become aromatic. Mix in the oranges and olives. Toss until well coated and the oranges release some of their juices. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Apricot Season Again - JAM's JAM

I went to the farmer's market last Wednesday and found out that the famous Patterson apricots from the San Joaquin Valley were at their peak. Oh joy! I bought 12 pounds of the beauties and made 20 jars of jam on Friday. If you are interested in making some for yourself, please check out my past blog, posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Apricot Season - JAM's JAM

Preserved Lemons

Remember the preserved lemons I mentioned eating at the cooking school Maison Arabe? Preserved lemons are often used in classic Moroccan cuisine. Our teacher/chef Mohammed assured me they were easy to make so when I got home I decided to preserve some.

My friends Jackie and Katsu have several beautiful lemon trees in their garden and they provided me with a basket filled with beautifully ripe fruit.

Next step was to go through my notes and find preserving tips and I also spent some time on the Internet researching the procedure.

I now have two large jars of lemons, soaking in salt and their own juices. According to plan, they should be ready to eat in about four weeks.

Preserved Lemons
8-10 Meyer lemons, scrubbed very clean
If you don’t have Meyer lemons, regular lemons will do
1/2 cup kosher salt, more if needed
Extra fresh squeezed lemon juice, if needed
Sterilized quart canning jar

Place 2 Tbsp of additive-free Kosher salt in the bottom of a sterilized jar.

One by one prepare the lemons in the following way. Cut off any protruding stems from the lemons, and cut 1/4 inch off the tip of each lemon. Cut the lemons as if you were going to cut them in half lengthwise, starting from the tip. Don't make the cuts so long (going into the ends) that the lemons separate into pieces; you want to keep the lemons whole. Make another cut in a similar manner, so now the lemon is quartered, but again, attached at the base.

Gently open the lemons and generously sprinkle salt all over the insides and outsides of the lemons.

Pack the lemons in the jar, squishing them down so that juice is extracted and the lemon juice rises to the top of the jar. Fill up the jar with lemons; make sure the top is covered with lemon juice. Add more fresh squeezed lemon juice if necessary. Top with a couple tablespoons of salt.

Tightly close the jar and let sit at room temperature for a couple days, turning the jar upside down then upright several times. After a week, put the jar in your refrigerator and let sit, again turning upside down now and then, for at least 4 weeks, until lemon rinds soften.

When ready to use, remove a lemon from the jar and rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove salt and seeds.

Gently open the lemon and use to adorn your cooked dish. They are especially delicious with chicken but can be used on meats and fish too.

Stored in the refrigerator they will keep for up to year.