I have recently returned from Paris where I was honored by Stop Hunger for its “Women Stop Hunger Award” on International Women’s Day.
France is one of the culinary capitals of the world and Paris is the epicenter. Now, not only am I about seven pounds heavier from all the food I’ve been tasting, but I am completely inspired. One of the things that I’ve become positively obsessed with is confit (pronounced con-fee). Confit means to preserve by packing, usually with fat (as in duck confit), sugar or salt. While taping Mama Tanya’s Kitchen: Live From Paris! as a Facebook Live and with the help of staff from Stop Hunger, I learned about Lemon Confit which sounds super fancy and difficult, but isn’t.
It’s actually a super easy way to preserve lemons and then use them later to add razzle and dazzle to your dishes.
What tastes good with Lemon Confit? Salad dressings blended down into marinades or butter. You can use it on fish, chicken or veal (I don’t eat veal but I’ll try not to judge you), as well as pasta. It adds a burst of flavorful, yet mild lemon. There’s also cocktails (Muva, loves a good drank)! Remember that Red Snapper episode?
This would be amazeballs blended with some herbs and butter, and rubbed into and on the outside of the whole fish!
Whatever the need for Lemon Confit, I promise you it will be a wonderful addition. Make sure you share your Lemon Confit on our Mama Tanya’s Kitchen Facebook page and subscribe to our Youtube channel to see all our wonderful MTK episodes.
This recipe is a mash up and remix on Eric Ripert — a three star Michelin restauranteur and Michael Ruhlman concoction. Check out my reposted Facebook Live to see me make Lemon Confit (this recipe adds the addition of lemon juice to keep the rinds yellow and clear any air pockets that encourage bacterial growth.)
A jar large enough to fit 6 lemons tightly or several jars. A large mixing bowl.
• 4 cups of kosher or course sea salt
• 1 cup of Demerara sugar
• 6 lemons cut into “blossoms”
• 1 cup lemon juice
On a cutting board used only for fruits and vegetables, cut your lemons into “blossoms.” You can buy them quartered, but keep them attached at the base. Combine salt and sugar in a bowl, toss lemons thoroughly in a salt/sugar combo until well coated on the inside and outside. When sufficiently coated, pack lemons with mixture and place in jar. Layer each few lemons with mixture until all lemons are tightly covered. Slowly pour lemon juice over mixture until there are no visible air pockets. If you need to add additional salt/sugar, feel free.
The fruit is preserved because the salt and sugar create a hostile environment for bacterial growth. In short, more salt/sugar is good! Close tightly and place in the back of your fridge. Lemons will be ready in two weeks and can be used up to three months after (some say a year but I feel like they need more, people. Go ahead and try it and let me know how it turns out.)
When you’re ready to use, cut the rind away from the flesh. You can also cut up rinds to add or blend into your dish.
Viola! It’s that simple.