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Lemon Rind

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Nothing annoys me more than squeezing out a bunch of lemons for this or that and throwing away the rinds only to wind up zesting a lemon the next day when I have no use for the juice.

Sooo, I decided to zest a bunch of lemons before juicing them, stashing the zest in a jar of --- you guessed it --- vodka. Last night I did a quickie pasta with just some EVO, a few olives, a generous sprinkling of my first clipping of the recently planted parsley, a touch of Parmesan and -- you guessed it -- some lemon zest with an inevitable few drops of the lemony vodka somehow slipping in.

May I report that it worked very well.

Does anyone else preserve lemon zest this way?

What other things do you keep hanging around in alcohol? I always have raisins soaking in rum and sometimes other fruits in various alcohols. That gives me succulent little morsels to add to puddings, etc. And the syrupy rum can also be used.
" ...but in the spirit of 'stop, think, there must be a harder way, 'I figured starting from scratch might be more gratifying.'' (Judy Rodgers)
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" ...but in the spirit of 'stop, think, there must be a harder way, 'I figured starting from scratch might be more gratifying.'' (Judy Rodgers)
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post #2 of 20
What a good idea! I usually grate it on the microplane, wrap it tightly, and freeze it. Then I just chip some off when I need it.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 20
I've never heard of preserving lemon zest that way. I think I will give it a shot. And your zest keeps for how long, Alexia? Any preferred brand of Vodka?
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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post #4 of 20
Well alexia you have just created a nice bottle of Lemoncello !!:bounce:

I love to drink white spirits after a meal and lemoncello is my favourite after tsikoudia of Crete of course :)
And ok, maybe an amaro of the Averna family!

Pongi will take over now to explain what and how!!
"Muabet de Turko,kama de Grego i komer de Djidio", old sefardic proverb ( Three things worth in life: the gossip of the Turk , the bed of the Greek and the food of the Jew)
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"Muabet de Turko,kama de Grego i komer de Djidio", old sefardic proverb ( Three things worth in life: the gossip of the Turk , the bed of the Greek and the food of the Jew)
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post #5 of 20

limoncello

ha ha athenaeus - I just finished making a batch of both limoncello and an orange/mandarinetto with jasmine flowers from my garden. (The limes are not quite ready) They are absolutely beautiful! I made them with a medium quality grain vodka - this is my Sicilian friend's recipe that I use:


Limoncello
10 organic lemons (if you can get Meyer lemons, use them)
1 qt. vodka
2 c. sugar
3 c. water

With a vegetable peeler, remove all the zest from the lemons and place it in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Add the vodka and leave in a cool dark place for 1 month.
After the month has passed, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool completely.

Add the sugar syrup to the vodka mixture. Strain to remove the zest and pour into glass bottles. It keeps indefinitely if stored in a cool place - I keep mine in the freezer. Serve it cold!

My other favorite way with vodka is to take a beautiful collection of summer fruit - I like to use berries, plums, peaches and nectarines. I pack the fruit in a jar, cover it with vodka, add a couple sprigs of mint and maybe 1/2 a cup of honey, and put it away.The color bleeds from the fruit and turns the vodka the most incredible claret color. I serve it for Christmas Eve dinner, and when we open the jar it smells like summer!

The cherries in grappa are coming soon....
"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
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"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
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post #6 of 20
I usually Microplane the zest, dry it, then freeze. A grind through the mortar and pestle freshens it up.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #7 of 20

orange/mandarinetto ??? OMG

Monkeymay, do you expect me to take this orange/mandarinetto with jasmine flowers calmly????

Recipe please!!!!!!:cool: :cool:
"Muabet de Turko,kama de Grego i komer de Djidio", old sefardic proverb ( Three things worth in life: the gossip of the Turk , the bed of the Greek and the food of the Jew)
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"Muabet de Turko,kama de Grego i komer de Djidio", old sefardic proverb ( Three things worth in life: the gossip of the Turk , the bed of the Greek and the food of the Jew)
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post #8 of 20

mandarinetto

No, I expect you take this recipe and make it immediately!:D

The recipe is basically the same as the limoncello. I used a combination of oranges and tangerines because that is what I had. As for the jasmine flowers...there's probably about 2 cups worth that I picked in the evening when the blossoms are at their most fragrant. Just make sure everything is washed well. I soak the blossoms in a couple of changes of water before I add them to the vodka.( and then you can save the water, strain it, and rinse your hair...)

Tangerine Liqueur

10 organic tangerines or oranges
1 qt. vodka
2 c. jasmine flowers
3 c. sugar
4c. water

With a vegetable peeler, remove all the zest from the tangerines and place in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Add the jasmine flowers and vodka, and leave in cool dark place for 1 month.
After a month, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan, bring it to a boil,
stir until the sugar is dissolved, and let it cool completely.
Add the syrup to the vodka, strain to remove the zest and pour into glass bottles. Serve chilled.

This liquer is really beautiful to sprinkle on top of cake, like pan di Spagna,
if you are making cassata or my favorite Sicilian folly -Trionfo di Gola-
Triumph of Gluttony!!!

Enjoy!
"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
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"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
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post #9 of 20
I had never thought of makingmy own citrus extract. I tried it with so many other things like ginger, cinnamon, hot peppers...
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Susanne, Phatch, if I put something in a little jar in the fridge, I have a fighting chance of finding it again. A tiny little bag of zest in the freezer? not a chance. You must be WAY organized!

Kimmie, I've had this first batch in the fridge about 2 weeks at most and it still had flavor when I used it. My plan is to just keep adding and using zest from the same jar, adding vodka as needed to keep it immersed. I used Gordon's vodka (or other inexpensive brands) .

Which brings up a question for Athenaeus & Monkeymay or others who make limoncello, liqueurs, extracts. As my goal was to preserve the lemon rather than to make an extract or something to drink, I didn't pay much attention to what sort of vodka I used. But, if you're making limoncello or making a liqueur or vanilla extract, etc., does the kind of vodka matter? Do you ever use brandy or other "alcohols" to do this?

Which brings me to yet another (related) question about vodkas. Is there really a taste difference among them? I use it but don't really drink it. I see some of the plain vodkas are as expensive as a decent bottle of single malt Scotch but haven't yet been able to bring myself to buy a bottle.
" ...but in the spirit of 'stop, think, there must be a harder way, 'I figured starting from scratch might be more gratifying.'' (Judy Rodgers)
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" ...but in the spirit of 'stop, think, there must be a harder way, 'I figured starting from scratch might be more gratifying.'' (Judy Rodgers)
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post #11 of 20
Thank you Alexia. Again, what a great idea! :p
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Monkeymay, I like your idea of the summer fruit/vodka liqueur and all these luscious fruits are just coming into season now in the East. Can you be more specific about how you make this: just honey? no sugar? what kind of vodka? would pure grain Gordon's do (no additives) or do? or do I need to get something better? How much fruit to a quart of vodka? And, I suppose that you also use the fruit over ice cream, puddings, etc? much as you would brandied fruit.

When you make fruit in grappa, do you do essentially the same thing?

I envy you your on the spot California produce. But when our white peaches come in... How do you think a white peach liquer would taste?
" ...but in the spirit of 'stop, think, there must be a harder way, 'I figured starting from scratch might be more gratifying.'' (Judy Rodgers)
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" ...but in the spirit of 'stop, think, there must be a harder way, 'I figured starting from scratch might be more gratifying.'' (Judy Rodgers)
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post #13 of 20

vodka

Okay Alexia, here's my two cents. I use vodka primarily because it has a relatively neutral taste, carries the flavor of whatever you are preserving, and is easily accessible. There is also grappa (which I put with cherries and grapes) and marc, which seems to go well with peaches. Since the vodka and grappa are around the corner at Trader Joe's, that's what I use.:D

I like to use what I would consider drinking on it's own. That dosen't mean I'm using Chopin or Belvedere to make this stuff! But a medium quality vodka (TJ's sells a nice Stolichnya type) is good. I prefer a grain to a potato, but that's just me. As far as taste testing -at my old place, we lined up different vodkas in a blind tasting. If they are chilled before hand - you can barely taste the difference. I think Belvedere has the 'cleanest taste"- that is it tastes most like water when it's served as a straight martini. Ketel has got a good 'vodka' taste - I tend to drink that if I'm doing martinis (usually I drink bourbon). There are so many on the market - Chopin, Grey Goose, Vox (great bottle), Finlandia, and of course Absolut, and then there's all the flavored ones that have been created...

A funny story - my old restaurant has a regular that comes in almost every nite. He drinks only Chopin martinis. Usually he has had 3-4 of them somewhere else by the time he gets to our place. He has his own regular 'spot' at the bar, where he proceeds to chew the ear off of anyone in the vicinity. His topic of conversation usually concerns vodka, primarily how great
Chopin is. Sometimes the bartenders get a little tired of it and "Wolfie" him
i.e. pour him the Wolfschmidts (our well vodka) for his 'tini's. He can never tell the difference! and will continue to expound on how great it is!
And to tell you the truth, after 3 martinis, I'm sure I can't tell either!

Monkey:)
"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
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"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
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post #14 of 20

Re: Absolut Vodka

Monkeymay,

Have you tried "Absolut Citron"? Would you use it to preserve lemon zests or would it be over-the-top?
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
post #15 of 20
Bad question for me Kimmie - I don't think anything's 'over the top'!:D
It would probably be really beautiful! And taste great too!
Monkey
"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
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"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
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post #16 of 20

fruit and vodka

Alexia - I will try to be more specific. To me this whole thing is like alchemy -
a little of this and that, whatever strikes me.:D

Here are some guidelines:

I use 2 bottles (750 ml each) of a Stolichnaya type vodka.
6 cups of assorted berries
3-4 peaches, halved and pitted
4-6 plums, halved and pitted,
3-4 nectarines, halved and pitted
6 -12 sprigs of mint (depends on how big they are)
1/4 to 1/2 c. honey

Combine the fruits, mint, honey and vodka in a large glass jar or crock. (I have a big Mason jar). Let it stand at least 1 week. I serve it chilled, not frozen, in shot glasses without the fruit. The fruit after 1 week is probably great over ice cream etc. However, because I keep mine for so long, the fruit, while delicious, has little color left, and texture- wise tends to be mushy. (although that's never stopped the drunks from scooping it up at the end of the nite ;) ) If you wanted to replace the honey with sugar I suppose you could do a syrup like for limoncello with a 2:1 water to sugar ratio.
Myself, I like the way the honey tastes.

As for grappa and cherries, I use a rule of thumb recipe from Lydia Bastianich ( because my own relatives are so unreliable:D )

qt. sized glass jar
fill with fruit of choice (if using cherries, clip the stems, leaving 1/8" attached)
add 4 tbs. of sugar
Grappa to cover
Leave jar loosely covered in a sunny place for 1 week
After 1 week, seal it tightly and let it steep 3 months in a dark, cool place.

You can serve the cherries and grappa together in a snifter

You can also do this with dried figs and grapes...

As for the white peach liquer - OMG that would be divine! I put up my little
Babcocks from my tree with a stick of cinnamon last year - it was pretty
g*dam good!!! Bellinis or white peach martinis ...mmmmmmm
"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
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"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
Reply
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks Monkeymay. I see some Xmas gifts in the making. I have made brandied fruit some years in the past in which you add fruits as they come into season and brandied cherries. I rather prefer doing this to making fruit preserves (except for small amounts that you can just keep in the fridge).
" ...but in the spirit of 'stop, think, there must be a harder way, 'I figured starting from scratch might be more gratifying.'' (Judy Rodgers)
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" ...but in the spirit of 'stop, think, there must be a harder way, 'I figured starting from scratch might be more gratifying.'' (Judy Rodgers)
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post #18 of 20
All of that sounds so great.........
but how can I wait till christmas now to eat it?
Both long and rich, full of intense flavours, new discoveries, unexpected contrasts.
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Both long and rich, full of intense flavours, new discoveries, unexpected contrasts.
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post #19 of 20
Thank you Monkeymay!
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
post #20 of 20
Preserving the fruits of summer in alcohol is know as confiture de vieux garcon in France (Bachelor's Jam) because it require no cooking, only sugar and alcohol. It's so beautiful at the end of summer when you have layers and layers of fruits, all in different colours.



Confiture de vieux garcon

It's a array of fruits macerate in alcohol. You start with the first of summer fruits: the red fruits and add apricots, plums, pears, figs, grapes...

For one kilo of fruits, put in a very clean jar 75cl of eau de vie. Add 1 kilo of sugar and stir. Wash the fruits, remove the pitts but do not peel them.

Layer the fruits as the come through the season. Add 1 lemon thinly sliced. Close the container and let it rest for two months. Tradionally the jar is open on Christmas eve.


Larousse de la cuisine
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
Reply
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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