Saturday, July 4, 2009

Lemon Zest Confit

Lemon zest confit is one of my favorite ingredients to put on salads. Its really very fragrant and has an indescribable intensity. I use these skins in lemon and chicken confit ravioli with artisanal fresh cheese sauced with a spicy chicken veloute... I find that dish sublime, but the sky is the limit when using this versitile ingredient. Its easy, keeps very well and can be used for a whole lot of things, so go ahead and make enough whenever you try this recipe.


5 lemons
1 quart vegetable oil
1 clove garlic
1 thyme sprig(optional)

Peel the zest off the lemons with a vegetable peeler, we only want the yellow skin so be sure to trim the bitter, nasty, white parts off. Blanch and shock it a couple of times, just boil , ice bath, boil, ice bath and set aside; really easy. Proceed to place it in a small pot and cover it with vegetable oil (try corn oil , its safer for people who might be allergic to peanuts), add a garlic clove and thyme sprig. At this stage you could also add the juice of half a lemon, it will brighten up the color and flavor. Simmer at low heat (and I do mean low..please dont fry the damn thing) for 20 to 30 minutes. The idea here is to render it from most of its moisture.

Tadaaaaaa your done, just let it cool and store completely submerged in the oil and you should be fine even at room temp for at least 3 weeks.
.idea. use this oil for dressings, or on steaks, fish, or even roasted chicken . Its really great on any savory dish you would use lemon on, but want to avoid the acidity...

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