A few weeks ago I bought a new cookbook called Sirocco. It’s a whole bunch of recipes from Sabrina Ghayour borrowing largely from her Persian roots. Sirocco is a sort of amalgamation of cultures… but in a very good way.
Tonight was the first time I cooked anything from it. And my first attempt was a chicken and apricot stew followed by a blackberry tart. Both were delicious. The interesting thing was that one of the ingredients in the stew was preserved lemons.
I’d heard of preserved lemons but have never used them before. Also I’m rather wary of lemons given the way I react when eating lemon tart…or the like. I seriously do not like anything sour. Mind you, I don’t mind lemon drizzle cake and things with a touch of lemon. And I often cook things with grated lemon zest in it.
I didn’t need to worry. Preserved lemons are sort of jelly like and not sour at all. Not that I’ve eaten one straight from the jar. I’m not that brave. When cooked though, they just have a light lemon flavour and they gave the stew an amazing tangy edge. Delicious.
I also used Harissa for the first time. Fortunately I knew how hot it could be and only used a third what the recipe called for given Mirinda’s dislike of very spicy food.
The over-whelming verdict was that I will be cooking more recipes from this book.