Venturing into the Unknown and Suspect
Around the same time, I came across a recipe for Moroccan chicken that called for preserved lemons as an ingredient. A vegan acquaintance raved about these lemons as a staple in her diet in salads, vinaigrettes, and anything else she felt needed some zing.
She made preserved lemons sound like the perfect little black dress, good dressed up or down, with a few different accessories. So I decided to try on some preserved lemons in my life. It marks the pursuit of something new, a shift in moving away from a Midwestern diet to other diets that are lighter or provide more interesting nutrients.
My Egyptian uncle-in-law once picked his California grown lemons off the tree in his yard and pickled them like his mother used to do. He let me try them, and I enjoyed the pleasantly explosion of sweetness vying with sourness in my mouth from one slice of that lemon. It perked me up almost in the same way a good espresso does. The pickling solution was familiar, and so those lemons fell within my comfort zone.
A fully brined lemon though, sounded overpowering and maybe in some ways unhealthy, like a high blood pressure producer. Despite this thought, I put aside that bias in order to learn something about authentic flavors in Moroccan cuisine. I wanted a new staple in my refrigerator ‘wardrobe’ that I could mix and match with more things and feel great about it.
If I were ever tasked with mainstreaming Filipino food into U.S. culture, there would be two foods on that campaign trail that have never failed to please crowds: chicken adobo and lumpia. Chicken adobo is the equivalent to the pot roast of the Philippines and well-worth knowing how to cook.
I’ve shared my mother’s chicken adobo recipe multiple times with friends at parties and on-air, in an old public access cooking show. That being said, I’ll share it again in this blog, because I recently made it for a last-day-of-the-semester, class potluck party. It got great reviews and just confirmed for me that it really is an easy dish to like. In addition, it is very inexpensive for college students and families. It’s easy to make big batches and also easy to freeze, if needed.