Category Archives: lime

Avocado Skillet Chicken


With our busy schedules, weeknight dinners need to be fast. From refrigerator to table and yes even clean up, during the week I don’t have a lot of time to fuss over preparations. There are bonus points for dishes that are truly delicious and loved by everyone in the family. And as the cook and pan washer it is even better when the entire meal can be cooked in a single pan. And that is why this super fast and tasty dish from Cooking Light has quickly become an all around family favorite.

Preparation is fast and when I use my cast iron skillet cooking and clean up is a breeze. The chicken is seared on the outside then it finishes cooking in the oven ensuring that the meat is juicy and flavorful. And my family loves spicy flavors so the peppers and cilantro are palate pleasers. You can adjust these seasonings to satisfy your own palates. Any way you cook it, this is a delicious midweek keeper.


1 tablespoon olive oil
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile powder
Cooking spray
2 small ripe avocados, halved and pitted
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 medium red onions, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings
4 green onions, trimmed
1 poblano pepper, sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 to 3 tablespoons water
8 cilantro sprigs
4 lime wedges
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the oil to pan, swirling to coat.
  • Sprinkle the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt, the black pepper, and the chili powder.
  • Add the chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over; cook 1 minute. Remove chicken from pan.
  •  Coat pan with cooking spray and increase the heat to high.
  • Sprinkle the avocados with the sugar.
  • Add the avocados to the pan, placing them cut side down. Cook for 2 minutes or until charred. Remove avocados from pan.
  • Re-coat pan with cooking spray. Add the red onions; cook 3 minutes or until charred. Turn the red onions; add green onions and poblano, cooking for an additional  3 minutes.
  • Separate the red onions into rings and toss with green onions and poblano.
  • Stir in the lime juice and the soy sauce.
  • Return the chicken and the avocado to the pan, nestling it between the onion mixture.
  • Place the pan in oven and bake for 7 minutes or until chicken is done.
  • While the chicken is cooking, combine sour cream and water in a small bowl until thinned to a saucy consistency.
  • Drizzle sour cream mixture over chicken and avocados.
  • Garnish with the cilantro and lime wedges as well as the remaining salt and paprika.

Serves 4

Tomato & Jalapeno Salsa


Nothing completes a great Mexican dish more than a side of freshly made salsa. And despite what you may think fresh salsa is incredibly easy to make; so easy that you’ll never go back to the jarred version again.

I love to use grape tomatoes for this dish since they are so sweet, have minimal seeds and easy to cut up. If you prefer you can use another type of tomato but you may want to remove some of the seeds before adding them to the bowl. The same goes for the jalapeño pepper. If you prefer a more fiery dish there isn’t any need to remove the seeds before mincing the pepper. You can also add an additional if you like (I usually do).

This salsa is perfect with tacos or fajitas, as a dressing for a salad or filling for an omelet or as a dip for tortilla chips. Actually, it is pretty darn good regardless of how you use it. Enjoy!


1 quart grape tomatoes, quartered

1 jalapeño pepper, minced, more to taste

1 small shallot, minced

1 bunch cilantro,minced

1 lime, juiced

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl, mixing well to combine.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Stir well, add additional salt if needed and serve.

Yields: 1 1/2 cups



Vietnamese Beef w/ Black Pepper & Citrus

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Like so many of the best recipes, this one has been adapted from its original form.  Originally published in Fine Cooking magazine, it was adapted by the Noble Pig food blog and the I made my own alternations to make it my own.  I like to think this recipe, like others before it, just keeps getting better with age.  And even if I must say so myself, this recipe is good.  As is the case with my favorite recipes, this one cooks up quickly.  Because it cooks fast and you don’t want to overcook the meat, make sure you have all of the ingredients prepped before you begin cooking.  I served this over jasmine rice which I started cooking before I began prepping the other ingredients.  The result?  A perfectly timed meal that goes from panty to table in less than 30 minutes.


2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

6 cloves garlic, minced

1″ piece fresh ginger, finely grated

3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 pounds rib eye steak, cut into 3/4 inch pieces

3 tablespoons chopped, salted peanuts

2 scallions, finely sliced

  • In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, lime juice, orange juice, sugar, and fish sauce, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Set aside.
  • In another small bowl, stir together the garlic, ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the black pepper.  Set aside.
  • Generously season the beef with salt and pepper.
  • In a 12 inch skillet, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil until it shimmers.  Swirl it to coat the pan then add half of the beef in a single layer.
  • Cook the beef, without stirring, until well browned, 1 to 2 minutes.  Using tongs, turn the pieces over and brown on the other side.
  • Remove the cooked beef to a bowl and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil to the pan.  When the oil shimmers, repeat the cooking process with the remainder of the beef.
  • Put the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil in the skill and heat until shimmering hot.  Add the garlic mixture and cook stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Return the beef and any of the accumulated juices to the pan and stir to combine.
  • Add the soy sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the beef is coated and the sauce thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Serve immediately sprinkled with the peanuts and scallions.

Serves 4

Chipotle Beef & Corn Salad

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Salads make a great summer dinner but for me, they must be satisfying to eat and keep me full (so I don’t get the post-dinner munchies). We grill a lot in our household and most grilling nights I will throw an extra steak (or other protein) on the grill so I can turn it into a dinner salad for the next night. That makes the next night’s dinner even easier.

So here’s a spicy and satisfying dinner salad that I adapted from Williams Sonoma that fits the bill to a tee. The steak is mildly seasoned yet completely satisfying; you can serve it either hot off of the grill or cold. The lime juice makes the corn salsa tangy and the avocados temper the entire dish. Be forewarned: the chipolte dressing is smoky and spicy with quite a bit of heat so a little goes a long way. Of course, I love to pile the dressing on since in my mind there is rarely such a thing as too much heat.


1 flank steak, about 1 1/4 pounds

1 teaspoon adobo seasoning

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup canned chipolte chiles in adobo sauce

Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon water

2 ears of corn, kernels removed

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

6 radishes, diced

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup cilantro, minced

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed

2 heads romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces

  • Place the steak on a plate and sprinkle the adobo seasoning, salt and pepper on both sides of the meat. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat a grill to medium-high heat.
  • Place the meat on the grill and cook for 6-8 minutes per side or until the meat is cooked to your desired level of doneness.
  • Remove the steak from the grill and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Slice the meat into 1/2 inch slices against the grain.
  • To make the dressing, combine the chipolte chiles, the olive oil, juice of 1 lime, vinegar, garlic and water into a small bowl. Using a stick blender, puree until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the corn, orange and green peppers, radishes and tomatoes.
  • Squeeze the juice from the remaining lime over the corn mixture, add the cilantro and stir well.
  • Divide the lettuce amongst four plates. Place 3 slices of steak on top of each pile of lettuce. Add a scoop of the salsa.
  • Divide the avocado amongst the plates then drizzle the salad with the chipolte dressing.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Lime Plumped Shrimp w/ Cilantro Pesto


It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

I’m a fan of pesto. To me, it is simply screams summer. Traditionally made with basil leaves and toasted pine nuts, this bright tangy green sauce is the perfect topping for pasta, meats and sandwiches and adds zip to a crudite plate. But who says pesto needs to only use basil. This pesto recipe comes from Melissa d’Arabian of the Food Network. Peppery cilantro leaves take he place of the basil, pecans replace the pine nuts and with a touch of lime the results are tangy and bright. The pesto pairs well with these slightly sweet and tart shrimp. Best of all, this is truly a quick meal to make. You can either make the pesto ahead of time or while the shrimp plumps in lime juice. Serve it all alongside jasmine rice and dinner is served.


For the shrimp:
3/4 pound raw medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined

Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

For the pesto:

1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves

Zest and juice of 1 lime

2 green onions, chopped

2 tablespoons toasted chopped pecans

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Place the shrimp in a large shallow bowl.
  • Toss with the lime juice, sugar and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  • While the shrimp sits, make the pesto.
  • Place the cilantro in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
  • Add the lime zest, lime juice, green onions, pecans, garlic, sugar, salt, black pepper and olive oil. Pulse until the mixture is pureed but not quite smooth.
  • Scrape into a small bowl.
  • Preheat the broiler to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Drain the shrimp and pat dry.
  • Place the shrimp in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt then drizzle with the olive oil and the honey.
  • Place the shrimp in the broiler and cook until pink and opaque, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve topped with the cilantro pesto.

Serves 4





Limey Mojito Spritzer


Here’s a twist on good old fashioned lemonade. Just add a lime instead! While I find limes considerably more difficult to juice than lemons, the results are so worth it so be sure to use fresh limes. The combination of lime juice, mint, and sparkling water is reminiscent of mojitos, which are my favorite adult summer beverage. Sometimes I’ll add the rum and other times I’ll leave it other. Whichever version you choose, pour yourself a tall drink, sit back, relax, and enjoy these hot lazy summer days.


1 cup water

1 cup superfine sugar

1 1/2 liters Pellagrino or other sparkling water

1 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup light rum (optional)

In a small saucepan, bring the water and superfine sugar to a boil. Boil 3 minutes then remove from the heat. Allow to cool.
Using a wooden spoon, muddle the mint leaves in the bottom of a glass pitcher. Add the simple syrup and lime juice and stir to combine.
Pour in the sparkling water and rum, if using.
Serve in chilled glasses over ice.

Red Wine Sangria


I drink wine year around.  As a rule I prefer red to white any day but depending on the meal a rich red or a crisp white is the perfect accompaniment to food.  During the cooler months a warm and spicy gluhwein hits the spot.  Gluhwein, or mulled wine, is a staple at Christmas markets throughout Europe and as I’ve discovered, each county–or region for that matter–puts their own twist on this winter staple.  Some may be spicier and others may be sweeter.  Regardless of the ingredients, each cup is sure to please.  However, hot wine doesn’t excite me during the summer months.  Hot weather calls for something lighter and cooler so for this wine drinker, that means sangria.  As my recent trip to Spain showed me, there are just as many varieties of sangria as there are gluhwein.  Within the greater Madrid area alone I sampled sangria that was sweet or spicy or sometimes both.  And this was just the versions made with red wine.

I’ve long had a favorite sangria recipe.  My red wine version includes oranges, lemons, and limes making for a citrus filled and refreshing drink. (Be on the lookout for my white wine version later this summer!)  This recipe calls for a single liter of red wine but the recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, or more depending upon the size of your crowd.  Any dry red wine works for this recipe.  If you like it, use it.  For larger quantities I used to use Trader Joe’s infamous “Two Buck Chuck” since it was drinkable without being too expensive.  (Save your really good wine for drinking as is).  Back in our Norfolk, Virginia days I would mix up a cooler full of sangria for our annual Belvedere block party.  As the summer wore on I’d make up the same amount to enjoy during our long lazy weekends on our boat.  Regardless of the quantity you make, the longer it sits the stronger it becomes.  You can easily dilute it by adding more juice or ice.  However you make it or where ever you drink it, it is sure to refresh.  To me, sangria is the ultimate summer drink.


1 liter dry red wine

1/4 cup (or more) white sugar, depending on taste

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup Triple Sec or other orange liqueur

1 orange

1 lemon

1 lime

ice cubes

  • Thoroughly scrub the rinds of the fruit to remove any waxes.  Thinly slice the fruit taking care to remove any seeds.
  • Place the fruit in a large pitcher.  Add the sugar and using a wooden spoon, muddle to combine the sugar and fruit.
  • Pour the wine, juice, and liqueur over the fruit; stir to combine.
  • Let the sangria sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  • Before serving, add ice to the pitcher.

Serves 4


Zesty Lime Bundt Cake


A rich lemony cake is good but switch out the lemon with lime and your cake moves to a whole new level. I love the tanginess of lime so that is exactly what I did with this rich bundt cake recipe from Yankee Magazine. Thanks to the addition of both buttermilk and creme fraiche, the cake is rich, moist and tangy and the lime is a fun surprise. If you can’t find creme fraiche, substitute a full fat sour cream. But do take the time to find lime oil, it is available in speciality baking stores or available online from retailers like King Arthur Flour. (I happened to have some on hand which served as the inspiration for this cake). The lime oil gives the cake the flavor punch that makes this such a great treat. So celebrate the season by baking up this cake. Enjoy!


For the cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

1⁄ 2 cup Crisco vegetable shortening

1⁄ 2 cup unsalted butter, softened

Juice of 2 limes

2 1⁄ 2 teaspoons pure lime oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1⁄ 2 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup creme fraiche

For the glaze:

1 1⁄ 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a bundt pan by coating  it with non-stick cooking spray and a dusting of flour; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, use a hand mixer set on medium-high speed to cream together the Crisco, butter, lime juice, lime oil, vanilla, sugar, and eggs. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add half of the flour mixture, 1⁄ 2 cup buttermilk, and 1⁄ 2 cup creme fraiche to the lime mixture. Mix on low to combine, then add the remaining flour mixture, 1⁄ 2 cup buttermilk, and 1⁄ 2 cup creme fraiche. Continue to mix on low until thoroughly combined.
  • Pour the cake batter into the pan, making sure the cake batter is level.
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack.
  • Flip the cake onto the cooling rack and remove the pan. Allow to cool completely.
  • To make the glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar, lime juice and lime zest in a medium bowl; whisking thoroughly until combined.
  • Pour the glaze over the cake and serve.

Serves 10-12

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad


Finding the right side dish is one of my biggest challenges when it comes to putting together a meal. This is especially true when I am entertaining. I don’t want the dish to be too complicated or time consuming yet I usually want it to be something more than a simple grain or starch. If it can be made ahead of time it is even better since that frees me up to spend time with my guests. Enter this roasted sweet potato salad from Williams Sonoma.

This salad is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats and chicken. It can be made ahead of time or at the last minute. The combination of maple syrup, lime juice and cilantro is intriguing without being overpowering and the crunch pecans give the dish additional texture and complexity. Simply put, it is delicious and has become a new side dish staple in my house. Enjoy!


3 pounds sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more, to taste
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1/2 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • Preheat an oven to 400°F.
  • Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks.
  • Place the potatoes on a large rimmed baking pan, drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil, sprinkle with the salt and stir to coat.
  • Spread the potatoes in a single layer and roast, stirring occasionally, until tender when pierced, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, maple syrup and the remaining olive oil.
  • Add the hot roasted sweet potatoes to the lime juice mixture along with the pecans, green onions and cilantro.
  • Stir well and season with additional salt and the pepper.
  • Serve immediately, or let cool to room temperature and stir again just before serving.

Serves 4 to 6


Citrus Risotto



Its citrus season and there is nothing better than these juicy and colorful fruits to brighten up dreary winter days. The fruit is great eaten as is but really shines when used as part of a dish. Right now I’m missing the lemon and mandarine trees that graced my garden in Albania but I’m pleasantly surprised at the variety of fruits I’m finding in my local markets here in Belgium. When I came across a honey pompelo, I just knew I needed to buy one to take home. When I cut through its skin and thick pith I found what was essentially a giant grapefruit. The flesh was golden (there are also ruby red varieties) and it tasted like a mild, less acidic grapefruit. I was intrigued. I had recently been gifted with a large stash of Spanish clementines so I knew that a citrus dish was in the making.

Followers of this blog know that I love risotto so when I came across a citrus risotto recipe in Judy Roger’s The Zuni Cafe Cookbook I knew what I was going to make. I substituted my pompelo for the grapefruit in the original recipe, added in my clementines as well as a healthy dose of white wine. The results? Try them for yourself but I’m sure you’ll agree that this recipe is a keeper.


1 pompelo, plus juice

1 clementine, plus juice

1 lime, plus juice

3 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 cup dry white wine

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 shallot, minced

2 cups arborio rice

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

  • Slice the ends off of the citrus, cutting deeply enough to just expose the flesh. Working over a large bowl, use a paring knife to carve away the skin and pith from the fruit. Carefully remove the membrane from each citrus section and remove any seeds. Set the juice and citrus aside.
  • Combine the chicken broth and wine in a medium sized pot and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches a low simmer. Keep warm.
  • Melt the butter in a large heavy pot set over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, stir in the shallots and cook until soft and translucent about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir the rice into the butter and shallot mixture stirring with a wooden spoon until the grains are coated with the butter.
  • Working with one ladleful of the liquid at a time, add the liquid into the rice stirring well after each addition. Cook and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed before adding more liquid. Do not let the mixture become too dry.
  • Continue adding broth and cooking until the rice is al dente and creamy looking. You may not have used all of the broth mixture at this point. (I usually have about 1/2 cup of broth left when my rice is done).
  • Stir in the reserved citrus and juices, breaking up the sections to distribute them through the rice. Check the rice for doneness and add the remaining broth if necessary.
  • Remove the rice from the heat and beat in the mascarpone cheese.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6



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