Tag Archives: lime

Lime Plumped Shrimp w/ Cilantro Pesto

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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.

LIME PLUMPED SHRIMP w/ CILANTRO PESTO

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

 

 

 

 

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Citrus Risotto

 

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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.

CITRUS RISOTTO

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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(Holy) Guacamole

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A party isn’t a party unless there is guacamole on the table. Or at least that is how I feel. But then again, I love all things avocado. There is something about guacamole that everyone seems to love. It is simultaneously smooth yet chunky, spicy yet mellow and takes corn tortilla chips from ordinary to extraordinary. And guacamole is versatile. Sure it is a natural pairing for chips but I also love to use it as a dip for fresh vegetables and smeared on top of a cheeseburger. I’ve also been known to eat it as is by the spoonful. Yes, I like it that much and judging by the speed at which it disappears when I make it, others agree.

The key to a good guacamole is ripe avocados. You want your avocado to be soft yet not mushing. Peeling a perfectly ripe avocado can be a messy endeavor. To make the process easier, I like to split the avocado in half lengthwise and pop out the pit. Holding each half in the palm of my hand I score the flesh through to the skin in a grid pattern. Holding the avocado over a bowl, simply invert the skin and use a fork or spoon to scrape out the flesh. And here’s an added tip: if you don’t plan on serving the guacamole right away, and it tastes best if it sits for at least half an hour, place the avocado pits directly into the dip and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use. The pits will keep the avocados from turning brown.

GUACAMOLE

3 ripe avocados, cut into chunks as described above

1 small shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 chili pepper, seeded and minced

Juice of 1 lime

1/3 cup finely minced cilantro

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

Salt & pepper

  • Place the avocado in a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork until it is slightly chunky or has reached a consistency you prefer.
  • Add the shallot, garlic, chili pepper, lime juice, cilantro and cumin powder. Stir well and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the avocado pits to the guacamole, cover tightly with plastic warp and refrigerate.
  • When ready to serve, remove the pits, taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.

Yields: 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.

VIETNAMESE BEEF w/ BLACK PEPPER & CITRUS

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

Mexican Salad

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This super easy side dish is the perfect accompaniment to everything from enchiladas to grilled meats.  The ingredient list is more of a suggestion rather than a hard and fast rule.  Add or subtract other vegetables, or even fruits, as you like.  And because the salad truly takes only minutes to make, it is the perfect side dish for any of my grilled Fast Friday meals.  Enjoy……and let me know what you pair it with.

MEXICAN SALAD

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed

1- 15 ounce can corn

4 roasted red peppers, diced

1/4 cup minced green onions

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced

Juice of 1 lime

Salt & pepper to taste

  • Place all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and toss well to combine.
  • Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes then adjust seasonings and serve.

Serves 4

Spice Rubbed Steak w/ Avocado & Grapefruit Salsa

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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.

This meal lets you dress up an ordinary steak with a bit of spice and seasonal fruit.  I love the marbling in rib eye steaks but you can use whichever cut of meat you prefer.  The spice rub give the meat a little extra kick while the grapefruit and avocado put a new spin on a typical salsa.  Serve alongside a baked potato and you have a complete meal in less than half an hour.  Now that is the perfect way to end your work week.

SPICE RUBBED STEAK W/ AVOCADO-GRAPEFRUIT SALSA

2 rib eye steaks

For the steak rub:

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon coriander

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Evenly divide the spice rub amongst both sides of the two steaks.  Use your fingers to massage the spice into the meat.
  • Allow to sit for 10 minutes before grilling.
  • Lightly grease a grill with cooking spray.  Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Place the steaks in the center of the grill and cook for approximately 9 minutes (for medium-rare) to desired level of doneness flipping every two to three minutes.  The amount of grilling time will depend upon the thickness of the meat and your personal preferences.

For the salsa:

1 red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned with membranes removed, cut into bite sized pieces

1 ripe Haas avocado, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks

1 chili pepper, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon minced fresh mint

Juice of 1 lime

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  • Serve along side the grilled steak.

Serves 2

Limey Mojito Spritzer

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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.

LIMEY MOJITO SPRITZER

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.
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