Crazy for lime. Yeah. This week was lime all the way until we hit dessert and went salted caramel. I have a giant Meyer lemon tree. Its gorgeous and produces like crazy. I probably use 30 lemons per week, and sometimes, I am all lemon-d out. It was time to lime-it.
I really do not care for tomato based soup. I planted masses of tomato bushes, and expect a serious harvest. I can and will eat tomato sandwiches all summer long, loads fresh tomato pasta, yum, yum, but gazpacho I will leave to the cucumbers.
This is a “chop, chop, into the blender, whirl, whirl, done” recipe. It takes all of 5 minutes to make. Soup lasts in the fridge for days.
3 persian cucumbers, chopped into a medium dice
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped fine
1 cup cilantro, washed
1/4 cup, or to taste of freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons olive oil
water to thin as desired
salt and pepper
Alright, we are going to toss all this stuff in the blender, whirl and go, but before you do so, STOP. We need a garnish. So first, take a small amount of the cucumber, red onion, and cilantro and dice it as small as you can. Season this with salt and pepper, add a splash of olive oil and a squeeze of lime juice.
NOW go ahead whirl and blend all the remaining ingredients, but take it easy, over processing is never a good thing, blend until just incorporated.
It is gonna be too thick, so THIN as desired with water, about 1/2 cup. Taste for seasoning. Probably needs more salt. Pour into a shot glass, garnish with the finely chopped cucumber mix, raise your glass, bottoms up and SKAL, as we say in Sweden. Get drunk. On veggies.
If the veggie shot, leaves you wanting more, anytime there is lime, there could be tequila. So go head, add a shot of tequila to any of the lime dishes
6 thin bone less skinless chicken breast
Zest and juice of three limes
small shot of tequila (optional)
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
dash of red chili pepper flakes
Mix all dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Pour 1/3 of the mixture over the chicken and allow to marinate for 2 hr. Season well with salt and pepper. Grill on each side until done. Pour remaining dressing over the chicken and finish of with a dash of sea salt. Serve with black bean peach salad, recipe below.
Black bean peach salad
1 can of rinsed and drained black beans
2 peaches, diced medium
2 tablespoons red onion, diced
finely diced Serrano pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clover garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
Toss beans, peaches, red onion, chili pepper and cilantro in a large bowl. Whisk together the remaining ingredients, and pour over the bean, peach mixture. Stir in some salad greens if desired.
Cafe Habana has come to the bu. The space is great, and everyone is super nice. If you are craving some of their Mexican style corn and can’t deal with the wait at Cafe Habana, here is the home version. I am not a huge fan of grilled Mexican style corn, but i find it handy, when I have some fresh corn around, that I forgot to eat….., and now its just not so fresh any more. Super fresh corn, I will make corn salad with.
Basically, you need to grill it until charred and cooked. Spray it with some olive oil, and toss on a hot grill, turn it a few times, for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until nicely charred. Spread some butter over the hot corn, season with salt and sprinkle with chili pepper. squeeze on some lime juice and grate a nice mound of cotija cheese on top.
If you want to go fancy, instead of just spreading butter, make it compound butter.
1/2 stick butter
1 clove garlic, grated
3 tablespoons cilantro
1 teaspoon chili pepper
1 tablespoon tequila (optional)
In to the processor we go. Swirl, whirl, blend, done.
Wedge of brie
honey, agave, or maple syrup
nuts of choice
some fruit to grill, figs, melon, peaches, anything you got
some greens to garnish the plate, such as arugula
olive oil, salt and pepper, squeeze of lime or lemon juice
Drizzle some sweetener (agave or other choice) over the cheese and the fruit. Bake (375 degrees 10 min) or grill (on medium heat) the Brie until just soft and the cheese is starting to oooooze. But don’t get too carried away with the melting, or the cheese will run away, and you will be left just holding the rind. Grill the fruit, until nicely charred, put it all on a platter, garnish with some greens tossed with olive oil, s and p, and citrus juice. Toss some nuts over the cheese.
Green beans, blanched until just done, depending on size 1 to 4 minutes
agave pepitas, see previous recipes
olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice, garlic, grated, red wine vinegar
chopped herb of choice, parsley, dill, chive
My beans are growing like crazy. And no matter how fast I move, they grow faster, so unfortunately I am stuck eating over grown beans, and not the super thin ones, I really prefer.
Almost bought beans at the farmers market, because they were perfect, but instead, I resisted the urge, and we cooked up the super mega, fast growing, larger than desired beans that I have masses of. We tossed the giant beans, with beets, trying to convince Marie, our beet hater, that beets aren’t that bad after all. Not sure she was sold on the beets, but she picked some mega beans to take home.
Place the beets in an oven proof container. Sprinkle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil, and bake in pre heated 350 degree oven until soft when pierced, about 1 hr. Cool, peel, and slice or dice into desired shape. Season with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Grate some lemon zest on top and squeeze the juice over the beets, sprinkle some red wine vinegar on top. The amount of vinegar and lemon is really not important, i usually stay in a 50/50 range.
Season cooked beans lightly with olive oil, salt, pepper, some additional lemon and vinegar. Place beets over the cooked beans, and sprinkle a nice little mountain of agave pepitas and herb of choice over the whole thing.
Potatoes, for four people, i like a nice medium size fingerling, so maybe 8 of those
butter, yeah cause I love it
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper and rosemary
6 cloves of garlic
olive oil to cover
Boil some good potatoes, peel. Place in a heat proof container. Smash em with the roasted garlic and the oil (recipe below), and loads of butter, which in my book is at least one stick (stop hyper ventilating) , 1.5 sticks would be better. I love butter. Butter is not bad for you. I know what it is, and where it comes from. Anyway, in with the butter, season liberally with salt and pepper, add some fresh rosemary, and shower with grated parmesan. Now you can either bake this in a 400 degree oven until browned and crispy, or you can put the container on the BBQ . Probably a little bit, cooler, (as in groovy, not temperature vice) to do it on the BBQ. You can then call them grilled smashed potatoes.
Lazy man’s roasted garlic
Obvi, you can put your whole head of garlic in the oven, and wait for that to get soft and oh so flavorful, and then squeeze out the cloves. If you are so inclined and have the time. If not, you can get perfectly “roasted” style cloves done on the stove top in just a few minutes.
Place peeled garlic gloves in a small pan, cover with olive oil. I like to tip the pan, so that the cloves and the garlic, slides to the side, which means you can get a pretty small amount of oil to cover the cloves. Place on a low burner,still tipping to the side, but please don’t spill out the oil and start a fire*, then let simmer ever so gently, until cloves are soft and lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.
* if you start a grease fire, just remember, don’t throw water on it, or you will really have a fire on your hands. Instead calmly, cover the fire with a sheet pan, or inverted pan, deprive it of oxygen, and the fire will go right out. if the fire is small, just step back and wait for it to burn out by itself.
Just when everything was done, the ladies, who yoga, and Pilates, who run, and who lift weights, looked at their oozing brie, and said “where’s the bread?”.
Great. I thought. As there was none…..
Yes, but there was pizza dough in the fridge, and the BBQ was still hot. In 5 minutes, I could get some “bread” on the table.
Pizza dough, home-made or purchased
Salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
optional: small amount of herbs, such as parsley, arugula, cilantro, tossed with garlic, olive oil, little lime or lemon juice, salt and pepper
Roll out the dough, as thin as you can. Brush with olive oil, season with some grated garlic, salt and pepper. I like to fold it in half, twice, for easier transport, but you do it, anyway you like. It just has to get there. Maybe you have a pizza paddle, in which case you can use that.
Once you have arrive at the hot pre heated grill, throw down the dough and unfold. Grill until nice and puffed up, and bottom begins to brown. Flip, grill on opposite side for a few minutes, flip again and sprinkle parmesan on the top. Transfer to plate, and drizzle with seasoned herbs, olive oil and lime juice, if using.
You can also, obvi grill a pizza, but its a little 1990′s, so I am not sure that you really want to do that. But if you really want to, go ahead, turn on some early Madonna and throw that pizza on the BBQ.
There are two challenges while grilling pizza. Number one is moving the pizza from the kitchen and onto the grill. You are really going to need a pizza paddle for this, although you can also slide your finished pizza from the countertop and on top of a newspaper. Then carry your pizza covered newspaper out to the BBQ, then slide the pizza off the newspaper and directly onto the hot grill. Trust me, this works. I have done it many times, because I have never had a paddle.
The second challenge with grilling a pizza, (the first being transporting it) is that you are going to have to watch the bottom, to make sure it does not burn, before the toppings are properly melted. Check your temperature, reduce heat if necessary.
Flat bread, is easier, since it’s without toppings and can just be flipped and grilled on both sides.
One day you are “in” the next day you are “out” and so the salted caramel butterscotch pudding was old news and salted caramel ice cream was the new darling. Everyone was talking about it, and I wanted to try it. Bad.
I googled salted ice cream, and then I made a few batches in my $19.99 ice cream maker. Didn’t love it. My friend Darnell went to Rose Creamery, in Brentwood, to pick some up and bring to me in the bu.
Still didn’t love it.
A couple of sleepless night later, I knew the problem. I didn’t like the way the ice cream was flavored throughout with the salted caramel. Instead, I imagined a swirl of salted caramel running through vanilla ice cream.
Then I realized what I really wanted, needed, craved, hungered for, was a salted caramel, ice cream sandwich which meant I also needed a cookie……
48 hr until class…..and I had no cookie…..and no ice cream.
And then suddenly I knew exactly how to do it. I actually hate ice cream sandwiches, they are too thick, too much cookie, too much ice cream. I wanted a very thin, elegant, and edible, or rather eat-able, which means you are able to eat it, without straining your jaw muscles too much. Not too sweet. Not too salty, although salty is pretty nice, so you could sprinkle additional salt on the cookies, mid way through the baking process.
I didn’t have a chance to make a sample sandwich before the class…..but I was pretty sure it would work.
Salted Caramel ice cream sandwiches
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 heaping teaspoon good sea salt
1 stick salted butter (i cant be bothered with unsalted butter)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour (maybe a touch more)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pint vanilla ice cream
First, melt the sugar in a dry heavy bottom pan. Pay attention. Not saying any names….(but there is no texting while caramel making) Don’t burn it, cause burnt caramel really tastes pretty bad. If it begins to burn around the edges, while the center is still not melted, lift the pan away from the heat for a few seconds, and swirl it around.You want it melted, and a uniform, medium dark caramel color.
Take it to the edge of darkness, but step away from the cliff, before it burns. If you burn it, start over. You went over the edge, and your history. Burnt caramel can not be saved.
Don’ t taste or touch it. Caramel is hot, and if you touch it, you are going to get hurt.
Look at it, smell it, feel it. Don’t touch it.
When you have reached the uniform medium brown color, then toss in the sea salt, and pour the whole thing onto a sheet pan. Let cool until hardened.
Bang it, hit it, break it, into little pieces.
Stir about 1/3 of the broken salted caramel pieces into the cookie dough and reserve the rest for the vanilla ice cream.
By all means, use any chocolate chip cookie dough you like. I like this one, cause its super super thin. If you like a thicker dough, use another recipe.
Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. You may need to scrape the bowl, to get it to blend properly. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda, add to the butter mix. Blend until just incorporated. We are not making bread, so light and quick. Now fold in the salted caramel pieces.
These babies are going to really spread out, and be super thin, and pretty much triple in size, so although it does not look like a lot of dough, resist the urge of trying to fit them onto one sheet pan. You are going to need two.
Place small dollops (1 tablespoon) of cookie dough evenly spread out on the two cookie sheets. Its going to make about 12 to 14 cookies. Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 12 min.
1 pint vanilla ice cream
remaining, salted caramel crumbles
Take the ice cream out of the freezer and let it get soft for a few minutes, then stir in the reserved salted caramel crumbles, then return the ice cream to the freezer or if your cookies are ready, spread a small amount (or large amount, its your sandwich, you make it the way you want), of ice cream between two cookies. Eat at once or return to freezer.
NOTE: To clean your pan or utensils after making caramel, just add really hot water, which will dissolve it.