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Posts Tagged ‘Lime’

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

I’ll get to the corn salsa in a minute– but first I want to talk about beer!  Admittedly, I’ve been drinking too darn much beer this summer.  Not at one time– nothing like that.  But this summer, more than any other, it’s just been so easy to sit outside with Radd in the evening and visit over a beer or two.  I suppose it’s partly to do with our mild weather– not too hot, not too humid.  It has been perfect, which is excellent for my happiness.  And while I probably don’t need those calories at the end of the day, instead of stressing, I’ve decided to embrace it.

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

So what have I been sipping on?  Mostly farmhouse ales and saisons.  Two that I love are Saison Dupont and a local farmhouse ale from Liftbridge called Farm Girl.  Speaking of local beer, I’ve also been enjoying a few others like Bent Paddle’s Paddle Break Blonde and Steel Toe’s Size 7 IPA.  Now before this post turns into an essay on local beer, let me just say this– our craft beer scene here in Minnesota is just incredible right now.  So many wonderful breweries and taprooms, and I’ve been testing them out like it’s my job.  I’m owning it, I don’t mind saying.  A few other great summer favorites (not local) are Leffe Blonde and Pyramid’s Apricot Ale.  There, that’s my beer confession.

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

So what goes smashingly well with summer beer?  Yup– chips and fresh corn salsa.  I love salsa of any variety– tomato, tomatillo… but, there’s something about fresh corn salsa that wins the salsa competition for me.  I would choose corn every time.  It’s fresh, slightly sweet, spicy, and loaded with that citrusy lime/cilantro flavor.  Not to mention, it is simple to make– so simple that it’s somewhat silly to even give a recipe.  But, I think the same can be said for most summer fare– fresh and simple and that’s just fine.  So, get out your chefs knife and start cutting up that corn.  Then pour yourself a glass of cold beer and soak up some summer fun.  Cheers!

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

The Recipe: Fresh Corn Salsa

6-8 ears of fresh corn, cut

1 large red onion, diced

1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped

2 jalapeños, chopped (remove seeds/ribs if heat is a factor)

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

juice of one lime

kosher salt

In a medium-sized bowl mix all of the ingredients.  Add more lime juice to taste.  Season appropriately with salt.  You may need more salt than you are used to — corn needs a bit to bring out its wonderful flavor.  Let flavors meld for a bit before serving.  Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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The Best Margarita | Relishing It

I try not to describe things as “the best” too often.  I’ve done it from time to time, but when I do I truly think the recipe deserves that title. This margarita?  It’s the best.  Full stop.  Ditch the store-bought margarita mix, because it doesn’t even come close.  And once you make this sublime cocktail, it’ll be the measuring stick against which you judge all others.  There, how’s that for a recommendation?

The Best Margarita | Relishing It

The Best Margarita | Relishing It

The Best Margarita | Relishing It

I’d been planning to make these margaritas for a gathering of some of our dearest friends this past weekend.  We’re a group that has been close since our early college days, but as is often the case, it’s just difficult to get everyone together as we’ve become adults.  It was fantastic being able to sit in the back yard sharing stories, drinking margaritas and eating tacos (more on that in another post), and watching all of our kids run around.  Summer at it’s finest.

The Best Margarita | Relishing It

The Best Margarita | Relishing It

Now to the margarita.  This one requires a little planning, but don’t let that scare you off– it’s easy to make.  What it doesn’t involve is a long list of strange or unpronounceable ingredients.  Lemon, lime, sugar, and a decent mid-price tequila.  The reason it tastes so damn good is due to the time you should let the flavors meld together in the refrigerator.  I did it for 24 hours (actually a bit more, to be honest).   The lemon, lime, and sugar really have a chance to become one– it takes on an entirely different citrus when you give it the time.  If you’re short on time, four hours will probably work.  Just remember the longer it sits, the better it will be.  I’m planning to keep some in my refrigerator throughout the week, so it’s at the ready when I fancy a good margarita.  Which means I’ll probably be having one every night.  Nothing wrong with living a little, right?  I also made those cocktail cherries that crown the drink– I’ll share that recipe soon, as well.

The Best Margarita | Relishing It

The Recipe:  The Best Margarita

(serves 4-6)

4 teaspoons lemon zest

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)

4 teaspoons lime zest

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from 3-4 limes)

1/4 cup super-fine sugar (or use granulated that has been blended in a food processor.  Super-fne sugar is needed so it dissolves adequately)

pinch of kosher salt

1 cup 100% Agave Tequila (make sure it’s a Reposado– a type that’s aged in oak barrels for between 2 months to a year)

1 cup Triple Sec

Note: We tripled this batch.  The juice mixture fit nicely into a quart jar and then a large glass pitcher when we combined the alcohol and served it.  As long as the ice is not combined directly into the pitcher, leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator and used when you want. 

Combine all of the ingredients into a pint jar, except the liquor.  Shake and refrigerate for at least 4-24 hours (or longer).   When ready to serve, strain the mixture into a serving pitcher (this will remove the zest) and add the liquor.  Stir.  Serve in a glass that has been prepared using lime around the edge and dipped into margarita salt.   Fill each glass with ice and pour the margarita mixture into it.  Add a cocktail cherry, if desired.  Cheers!

Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

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I’m sitting here at my desk on this blustery Minnesota morning, reading about blizzard warnings and drinking a hot coffee.  I’m also thinking about this wonderful, warming soup.  I really wish I had a bowl waiting for me downstairs.  Last week I shared with you how to make your own homemade chicken broth and I promised  that a few delicious soup recipes would follow, so here’s number one.  This Sopa De Lima (Mexican Chicken Lime Soup) has become one of our family favorites.  I love it because I’m partial to broth soups– they warm me up in such a perfect way.  I’m also a huge fan of citrus in my soups– I love to finish them with lemon, or in this case with lime.  It really brightens them up.  This soup comes together in no time at all if you’ve done a bit of prep work– i.e., made your broth ahead of time.

Sopa De Lima (Mexican Chicken Lime Soup) | Relishing It

Assuming you’ve made the broth ahead of time, make sure you reserved your chicken meat for this recipe.  This soup is so simple and doesn’t contain a lot of other major ingredients, so the broth really shines.  Honestly, the soup is basically just seasoned broth with chicken, a bit of tomato, puréed charred onion and a lot of fresh toppings.  And it’s amazing.  Traditionally, tortillas are deep-fried for the top of the soup, but even I take shortcuts sometimes.  I generally forego the deep-frying of the tortillas and instead opt to use good quality tortilla chips.  Having a large pot of hot oil on my stove is just a bit too much effort for me, with not enough reward– but, you can certainly choose to give it a go.

Sopa De Lima (Mexican Chicken Lime Soup) | Relishing It

I’ve found that I love the flavor of broiling the onions and garlic until they have a bit of char on them– not too much.  It really emphasizes the smokey flavor.  You’ll want to watch the garlic and most likely remove it from the oven before the onion is done.  Otherwise it may burn.  The toppings at the end are a personal choice, make it as spicy (with jalapeños and cayenne pepper) as you want.  Load it up with tortilla chips, aged white cheddar cheese, cilantro, more lime, and avocados.  I’m kicking myself for forgetting to put the avocados on the soup before I snapped the photos.  Rest assured I plopped some on it before I devoured the bowl.  They’re perfect here, so don’t forget the avocados.  Enjoy!

Sopa De Lima (Mexican Chicken Lime Soup)| Relishing It

The Recipe:  Sopa De Lima (Mexican Chicken Lime Soup)

(Serves 4)

2 quarts chicken broth (preferably homemade using this recipe)

About 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (use chicken from stock that you previously made OR boil or bake some bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and thighs– then shred)

1 medium white onion, sliced

about 1 1/2 garlic bulbs, peeled (not just the cloves– the entire bulb!)

1 cup puréed or crushed canned tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 4-inch cinnamon stick

1 dried bay leaf

freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt, to taste

zest from two organic limes

1/4 – 1/3 cup fresh lime juice

Toppings: tortilla chips, cilantro, jalapeños, ground cayenne pepper, lime slices, aged white cheddar cheese (or monterey jack), and avocados

Place the sliced onion and peeled garlic cloves on a baking sheet.  Place in the oven and broil until color begins to develop, flipping once.  You may need to remove the garlic before the onion is done, so it does not burn.  Keep a watchful eye while broiling.

Begin the broth.  In a large Dutch oven or kettle, add the chicken broth, tomatoes, oregano, thyme, cumin, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, bay leaf, lime zest, and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and let cook for about 20-25  minutes.

Meanwhile, place the charred onion and garlic in a blender and add a bit of broth.  Blend until somewhat smooth.  Add the mixture to the soup.  Continue to cook the soup until you reach the 20-25 minute mark.  Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon.   Add the lime juice and taste.  Season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.

You can choose to add the chicken directly into the soup, but I generally heat in up in the microwave and portion it out among the bowls and ladle the hot soup over it.  Then add the final toppings– the tortilla chips, cheese, cilantro, jalapeños, lime slice, cayenne, and avocados.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing it!

xo

Laurie

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Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

I’m now well into my sixth month of being obsessed with tacos.  Seriously, we’ve been eating them at least once a week for more than a half year, and I’m not even close to getting sick of them.  Tacos al pastor?  Sure.   Spicy shredded beef?  Yes.  And then there are these amazing carnitas tacos that we’ve been enjoying.  They’re perfect to prepare in advance (and I live for meals like this in the summer), they’re healthy (if you don’t go overboard), and they’re oh so tasty.

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

Carnitas, or “little meats”, can be served simply as a stand-alone dish, but I love it in these tacos even more.  It’s a new addition to my repetoire, which also includes these, and these— both of which are also favorites.  This carnitas version combines the lively flavors of lime and orange, which pair beautifully with pork, cumin, and garlic.  The recipe couldn’t be simpler–  you can make it on the stovetop.  Perfect for when firing up the oven in the summer heat doesn’t sound so tantalizing.  Put all of the ingredients into a pot, no sautéing required.  When cutting your pork shoulder up into cubes, don’t trim off any fat– you’re going to need that so the meat doesn’t get dry.  Let it cook down for about 2 hours and then sear the pork at the end.  That’s it.  Did I mention that it’s completely delicious?

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

The fresh tomatillo salsa is a fantastic compliment to the carnitas.  You may be tempted to buy a ready-made salsa from the store, but don’t.  The freshness of this topping cannot be bottled and you’ll end up spending more on a store-bought version that pales in comparison.  It only takes a minute to either chop or pulse the ingredients together– definitely worth your time.  And as far as toppings go, I’m stuck on queso fresco cheese, white onions, and cilantro.  The combination is sublime and it tastes so fresh.  Hope you enjoy them as much as my family does.

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

The Recipe: Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

For the Carnitas:

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes (do not trim the fat)

2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 oranges)

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)

1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted then ground

2 teaspoons kosher salt

6-7 garlic cloves, chopped

Corn tortillas, queso fresco cheese, limes, cilantro, and white onions for toppings

For the Tomatillo Salsa:

4 tomatillos

1/2 medium white onion

4 garlic cloves

1 jalapeño

small handful of cilantro (around 1/3 cup)

juice of 1 lime

kosher salt

To make the Carnitas:  Place all of the ingredients into a large Dutch oven.  Add enough water to just cover the pork.  Bring to a boil, then simmer the pork uncovered for about 2 hours.  Do not touch the pork.  Let it do it’s thing.  After 2 hours, bring the heat up to medium/high and begin reducing the liquid for about the next 45 minutes.  When the liquid is mostly gone, sear all the sides of the pork pieces.  They will be tender and practically fall apart.  Keep a watchful eye at this point, as you don’t want them to burn.

To make the Tomatillo Salsa:  Rough chop the ingredients and place them into a food processor and give them a few pulses until the salsa is your desired consistency.  Alternatively, you can chop all of the ingredients by hand.  Make sure to season correctly with salt.

Source:  Carnitas recipe adapted from The Homesick Texan

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!

Laurie

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Simple Carrot Salad with Harissa and Cilantro via Relishing It

Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota!  And by Spring, I mean it officially reached 80 degrees here yesterday.  Last night we grilled for the first time this season, and it was wonderful.  My husband is one of those guys that would be happy eating cereal for dinner several nights a week if I let him, yet he considers the grilling of a steak a sacred process.  He’s a master, and the New York strip that he grilled-up last night was heavenly.  I mean this now, I’d put it up against any fancy restaurant’s offering.  Anyway, I know we’ll be doing a lot more grilling now that the weather has turned, so I came up with this carrot salad that is a fantastic side dish.  It’s also perfect if you’re in the mood for a light lunch.

Simple Carrot Salad with Harissa and Cilantro via Relishing It

Simple Carrot Salad with Harissa and Cilantro via Relishing It

Simple Carrot Salad with Harissa and Cilantro via Relishing It

It seems as though carrots are often just an afterthought in most dishes.  Need a little color in some soup, throw a carrot in!  (Well, except in this soup– one of my favorites– where they’re the star.)  I happen to love carrots.  They have that nice slightly-sweet flavor, a wonderful crunch, and amazing longevity.  In this salad they take center stage.  The flavors are bright, yet there is a nice, complex, smokiness to give it depth.  Remember a couple of weeks ago when I made that homemade Harissa?  It is brilliant combined with these ingredients.  The ricotta salata cheese lends a bit of saltiness to this dish.  If you can’t find ricotta salata, feta is a good substitute.  Personally, I prefer ricotta salata for most salads, because its subtlety allows the other flavors to be more pronounced.  And the creaminess is a welcome addition to most any salad.  The cilantro and lime add that little zing of acidity that compliments the harissa and carrots wonderfully.  If your Harissa is a little on the thick side, feel free to thin it out with a few drops of water or olive oil.  Don’t overdo it though, since there is a squeeze of lime juice at the end that loosens everything up.

Simple Carrot Salad with Harissa and Cilantro via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Simple Carrot Salad with Harissa and Cilantro

(serves 1)

2 carrots, peeled, then thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler

1/2 cup long ribbons of red cabbage

handful of cilantro

1 tablespoon Homemade Harissa or store bought

lime wedges

2 tablespoons of crumbled ricotta salata cheese

sea salt, to taste

This is more of an idea, than a recipe.  Make as much or as little as you want.  This amount will serve one beautifully.  Cut the carrot anyway that you want, though I prefer long beautiful ribbons made by using a vegetable peeler.  They’re just so pretty that way!  Toss all of the ingredients, except the ricotta salata and lime into a large bowl.  Using tongs, gently incorporate the Harissa onto the vegetables.  Add more if you like.  If your Harissa is a bit on the thick side, add a bit of water or olive oil to thin it out.  Plate your salad and top with crumbled ricotta salata cheese and a couple squeezes of lime juice.  Add a sprinkle of salt, if necessary.  Enjoy!

Have a lovely week and thanks for stopping by Relishing it!

xo

Laurie

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First, a warning:  this is an overly-enthusiastic blog post today because…IT IS MY BIRTHDAY!  That’s right, I still get REALLY excited about my birthday.  Even though I’m clinging to my mid-thirties, like a child I still get giddy whenever August 26th rolls around.  I look forward to the phone calls with my family and friends.  I wait for the e-mails, cards, and Facebook wishes.  I love it all.

Now a second warning:  I’m going to get a bit sentimental.  The truth is, I still love my birthday so much because I look back on my life thus far, and forward to another wonderful year.  I’m so fortunate to be married to my wonderful husband, and I have two beautiful children.  I had the benefit of growing up in a loving family and then marry into another.  Thanks for having me, Mom and Dad.  Here’s to many more great years!

So what about the food?  Rather than make a birthday cake, I decided to go with one of my all-time favorites.  This carrot cake is easily one of the best I’ve ever eaten.  After giving my neighbors a sample, they agreed that this is as good as carrot cake gets.  It has the perfect amount of nuts– they provide just enough texture and flavor without overwhelming the dessert.  It has no raisins, which, to be honest, I don’t really miss.  The cake is dense, as you’d expect, but not heavy– in short, it’s perfect.  The two secrets to this cake are oranges and limes.  Freshly-squeezed orange juice and a little zest really add a fragrant punch, while the icing– laced with lime juice and zest– make it unforgettable.

The Recipe: Carrot Cake with Lime Mascarpone Icing

For the Cake:

1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened

2 cups light brown sugar

5 large free-range or organic eggs, separated

zest and juice of 1 orange

1 1/2 cups of self-rising flour, sifted

1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

1 cup ground almonds

4 ounces / 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, plus more for topping the cake

1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

10 ounces/ 3 cups organic carrots, peeled and coarsely grated

pinch of kosher salt

For the Lime Mascarpone Icing:

4 ounces mascarpone cheese

8 ounces full-fat cream cheese

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

zest and juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and line with parchment paper a 9 – inch square or round cake pan.  (Note:  I used mini-loaf pans and yielded 6).  Beat the butter and sugar together by hand or using a stand mixer until pale and fluffy.  Beat in the egg yolks one at a time and add the orange zest and juice.  Gently stir in the sifted flour and baking powder, and add the ground almonds, walnuts, spices and the grated carrots.  Mix together well.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, then gently fold them into the cake mix.  Scoop the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 50 minutes (less if using the mini-loaf pans) until golden and risen.  To check cake using a toothpick, insert into cake for 5 seconds — it’s done when it comes out clean.  If it feels sticky, bake a bit longer.  Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Turn out onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.

To make the icing: mix all of the ingredients except the lime juice together.  Carefully add 1 teaspoon at a time.  Making sure the icing doesn’t get too thin.  Spread generously on the cake and top with walnuts.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Cook With Jamie Cookbook

Thanks again for stopping by Relishing It today.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend — I know I will.

Laurie

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