Showing posts with label lime juice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lime juice. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Shaved Broccoli Stalk Feta Salad #BloggerCLUE

Finally, a fabulous use for the oft-wasted broccoli stalks, this salad with lime juice and feta is simple, fresh and delicious!

This month for Blogger C.L.U.E. Society, my assigned blog is Taking on Magazines, internet home of Christiane, one of the founders of our little group, where we get together once a month using the same clue - ingredient or theme - and search through our partner blog to find tastiness to recreate. With many people trying to start the new year off right, our clue for January is “healthy eating.” Christiane says herself that her recipes don’t have a focus on health but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t tempted by several of them, including her Bibb Lettuce with Citrus Herb Dressing, Vietnamese Caramel Pork and Garlicky Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Spinach, which she swears is healthy, honest! I can tell you they all look delicious!

In fact, I ended up making two dishes, her Superfast Crispy Chicken Thighs, which are started on the stovetop and then finished in the oven, crisp fried in only 1 scant tablespoon of oil, and the fresh salad I’m sharing today. Man, those thighs were good! So good, in fact, that they were eaten before I could take a decent “finished” photo. And I cannot tell you how long it’s been since that happened!

Exhibit A

Thank goodness I had planned to make the broccoli stalk salad too. I was excited to use a part of the broccoli that I know many people discard and put it on center stage.

Even though Christiane says, “serve immediately,” I wasn’t taking any chances with not getting a photo of the salad. I made it in the afternoon and took the photos well ahead of dinner. I am pleased to say that the shaved broccoli was still crunchy, fresh and delicious a couple of hours later!

Leaves and stalks from 1 bunch broccoli (2-3 fat stalks)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Flakey sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup or 28g crumbled cotija or feta cheese
Optional: few slices of radish - my addition.

Cut the very hard outsides off of the broccoli stems. Nip off the leaves and save them. My broccoli didn’t have very many leaves, so just for a little more green, I also kept one tiny floret cut into small bits.

Use a sharp potato peeler to trim off any more stringy hard bits and discard them.

Continue shaving off thin slices of the stalks with the potato peeler until they are all gone.

And you are left with this:

Pile the strips in a bowl and add in the oil and lime juice. Sprinkle on the sea salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Give it all a good toss to coat.

Crumble on the feta and stir gently. Add a few slices of radish if desired.

Serve immediately or refrigerate covered until ready to serve.


Our participating society members this month, with their Healthy Eating picks:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ceviche - As it should be

Many a thing is called ceviche out in the world of restaurants. Some add tomatoes or avocado or mango or other abominations. I’ve even seen grapes! This dish is made exactly as I remember it from my childhood time spent in northern Peru, with fresh seafood, fresh lime juice, purple onions, cilantro, salt and chili peppers. That’s it. And boiled yucca on the side. 

About a year after my parents divorced, my father moved from Venezuela where we had all been living together, to a small oilfield company town in northern Peru called Negritos. If you’ve been in the mountains and the rain forests of Peru but never ventured to the northwestern coast, you might be surprised to find sand dunes to rival those in my current home, the United Arab Emirates. Negritos is set near the most western point of mainland South America, Punta Pariñas, with a beautiful coast in front and a massive desert at its back. I spent every summer there for several years, until Daddy moved again.

I don’t know that it was much of a place for being an adult but it was heaven for a child. I’d take off for hours, exploring rocks and sand dunes and crevasses, finding shells and fossils, building forts with the neighbor kids and “tightrope” walking on the pipes between the enormous town water tank and, well, town. (Shhhh! Don’t tell my father – the pipeline was strictly off limits.) My older sister and I shared a little blue Honda 70 motorbike and sometimes I’d ride the dunes on it, but most days, exploration was on foot and I’d often carry pen and paper, in case inspiration struck and I needed to write something down. I was deep into my Harriet the Spy phase then. Returning home, I’d drive my stepmother to distraction by taking off my shoes and socks and making two little piles on my bedroom floor with the sand that had accumulated in them. It was fun to see how big the piles were some days, as if it told me how far I had walked somehow. In retrospect, I must have been a strange child.

A big treat - I’m telling you it was a small town! – was to go to the small airport in the next town over and eat in the restaurant there. I’ll let you absorb that. We went to the airport just to eat. Watching the planes take off and land was a bonus. I always, and I mean always, without fail, ordered the shrimp ceviche. It was perfect. A healthy plateful of shrimp, swimming in lime juice with lots of sliced onions and just enough chili. The resulting liquid is called leche de tigre or tiger’s milk and when all the shrimp were gone, I’d sip it with a spoon and nibble on the boiled yucca that was always served alongside.

My father’s company also had a very rustic, open plan brick house on a beautiful beach called Punta Sal, which we were able to use on weekends and holidays. It was even farther north, in fact, about halfway to the Ecuadorian border. There we’d make our own ceviche, with fresh grouper hooked from the water by a local fisherman called Polo. Burnished and wizen by too many years in the fierce sun, Polo lived in a makeshift shanty right on Punta Sal and made his living fishing off of a raft of old logs bound together by frayed rope and luck. He'd come door-to-door with his daily catch and often let the more adventurous boys (my husband among them) "help" him fish.

When I eat this ceviche and I close my eyes, I can hear the waves crashing, smell the sea breeze and feel the dried crusty salt left behind by the water, tight on my sunburned skin. Hope you do too. (Sometimes I even smell jet fuel, but that one's probably just me.)

6 -7 limes or more if yours aren’t very juicy. You need about 1 cup or 240ml juice.
13 oz or 370g fresh firm white flesh fish – I used Hammour or local grouper
1 large purple onion (about 3 1/2 oz or 100g, before peeling)
1 teaspoon flakey sea salt or to taste, plus more for boiling the shrimp
1 large bunch cilantro or coriander leaves (About 1 3/4 oz or 50g)
1-2 hot red chili peppers (I used two!)
12 1/3 oz or 350g fresh shrimp, already cleaned and deveined

To serve: The traditional accompaniment to a bowl of ceviche is yucca, boiled till tender in lightly salted water. Try to get your hands on some – it’s called different things in a variety of countries: Manioc, cassava, mogo, manioc and aipim, just to name a few. Peel it and wash it well before boiling. Once boiled, split it down the middle and pull out the fibrous threads before serving. Its flavor is somewhere between a potato and a parsnip and the mild taste and starchiness counterbalances the acidic, spicy ceviche.

Juice your limes and put them in a non-reactive bowl. Glass does nicely.

Remove all the bones and cut your fish up into bite-sized pieces. I use jewelry pliers to get the pin bones out.

Immerse the fish in the lime juice and stir well.

Wash the cilantro thoroughly with cold water. Sometimes it takes more than one rinse to get rid of all the dirt but it’s worth taking the time to make sure it’s completely grit free. Spin the cilantro dry in a salad spinner or tied up in a dish towel. You can discard the stems but as long as they aren’t really thick and hard, I like to mince them very finely and use them. Chop the leaves roughly and set aside.

Slice your onions as thinly as you can manage and mince your red chilies.

Add the onions and the chilies to the fish along with the sea salt. Give everything a good stir and use your spoon, preferably a wooden one, to poke the pieces of fish back into a single layer under the lime juice.

Pile your chopped cilantro on top of everything but don’t stir yet. Just let it all hang out.

Bring a pot of water to the boil. Add a little salt, just as you would do for boiling pasta.

Add the shrimp to the pot and turn the heat off. Put a lid on the pot and set a timer for about three minutes. This parboils the shrimp but they will finish "cooking" in the lime juice.

When the time rings, remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon. Let them cool slightly and then add them to the bowl with the fish.

Now you can give it a good stir. Poke the bits of fish back under the lime juice.

Cover the whole bowl with cling film and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for several hours or until the fish is completely opaque and “cooked” by the lime juice. I left mine overnight because it was going sailing with us the next day. If you are traveling with ceviche, make sure to keep it on ice until you are ready to serve it.

Serve with boiled yucca for a traditional treat. (See note with the ingredients list above.)


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Moscow Mule for #ElleAPalooza

An easy cocktail that packs a punch of bright flavors from ginger beer and lime, the Moscow Mule is as refreshing as it is pretty. 

This post is a tribute to a friend and blogger who passed away suddenly last week. Her real name was LeeAnn but we all knew her as Elle of Elle’s New England Kitchen.  She was 45 years young and leaves behind an enormous group of devastated family members and friends, including her husband and four children.

Here’s a question for you:  Can you be genuine friends with someone if you haven’t met them? I think back to the days of elementary school-age pen pals and handwritten letters and I say yes. And nowadays, social media and the internet make it even easier than ever. For instance, I meet people through comments on this blog, interest groups and fan pages on Facebook, communities on Google Plus and forums like Chowhound. Some become real life friends. To the point that I would squeal and get excited at the chance to spent time together in person. Elle was one of those people. I met Elle through a Facebook group called The Cookbook Junkies and her fun personality and quick wit endeared her to us all. As a fellow food blogger with a love of family and cooking, not to mention the aforementioned addiction to cookbooks, I couldn’t help but feel we had a lot in common. More than anything else, social media have shown us that we are more alike than we are different. Which made the news of her death a huge shock to everyone in our Facebook and blogging communities. 

We wanted to do what we could to ease the suffering of her family and, frankly, make ourselves feel a little better, a little less useless in the face of loss. So, we give you #ElleAPalooza, a multi-blogger tribute weekend to one of our own, one of the best of our own, when we all choose a recipe to share from Elle’s blog and ask you to consider contributing an item for an online auction in her honor which is being organized in the coming weeks or donate to a fund for her family right now. 

I spent ages looking through Elle’s New England Kitchen, reading from her very first post  back in 2008 and searching for just the right recipe. I finally settled on a cocktail called a Moscow Mule. I could have toasted Elle with a piece of blueberry pie or honey lime chicken tacos or even Watermelon Nectarine Salsa (Doesn’t that sound divinely refreshing?) But I finally decided that Elle deserves a proper toast and a proper toast requires a cocktail. 

I’ve got to tell you that I’ve never had a Moscow Mule before but it was fresh and delicious and it is my new favorite drink. So here’s to you, Elle! Know that you have touched more lives that can be counted with your kindness, your generosity of spirit, your snarky sense of humor and especially your delicious recipes. You are greatly missed.

Ingredients for one Moscow Mule 
1/2 oz fresh lime juice (about half of one big lime)
2 oz or 30ml vodka 
4-6 oz or 120-180ml cold ginger beer 
(My bottle says Ginger Soda because this is Dubai and I guess they aren’t allowed to call it beer in case someone thinks it has alcohol but it’s the real deal, from Australia.

Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime into a tall glass, and toss the lime in after it.

Add about one cup of ice and pour in the vodka.

Top up with the cold ginger beer. Stir lightly and serve.

Lift a glass to Elle and enjoy!

If you’d like to read more #ElleAPalooza recipes and tributes, please join the Friends of Elle Facebook page where we will be sharing our links.

Here are a few that are live already:

If you’d like to sign Elle’s legacy guestbook online, here’s that link as well. 

Once more: the link to Elle’s family fund Paypal account.  Find the link to donate here

If you would like to donate an item for the upcoming auction, please drop me a line at or contact the organizer Heather Shively by sending an email to

Monday, May 28, 2012

Trinidadian Rum Punch

Typical Trinidadian rum punch with the one, two, three, four recipe! Sugar, lime and rum with a few drops of Angostura bitters!

When I was a little girl, we lived in the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, on the actual island of Trinidad. (I think you only live on Tobago if you have something to do with a resort! But I could be wrong. It is a beautiful island for a holiday. The only time I remember going topless at a beach in my whole life, was on Tobago. I was six.) ANYWAY, Trinidad has the best rum in the world and its national drink is rum punch. I wasn’t allowed any as a child, of course, but my mom knew the recipe by heart, as does everyone in Trinidad, so I got to try it when I was older. Love at first sip.

It goes like this:
One sour
Two sweet
Three strong
Four weak

In honor of my summer holidays starting tomorrow, I’d like to share rum punch with you. This is a great drink on the beach or poolside. Just watch yourself because it goes down so easily.

One sour (lime juice)
Two sweet (simple syrup – one cup of sugar dissolved in one cup of hot water, then cooled)
Three strong (that would be the RUM!)
Four weak (water or ice or a combination of the two)
Angostura (Aromatic) Bitters 

Squeeze as many limes as you have and measure the juice. This is now your One measure.

That's a bunch of little limes!

Add in Two of that same measure of simple syrup.

Add in Three of that same measure of rum.

Finally, add in a lot of shakes of the Angostura Bitters, along with some water and then serve over crushed ice or ice cubes for your Four weak.

Then I add more Angostura to each individual glass. The Angostura MAKES this punch. Of course, you can serve this in a pretty pitcher if you have guests but the reused water bottle fits wonderfully in my refrigerator door so I can enjoy rum punch for days. :)

Happy start of Summer to you all!