Tag-Archive for ◊ lime ◊

19 Jan 2011 Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

Depending on where you live, you may or may not have a proliferation of “Pho” restaurants in your community.  If you do have a Pho restaurant nearby, I encourage you to try it out.  You’ll be rewarded with a huge bowl of broth and noodles, to which you add fresh basil, cilantro, mint, bean sprouts, peppers, chili sauce, and freshly squeezed lime.  The broth is quite tasty, and with the addition of all the toppings, the Pho has a very fresh taste.   On your first visit to a Pho restaurant, stick to Beef Pho or Chicken Pho, with the parts of beef and chicken that you are familiar with.  There are some other types of Pho which might be a bit challenging to an uninitiated American palate.

Having fond memories of Pho, I wanted to make it for myself.  I wanted to have a clear, rich, fat-free broth. I thought it would be great to have some of the broth on hand, and be able to boil it up and stir in some fresh ingredients whenever I wanted to.  I also think Pho would be a great dish to make ahead and then take to share with friends and family at a snow condo or beach house.   I found this recipe adapted from the cookbook Into the Vietnamese Kitchen at Steamy Kitchen.  It’s great!  I served it to seven friends, and three family members, and they all though it was great, too.  SCORE!

Before you make this dish, you should know how to pronounce it, “pho”  is pronounced “fuh” and not “foo” or “foe” or “poe” or  “puh” — that’s fuh-sho’!

If you have made your own chicken soup before, Pho is no more bother.  Follow the recipe below and make sure you buy good bones, start the day before, rinse and blanch the bones, have three hours to let the bones simmer. Then you can let the broth sit in the refrigerator overnight so that the hardened fat can be removed before finishing the pho.

Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

The broth

  • 2 onions, peeled, sliced across into 4 slices
  • 4″  of fresh ginger, peeled, halved lengthwise
  • 5-6 lbs of good beef  knuckle bones (beef shanks/knuckles $1.99/lb)
  • 6 quarts of water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

In the soup bowls

  • 1 rice noodles (dried or fresh)
  • cooked beef from the broth
  • ½ lb flank, london broil, sirloin or eye of round, sliced as thinly as possible.

On the side

  • fresh mint leaves
  • fresh cilantro
  • sliced fresh basil
  • limes wedges (2)
  • 2-3 chili peppers, sliced
  • bean sprouts (about 1 lb)
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha hot sauce

Char:

Turn broiler on high and move rack to the highest spot. Place ginger and onions on baking sheet. Brush just a bit of cooking oil on the cut side of each. Broil on high until ginger and onions begin to char. Turn over and continue to char. This should take a total of 10-15 minutes.

Parboil the bones:

Don’t skip this part! Fill your biggest pot (12-qt capacity would be ideal) with cool water. Boil water first, and then add the bones, keeping the heat on high. Boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse the bones and rinse out the pot. Refill pot with bones and 6 qts of cool water. Bring to boil over high heat and lower to simmer. Using a ladle or a fine mesh strainer, remove any scum that rises to the top.

Boil broth:

Add ginger, onion, spices, sugar, fish sauce, salt and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the beef meat and set aside. Continue simmering broth for another 1 1/2 hours. Strain broth and return the to the pot. Taste broth and adjust seasoning – this is a crucial step. If the broth’s flavor doesn’t quite shine yet, add 2 teaspoons more of fish sauce and 1 teaspoon of regular sugar–and another pinch of salt, if needed (I over-salted my broth, so be careful). Keep doing this until the broth tastes perfect refrigerate broth overnight and remove hardened fat the next morning.

Prepare noodles & meat:

Slice your flank/london broil/sirloin as thin as possible – try freezing for 15-30 minutes prior to slicing to make it easier. Cut or shred the cooked meat from broth and set aside. Arrange all other ingredients on a platter for the table. Guests will garnish their own bowls. Follow the directions on your package of noodles – for some fresh rice noodles, just a quick 5 – 45 second blanch in hot water is all that’s needed.

Serving:

Bring your broth back to a boil. Line up your soup bowls next to the stove. Fill each bowl with rice noodles, bean sprouts, shredded cooked beef and raw meat slices. As soon as the broth comes back to a boil, ladle into each bowl. The hot broth will cook your raw beef slices. Serve immediately. Guests garnish their own bowls with the mint, basil, cilantro, peppers, lime, and sauces.

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do. It’s a chin dribbling, big bowl of healthy, comfort food with a fresh & crunchy twist.  One of my favorite foods I believe. I have my fingers crossed that I will taste the real thing in Vietnam next year.  I hope this measures up. Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

08 Jul 2010 Pasta with Shrimp and Cilantro-Lime Pesto

ANOTHER pasta recipe from the my teaching 19-years olds to cook series. I think we’ve pretty well established that pasta can be an easy, quick, flexible and satisfying meal. My son pulled this together tonight in less than twenty minutes (hot date, no time to dilly-dally around…). This recipe came from the R.S.V.P. section of the July 2010 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. I had to change the recipe a bit though, because there was way too much pasta for the amount of sauce and shrimp. On another note, I’m not sure where a 19 year old is supposed to find 3 tablespoons of tequila…, ohdearrrr, I need to read through recipes a bit more diligently before handing them over to 19 year old boys. Now he’s made this, tasted it, and impressed himself…, he wants to make it for all his friends (you will, too!).

Pasta with Shrimp and Cilantro-Lime Pesto

1 bunch cilantro (about 1 1/2 cups of leaves), stems removed
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon chopped, seeded jalapeno pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 lb. pasta (any kind…that’s usually 1/2 or 3/4 of a box)
1 lb. peeled, raw shrimp (medium to large), deveined
additional 1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons tequila
1/4 to 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija (Mexican-style) cheese or feta

Boil the water for the pasta. After the water comes to a boil add in 1 T. Kosher salt (or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt) and stir. Add pasta to boiling, salted water and cook according to package directions. Drain. While the water is heating and the pasta is cooking…cut the stems off the cilantro and discard. Place the cilantro leaves in blender. Add in green onions, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice and salt, and chop for a few pulses. With machine running, gradually pour in 1/2 cup olive oil and puree. (Can be used immediately or covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.) Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp. Cook one one side for about a minute and a half, turn over, and cook on second side for an additional minute and a half. DO NOT OVERCOOK shrimp, or it will be rubbery. Remove pan from heat. Pour tequila over shrimp. Return to heat and saute for 30 seconds over high heat. Add in pesto, stir to coat. Add in cooked and drained pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Divide pesto pasta and shrimp between four plates. Top each plate with 1 or 2 tablespoons crumbled Cotija or Feta cheese. Serve.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today,

25 Feb 2010 Microwave Marmalade

You can make marmalade for breakfast. Yes you can! It’s amazing! I have made orange, lemon and lime marmalade with this recipe. It’s so QUICK! I am so impressed. I have had better marmalades, but they weren’t made in 15 minutes from the citrus in my backyard. This recipe is a winner.

The original recipe was found at Put Up or Shut Up!, a canning blog.

Notes from original recipe:
Do not double the recipe, the microwave will not like it and you will end up with a giant mess.
Use a high-sided microwaveable container (I used an 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup) to microwave the marmalade
After you get the basic technique down, play a bit…, add a touch of booze or spice!

Microwave Marmalade

Thinly sliced zest (with no white stuff) from 1 lb of citrus
3/4 lb citrus, all peel, white rind and seeds removed (tangerines, lemons, limes, oranges or a combination)
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1-tablespoon rum (optional) (I used Cointreau)
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Peel and seed fruit, removing and discarding all the white pith and white stringy bits from the outside and down the center of the fruit. Weigh the peeled fruit and removed zest, you’ll need 3/4 lb. of pulp and zest. Place zest, pulp and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Puree, making sure all the peel and section skins are reduced to a pulp. Pour pureed mixture into a high-sided microwaveable bowl, adding optional alcohol and nutmeg. Cover tightly with plastic wrap pierced a few times to vent. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir; remove platic wrap and return to microwave for 7 minutes. Remove, stir and check thickness. At this point, depending on the juiciness of your fruit (oranges mainly), return mixture to the microwave for another 2-3 minutes. Marmalade will thicken as it cools. Makes 2 cups. Keep in refrigerator for up to three weeks. Can be frozen for longer storage.

Thanks for visiting!

24 Feb 2010 Coconut-Lime Shrimp Bisque (in 20 minutes!)
 |  Category: Seafood, Soups  | Tags: , , ,  | 6 Comments

It’s cold and raining here in California. Surprisingly cold. Soup weather cold. But it’s Tuesday at 6PM. I’m in the grocery store, hungry, and wanting soup for dinner. Do I grab a can? Noooo…, those cans do NOT contain “soup”! The contents of those cans have a soup LOOK and when warmed they have soup TEXTURE, but they really don’t have any taste. Look and texture can fool some people to think the can contents have taste, but they don’t. Oh dear, I got on my processed food rampage, didn’t I? So sorry. To make a long story short…, this soup is one of my favorites. Once you have all the ingredients it can be on the table in less than 20 minutes, and it tastes d-i-v-i-n-e. Don’t be scared of the ingredients, trust me and try it! My 15 month old grandson slurped up his bowl and then whined until he got to have some of mine. This is one soup where the broth is probably more yummy than the shrimp! Can you imagine? BTW, don’t use Jumbo Shrimp, they are too big for one bite and don’t fit on the spoons. You can make this with all shrimp, or half shrimp and fish, or use scallops or half scallops and half shrimp or half fish…, it’s all good.

Coconut-Lime Shrimp Bisque

1 T. olive oil
5 chopped shallots (about 3/4 cup)
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
8 oz. bottle Clam Juice (In a pinch, can sub chicken broth, or a can of clams with the juice)
14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk (the low fat version has no taste)
grated zest of one lime
1 1/2 – 2 lbs med/large raw (shelled) shrimp, firm white fish (cut into pieces about 1 1/2 inches square, or scallops (or any combination of the three)
3 T. freshly squeezed lime juice (from one large lime)
2 green onions, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil and saute shallots until tender, about 3 minutes. Add in ginger, turmeric, and cumin and saute for an additional minute. Stir in clam juice, diced tomatoes, coconut milk, lime zest, and shrimp, fish and/or scallops. Simmer until seafood is cooked, about 7 minutes. Stir in lime juice, green onions and salt and pepper, to taste. Serve. See how fast this is to make? You can do it! Makes 4 -6 servings.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  It’s always so good to have you here!


14 Feb 2010 Fish Tacos
 |  Category: Seafood  | Tags: , ,  | 4 Comments

I was there when fish tacos migrated across the border from Baja California to San Diego, California. I know what a fish taco is supposed to be. No mango salsa! No salsa at all, in fact. And, never, ever, under any circumstances batter fried fish! Shame on whomever put a piece of fried fish in a tortilla (I’m guessing it was a fast food chain restaurant). The fish is supposed to be grilled; seasoned and grilled and served on warm corn tortillas. Not flour tortillas. Not crispy tortilla shells. A warm corn tortilla folded in half to encase grilled fish, coleslaw (yes, coleslaw) a squeeze of fresh lime, and a garnish of cilantro, diced fresh chilies, and onion. That all being said, last summer Bon Appetite published a recipe for “Baja Fish Tacos”. They didn’t get the recipe quite right BUT the fish marinade was good and the lime enhanced sour cream was to die for. So here is my recipe for Fish Tacos, I can’t call them authentic any more because of the lime sour cream, but they do have coleslaw, grilled fish, corn tortillas, lime, cilantro, chilies and onion.

I can’t wait for Cinco de Mayo when I plan on making these again.

Authentic Fish Tacos

2 lbs of firm white fish (Halibut, Cod, Mahi-mahi…)
8 corn tortillas (or 16, fish tacos used to be composed of two folded corn tortillas, but I find one to be sufficient)
For Marinade
1/3 cup veg. oil
3 T. lime juice
2 T. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. Kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp. table salt)
For Coleslaw
2 -3 cups shredded green cabbage (use 1 cup red cabbage if you have it)
1 large carrot, grated
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
For Coleslaw dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 T. sugar
1 T. apple cider vinegar
For Lime-Sour Cream
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp. lime zest (from two limes)
2 tsp. lime juice
For Garnish
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
1 diced fresh green chili
1/4 cup diced onion

First make coleslaw and set aside for flavors to meld. Combine mayonnaise, sugar and apple cider vinegar. Whisk to combine and to dissolve any lumps. In another bowl combine cabbage, carrot, and celery. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and set aside for flavors to meld. Second, marinate fish. Cut fish into thick slices that will fit comfortably into a folded corn tortilla. Combine marinade ingredients and then pour over cut fish. Marinate fish pieces for 30 minutes. Third, make Lime Sour Cream. Combine sour cream (I use non-fat), lime zest and lime juice, stirring to mix well. Four, make garnish…being a gringo wimp, I just garnish with cilantro…but for guests I combine cilantro with chopped onions and chilies. Five, remove fish from marinade and broil, grill, or pan fry. Cook just until fish is white and flakes easily with a fork (about 5 -7, minutes total…but cooking time depends on the thickness of fish and the intensity of the heat). Six, heat corn tortillas on grill or in a dry frying pan (about 1 minute on each side). Done! Combine tacos in kitchen, or provide bowls of each component and allow diners to assemble their own fish tacos at the table.
To assemble: place a piece of fish in the middle of the warm tortilla. Next to that, place a scoop of coleslaw. Drizzle some lime sour cream over fish and sprinkle with desired garnish. Fold, and eat, this could get messy. Have plenty of napkins on hand. Heaven.

Thanks for visiting! Enjoy your Fish Tacos… Now, what’s for dessert? Flan?