Monday, June 1, 2009

I could almost smell the salt air.

I have a list a mile long of projects around the house and it seems like no matter how many things I cross off it doesn't get any shorter.  Well, we are trying to change that and, because we are in full swing house project mode, my cooking has suffered a bit.  Even so, I managed to make a couple of meals last week, and a key lime pie for Memorial day!  

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My in-laws were in Key West a couple of weeks ago and they brought me back a key lime cookbook and gave me some key lime juice.  Since we were headed over to their house to BBQ for Memorial Day I thought I would make a key lime pie to share.  I've never actually been to the Keys but, with a bite of the creamy tangy goodness in my mouth I could close my eyes and almost smell the salt air.  

1. Key Lime Pie
modified from Key Lime Cookbook and King Arthur Flour's All-Purpose Baking Cook Book
makes 1 9" pie

For the crust:
1 cup vanilla wafer cookie crumbs (about 35 small cookies)
1/8 cup powdered sugar
4T butter, melted

Heat the over to 350 degrees.  Use a food processor to combine the ingredients well.  Press crumb mixture into a 9" pie pan. (Use a measuring cup to press and smooth the sides and bottom.)  Bake for 20-22 minutes, until it is golden brown.  Set aside to cool while making the filling.

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 15 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Key lime juice, fresh or bottled
zest from 1 lime
1 cup sour cream

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft.  Add the condensed milk and beat until well blended.  Stir in the Key lime juice and zest.  Add the sour cream and mix until smooth.  Pour the filling into the cooled crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  Serve with whipped cream.  
  
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This was simple and tasty.  I made the full recipe and it made good leftovers.  Also, I used fresh corn that was lightly steamed on the cob but it still had a little crunch.  It is amazing how something so minor, like the texture of the corn, in a recipe can have such a big impact.

2. Cumin Chicken with Black Beans
modified from Real Simple
makes 4 servings

4 thin sliced, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1  jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
corn kernels cut from 4 cobs (lightly steam on the cob before removing)
1 1/4 cups cherry or grape tomato halves
2  scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Combine cumin with cayenne pepper and rub over chicken.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté chicken for 4 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board.  Return the skillet with pan drippings to medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, and 3 tablespoons water and cook, stirring, 1 or 2 minutes, until ingredients are just heated through.  Remove from heat and toss with the scallions, cilantro, and vinegar.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Slice chicken and arrange on top of beans.

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For some reason I don't find the picture of this meal very appetising but it was actually very good.  The potatoes were perfectly tender and it was quite spicy.  You'll just have to take my word for it I guess. 

3. Spicy Pork Tenderloin with Potatoes and Peppers
from Real Simple
makes 3 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1  1-pound piece pork tenderloin
  kosher salt and pepper
1 pound new potatoes, quartered
2  large garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
1/3 cup jarred hot cherry peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place it on one side of the skillet; place the potatoes and garlic on the other side and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring the potatoes and turning the pork, until the pork is browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes.

2. Add the wine, broth, and cherry peppers. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until the pork is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.

3. Stir the parsley into the potatoes and serve with the sliced pork.

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I had another meal on the menu this week which was something with salmon.  I had put off making it because I didn't feel in the mood for salmon for most of the week but come Friday I knew I needed to use the it before it went bad.  When I took it out of the refrigerator and rinsed it off it started to fall apart!  It was the weirdest thing and I thought it was probably best not to eat it.  So I put Jer in charge of dinner for the night and he decided on hot dogs; and hot dogs aren't a proper meal in our house unless they are accompanied by mac & cheese!  We had the Annie's brand Shells and White Cheddar to which we sometimes like to add corn and peas. 

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like to make key lime pie with graham cracker crust too. If you are lazy, you can buy a pre-made one at the store too :)
Twila

Chris said...

Tasty.

"Chris is Starving!"