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Posts Tagged ‘lime’

Homemade Mojito Ice cream… Now doesn’t that sound like a summer nights dream???

Since I love both Mojito’s and Ice cream I figured one should be able to combine the two. We got ourselves an Ice cream maker not so long ago. I am now ready to have the freezer full of healthier versions of my favorite Häagen-Dazs… I am trying to come up with some healthy alternatives. But one needs to also do some “real” Ice cream. For god sake, you can’t have an Ice cream maker and only do frozen yoghurt!! That would be a crime. So let the try-outs begin. One of my favorites right now is a Mojito ice cream. It is made from a custard base. Oh my, it is so fantastic. The first time I made it, it ended up a little too sweet in my taste, but I was the only one that thought so. Family & friends has loved all versions. No complaints of it being too sweet.

It is such an easy task to make Ice cream with this handy little machine. Gone are the days I made it by hand. I used to use the attachment to my Kitchen Aid, but it always gave me problems. It never really worked well, so I did it by hand. Now I finally don’t have to. It is so nice.

You can make so many versions of Ice cream. I think it is great to just experiment. First you need to just master the basics. Make a plain vanilla Ice cream, use a custard base. It is creamy, smooth and silky. From there you can start building up your repertoire. Use simple syrups, fruits, berries, herbs….or whatever your favorite taste is. I am thinking the wilder the better. It is easy to make “cocktail” Ice cream versions. Since many drinks are based on simple syrups, you can just transfer that into an Ice cream, you can even add alcohol if you want. If you do, just be careful and don’t add it until the last few seconds in the machine. The alcohol can prevent the Ice cream from freezing up.

Just note that you must make sure to have a day or two before the ice-cream is being served since the custard must chill down a 100%. I also prefer to have it sit in the freezer over night.

So make some Ice cream!!! Summer is closing in.

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Homemade Mojito Ice-cream.

Makes about 6 cups.

2 c. Heavy cream (whipping cream).

2 c. whole milk.

1/2 c.  granulated sugar.

5 egg yolks from large eggs.

1/2 c. Simple syrup made of mint and lime. (Use 1 bunch of fresh mint and 1-2 limes, the juice and some grated zest as well. Boil down with 1/2 c. of water & 1/2 c. of granulated sugar. Let come to a boil. Make sure the sugar dissolves. Cool in the fridge for a few hours. Strain).

1 tsp. finely grated lime zest

1-2 tbsp. of good rum (optional, to add the last few seconds of mixing the ice-cream).

Pinch of salt.

(If you would like to make a vanilla ice-cream, add 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 vanilla bean, halved & seeds scraped off. Cooked in the milk/cream mixture. Just remove the vanilla bean when finished cooking. Obviously you don’t use the lime and mint for the vanilla version)

Directions;

Pour the milk, cream and half of the sugar into a pot. Let come to a boil on medium low heat. Meanwhile, mix the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar until nice, light and fluffy.

You now need to “temper” the eggs. Take 1/3 of the hot milk/cream. Pour, little by little while whisking well, into the egg & sugar mixture. When done pour this tempered egg mixture back into the pot. Use a wooden spoon, stir constantly on low heat until it thickens. Make sure it isn’t too hot or the eggs will curdle. When the mixture covers the back of the spoon and you can drag your finger across the spoon and the mixture doesn’t close back in over spoon, it is done. It will take about 5-6 minutes.

If you are making vanilla ice-cream, you need to now remove the vanilla bean. Pour the custard into a container with air tight lid.

Sometimes when making ice-cream you might end up with lot’s of ice crystals. The trick to avoid that is to cool down the custard really fast. I use an ice bath (a large bowl with water and ice that I put my container of finished ice-cream custard into).

You need to refrigerate the custard for at least 2 hours. The best would be to let it sit in the fridge over night.

When cooled down totally, add to the ice-cream machine. Make sure it is turned on before you start pouring in the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl. After 5 minutes or so of churning the ice-cream, start adding the simple syrup. Little by little. Make sure to taste so that it isn’t too over powering. Let churn for about 20-25 minutes in total. At the very end, add the finely grated lime zest and the alcohol (optional). If you like a little softer version of ice-cream, serve directly. I prefer to make mine ahead of time and add it to an airtight container and put it in the freezer for a few hours or even over night.

Decorate with a couple of leaves of mint.

Enjoy!!!!

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At home, we have huge cruise liners going between Sweden & Finland. It is a little “tacky” to go on these boats, but everybody does it. We go to buy tax-free alcohol and candy. One usually goes on a 24-hour one or a shorter day trip.

A big thing with these boats or should I call them by their real names, cruise liners, is to go and eat the buffet. There are a couple of “sittings” and you need to plan it well. I love this buffet because they have tons of shrimp.

I have a system for it though. One should not eat any bread, potatoes, meatballs, hotdogs or other simple and filling food. The key is to go for the Swedish shrimp, smoked salmon, caviar and stuff like that. Like my head “buffet eating” coach (mother) would say, “Potatoes I can eat at home…”.

One can eat a lot of shrimp in one sitting. It is all about not feeling any shame that the other passengers will get less (You snooze you lose.)  After all, it is their choice to eat ribs, potatoes and meatballs…

When I come home to Sweden, I eat shrimp and seafood almost for every meal. Can’t get enough of it. It tastes different for some reason. Fresher and cleaner. It might just be my imagination though.

If I had to choose between lobster & shrimp, I would choose shrimp every time.

Here is a recipe of a shrimp dish I make all the time. I just start the marinade when I get home from work and have dinner ready in 20 minutes. Fast and furious.

Grilled Shrimp with Quinoa rice.

Serves 4.

1 1/2-2 lb uncooked shrimp. Any kind.

1/2 c. of quinoa.

1/2 c. of rice. (I prefer Basmati rice but any kind is fine)

2 c. water.

1 stock cube. I use chicken stock.

1/2 bunch of cilantro. Chopped up well.

1 lime.

2 tbsp. Mirin.

2 tbsp. Soy sauce (low sodium if possible)

1/2 – 1 fresh hot pepper (optional)

Directions;

Put the uncooked rice & quinoa together in a fine meshed sieve and rinse very well. (If you only have a regular sift, just rinse the rice since the quinoa will slip through the holes in the sift.)

Boil up 2 c. of water with the stock cube.

When the water is boiling add the rice and quinoa. Take down the heat to very low. Boil for about 20 min. or untIl ready. Scrape with a fork when ready to let it “air out” and mix well.

Add the Mirin, Soy sauce, the zest from the lime, the lime juice, finely sliced pepper & chopped cilantro. Add the shrimp into mixture. Let marinate for 20 minutes. You could also make this a little ahead and let marinate for a couple of hours.

When the rice is ready, heat up a grill pan or a regular skillet on high heat, (make sure the fan is on since the grill pan usually is a little smoky to use.)

Take all the shrimps from the marinade and put them in the grill pan. Grill a minute or two on each side. They are ready when they are all pink and feel firm to touch.

Serve right away with the quinoa rice.

You can make a dipping sauce with the same kind of ingredients as you used for the marinade. (Note- Don’t use the marinade you just used since it had fresh uncooked shrimp in there.)

Enjoy!!

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Every day can be a fish-eating day in my house.

I try to come up with new versions or combinations of fish dishes. I have always liked to add berries and fruit into a savory meal. One really fantastic fish is Halibut. In this recipe I have played on the blue/purple colors. It is so important to not only make the food taste good you could add a little artistic flair and think of colors.

Maybe I am crazy, but I have notice through the years that I crave or gravitate to food that is bright in colors and is beautiful on the plate. Good looking food makes me happy!  This Halibut is an example of that. I just think that the bright white fish gives room for any other color to accompany it. I love purple potatoes and try to use them for esthetic reasons more than for the taste.

My father and I used to farm at our country house. I went there every weekend. It was such an amazing place. As long as I remember, my father has had a vegetable garden. As expected, he really over did it every year. The neighbours used to laugh at us plowing the potato fields my hand, old style. We had an old wooden plow that one person would pull and the other one would make sure the plow would reach low enough to turn over the dirt. It must have looked like a bad movie when we would get out there. I am note exactly sure, but I think we used to have about 7-9 kinds of potatoes. Really?? One needs that many kinds??? Anyway. It was great and I must admit that if I had a bigger backyard here in Brooklyn, I would most likely grow potatoes!!! There is nothing better than the first sweet “fresh” potatoes!!

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Halibut with Blue potatoes and Blueberry compote.

Serves 4.

4 Halibut steaks. (or 8 smaller ones)(If you can’t find Halibut use any other white fish.)

3-4 small Purple potatoes per person.

Any kind of greens (salad) of your choice. I love a mix of Arugula, Spinach and Romaine.

1 cup of blueberries. Frozen or fresh. It doesn’t matter. I usually use defrosted frozen blueberries. If you like, use more blueberries.

A couple of tbsp of brown sugar or honey. If you can, use less sugar. The berries don’t need much if they are sweet in themselves.

Zest from 1/2 a lime.

1/2 lime, squeezed.

A splash of hot sauce or black pepper. As per your preference.

A couple of sprigs of mint, chopped.

A couple of table spoons of chopped fresh basil. (optional)

Salt & pepper to taste for the fish.

Oil (and butter, optional) for frying.

Directions;

Cut the fish into smaller pieces. It is better to serve two smaller pieces, stacked on top of each other,  than a huge piece that isn’t perfectly cooked.

Clean and dry the fish well. If the fish is dry, you get a better frying surface. I don’t like to bread or dip in flour. I rather just fry it as it is with a little seasoning.

Put all blueberries into a pot. Add lime zest, sugar/honey, mint, pepper (& basil, optional.)

“Melt” or “boil down” the berries. Let them simmer until they become “syrupy”. Make sure to taste it while putting the sweetener in little by little so that you don’t over sweeten them. (You can also add a little sherry or white port into the blueberry compote.)

Salt and pepper the fish. Fry the fish it a medium hot pan. A few minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Plate everything. Squeeze a little lime on top of it all.

I hope you will enjoy this easy and fresh way of cooking Halibut.

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This is my fathers vegetable garden as it is now, at his summer-house. Note that it is for a household of 2!!! AND it is downsized!!!

So there is no big surprise to me or anyone that knows me that I grow stuff any chance I get. It is in my blood you can say. My father and I also have something else in common, we drag up a chair to the little plants and sit and watch them grow.

Now this is happiness and “life on a stick”.

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After a food filled holiday I always feel a need to make simple and easy food.

When my sister turned 40 she had an open house with an Italian buffet’ with lot’s of antipasti (cold cuts, olives and things). My mom was cooking, cutting and plating up a storm. This is not my favorite food at all. In the Italian kitchen, I prefer the pastas not the antipasti. The funny thing from that birthday buffet’, is that my mom made this one marinated pork tenderloin that stayed in my memory for a very long time . It was served cold and disappeared like butter in sunshine…  It took a long time until I finally tried to copy it from my taste memory. After trying it a couple of times it finally tasted as if my mom had made it. I hope you will like this way of marinating meat and that you will try to do this with chicken or something else as well.

I now have my own version of this dish. Pork tenderloin is my “go to” food. I always keep a few in my freezer. But in all honesty it really is so that I always can make my sister’s birthday marinated Pork Tenderloin. I make 2 loins at a time and just let it keep marinating in the fridge, it just gets better and better. Yes, it has happened that I have taken an extra trip to the fridge to grab a slice or two just because…

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Citrus & Soy marinated Pork Tenderloin.

1-2 pork tenderloin.

1/2 lemon.

1/2 lime.

1/2 orange (optional).

1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium preferably.

1-3 tbsp. Mirin. (Sweet. Tastes as rice wine).

1 tsp. hot sauce (optional).

1-3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar. (optional).

The zest from the 1/2 lime & lemon.

1/4 cup cilantro (chopped into large pieces).

Directions:

Sear the meat in a frying pan. Make sure you brown it all around. Put the frying pan into a 400 degree oven so that the meat can get evenly cooked.  I prefer it to me medium well. It will have a light firm feeling if you poke it with a finger. (It will take about 35-40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°).

Take out the meat. Let cool.

Zest the lemon, orange & lime. Put all ingredients into a zip-lock bag. When the pork tenderloin has cooled down, add it to the zip-lock. Note, put the meat in whole, not cut.

Put into the fridge. It must marinate at least over night.

Cut the meat in very thin slices. Make sure that you have brushed off any cilantro pieces.You can serve this pork with anything.

I like to use a mix of red & white quinoa, rice or couscous. Adding it to a salad works well too. Since I prefer to eat it cold, I usually just cut up cucumbers and add some zest and a little of the marinade.

I hope you will enjoy this as much as I do.

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I am all about making things easy and simple. During the weekends, I can cook complicated things, but for the weekdays, it has to be fast and furious!! However, it doesn’t hurt if it looks hard and complicated, that is just an added bonus.

There is nothing worse than you cooking for hours and having people not realizing that you spent most of your day in the kitchen… I learned that early on. One time, I must have been an early teenager, I cooked some chinese complicated dish. It took almost a whole day. When I finally was done, my brothers came home, and it just said “swoosh” and that was the end of that. All gone in a matter of a split second or two. I’m not even sure they knew what they ate. It was the last time I did a complicated family dinner. I was so disappointed. But, that is how my mother (and so many other cooking parents all over the world)  must have felt many times.

I try to come up with simple but fun ways of cooking things, in particular vegetables. It is a little “tricky” for some people to eat that in my house… I see these little isolated vegetable islands on my husbands plate… But, if I make things fancy looking or different from its original shape, it works. (Hm…isn’t that what one does with children, tricking them into eating vegetables??)

Anyway, A really smart way of skipping some carbs is to make zucchini spaghetti. It actually tastes great.

You can serve it to so many things. I choose salmon today…

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Sesame Salmon with Zucchini “spaghetti”.

Fresh salmon. As many pieces as per people you are serving.

Sesame seeds, white non toasted.

Zucchini, yellow and green. Be sure it is fresh and firm or it will taste very bitter.

1 Lemon or lime, squeezed. Or half a lemon, half a lime.

1/2 cup Mirin (next to the soy sauce in the grocery store.)

1/2 cup Soy sauce.

1/2 cup rice vinegar (or vinegar of your choice. You could also use balsamic vinegar.)

1/2 bunch of cilantro or Mexican cilantro. Finely chopped.

Pinch of salt.

Oil for frying.

Salt & pepper to taste.

Directions;

Use a zester  to carve out long spaghetti like strips from the zucchini. Disregard the center that has all the seeds. Collect all the spaghetti into a bowl.

Mix Mirin, soy sauce, lemon/lime, cilantro, vinegar & the pinch of salt together. Pour over the “spaghetti”. Let sit and have the tastes “marry” while you cook the fish.

Pour out the sesame seeds onto a plate. Salt and pepper to taste. Dry the salmon and push it firmly down into the seeds. Let it be very well coated. Don’t forget the sides. You could even do this a little ahead of time and let it rest in the fridge.

Heat up some oil on medium heat. Cook the salmon until seeds turn golden brown. Be sure to not have the heat on too high, or you would just burn the seeds and have the salmon still being raw.

Swirl the zucchini spaghetti onto a fork. Make it into a little “birds nest.” Plate it and place the salmon on top. Decorate with some slices of lemon or lime and sprinkle over some sesame seeds..

Enjoy.

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