Sunday, July 18, 2010

Caught In The Limelight

Somehow recently, and I am unsure as to pricelessly when this shift occurred, I seem to be ending my weekend run down, shoulders slouched, and, for lack of a better word, dreading, the start of another week. My inner monologue runs a bit like this, "How is the weekend already over? I somehow missed it... I am not ready for Monday... I never got to relax!" It's not that I am unhappy. No, that isn't it. I am just tired, ready for a break (what mother isn't), or at the very least, a change. I want to move. I want more space (do I?). I want to spend a quiet afternoon reading a book (perhaps on a beach). The truth of the matter is, excluding our wedding night (yes, singular- ONE night), Wes and I have never had a trip away together. I am ready, for a vacation. It doesn't even need to be child-free, I would LOVE to take a real life leave of absence with the kids in tow- show them a view that differs from their own backyard. While we are wishing for things, I think I would also benefit from one of those fabled 'girlfriend getaways' I hear rumors about... But I am beginning to believe they are more or less myth- something that only occurs in carefully plotted chick litt or a Nancy Meyer film. I know it's my own fault, though, really I do. I am perhaps a bit overzealous at times, and have an insidious need to keep everything in right angles. (Even while writing this entry I asked my husband, "Hey Honey? What's another word for someone who puts too much pressure on themself? His reply? "You.") Enough about all of that however, I am done whining, I promise. I am going to take this blog however, as an opportunity to mix it up a little, if only slightly. I am doing away with the weekly menu. One would think a pre planned menu would be advantageous, especially since I am the type of person who has lists of her lists, but in actuality, it is sucking my creativity dry. When you are a recipe follower, a plan is good, but when you are trying to forage your own path, it is sometimes best to wing it. Staring at a well stocked pantry with 45 minutes until dinner is like an artist with a blank canvas- this is where inventiveness and imagination take form. And since I tend to feel locked into the menu, I buy things that don't look great at the market and pass up those that do, or even sales, in order to make things AS POSTED. Plus it doesn't look as sexy to post the same thing 3 nights in a row so that I can continue to build upon the flavor in a dish, or experiment with it further for recipe testing. So unless there are any major objections, I am going to omit the Sunday menu post. I am sure you will understand.
The good news is that I will be continuing to post my confections and confessions with the same frequency (or even more, if I am lucky), with recipes of course. And so, on we go....

We finally made it out the back door and fired up the grill today, in all of Texas' 103 degree glory. And somehow, it happened that there was an abundance of lime. I am not exactly sure how I managed to have so many hiding in the bottom of my fruit bowl, but instead of tossing them, I decided to make them a tribute dinner. First in a marinade with tequila, for what I am going to call drunk chicken. Though I only managed to marinate the chicken for an
hour, they turned out with spectacular flavor and ceviche like tenderness. I also made what I like to call my 'Chipotle' rice- Chipotle as in the restaurant, which is MUCH loved in this family (a business committed to sustainability and naturally raised meats, helooo?). It is a rice, bean, and corn mixture flavored not unlike what you would find in one of their incredibly satisfying bowls or burritos. I also mashed up some super lime-y guacamole for good measure. Last but not least, I served up a lime icebox pie, of which I helped myself to a second slice. I must confess that I actually helped myself to a third slice, and paired it with my very vanilla ice cream, which voila, game me the idea for a lime ice cream with a graham cracker swirl of which I am going to beging working on (I will keep you posted!)..... sometimes gluttony pays off.

Drunk Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup tequila
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (5 or 6 limes)
juice of one orange
2 TBS fresh chopped cilantro
2 tsp chili powder
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
a few grindings of fresh black pepper

-mix all of the ingredients except the chicken in a a large bowl or baking dish
-add the chicken and thoroughly coat, letting the chicken marinade for at least an hour or up to overnight
-cook over the grill or in a medium high skillet for 6 to 8 minutes

'Chipotle' Rice

1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 TBS butter
1 can either black or kidney beans, thoroughly rinsed
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 fresh jalepeno, or more to taste, minced
juice of one lime
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt

-combine rice, 1 cup of water, and butter in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat
-stir once, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes
-once the rice is done, combine it in a large bowl with the beans, corn, cilantro, scallions, and jalepeno
-in a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, and salt, and combine with the rice mixture

Lime Icebox Pie

for the crust
10 whole graham crackers, pulsed to fine crumbs in a food processor
1/4 cup sugar
6 TBS (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

for the filling
6 egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 TBS lime zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)

for the topping
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

-preheat the oven to 350 degrees
-in large bowl, combine the crust ingredients together until thoroughly mixed and press into a 9 inch pie plate or tart pan with a removable bottom, and bake for 10 minutes, and allow to cool completely
-for the filling, beat the yolks and sugar with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer over high speed for 5 minutes
-reduce to medium speed and add the condensed milk, lime zest, and juice, pour into the crust, and freeze
-for the topping, beat the cream and sugar with the whisk attachment of an electric mixer on medium high speed until soft peaks form
-spread whipped cream over the top and pop back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes

1 comment:

  1. So I took the pie to my parents house last night and it was a BIG hit!! It was so quick and easy to whip up, which was perfect for me. And it turned out great! It was everything I wanted it to be, limey, cold and creamy. YUM! As I woke up this morning I found myself wishing that there had been a piece leftover for me to eat today. But oh well! I'll just have to make another one sometime very soon. :-)