Posts tagged ‘key limes’

April 20, 2011

key lime pie take II

It hasn’t been too long since I made my last Key Lime Pie, but I just made another one today.

I’m kind of a perfectionist when it comes to cooking/baking…and gahh who am I kidding, all aspects of my life. The last Key Lime Pie wasn’t perfect in my eyes. The filling was too sour. And also, the recipe I came up with ended up making too much filling – too much that it all didn’t fit in the pie pan. NO. no. NO.

So even though there really is NO reason whatsoever to make two Key Lime Pies in less than a week, I did for the sake of finding my favorite Key Lime Pie recipe.

I mean, who KNOWS when I may need to make a Key Lime Pie. I’d rather be prepared and make a recipe in confidence knowing that it will be delicious, than crossing my fingers that it will come out okay. OK, I’ve never in my 25 years of living ever had a time when I was “required” to make a Key Lime Pie, but whatever, I like to be prepared!

And I would’ve made a third pie before the week really ended had today’s recipe “failed” again.

But it didn’t.

Thankfully.



This recipe requires a lot less lime juice than the last recipe did. Don’t worry, it’s still nice and tart – just not overly so!



And again, I used my garlic presser. Let me tell you, it is a WHOLE lot easier to squeeze out 1/3 cup of lime juice than 1 whole cup of lime juice. Just another plus to this recipe! :)



As you can see, the filling didn’t go all the way to the top of the pie pan – which I wanted!



I didn’t want the filling to go all the way to the top because I had big plans for this bad pie. Big plans including heavy whipping cream…and a little sugar…

There is nothing like homemade whipped cream. I don’t know why I don’t make it more often – it’s SO easy! But I will say that Reddiwhip is pretty delicious too and definitely something to have on hand for quick convenience.

Strawberries + Homemade whipped cream = A bite of heaven

There’s a mathematical equation I never learned in school but have found useful in life.

Yummy.



But the real purpose for this homemade whipped cream was for the Key Lime Pie of course. So in honor of it, I added in a dash of Key Lime zest to the homemade whipped cream.



And topped the beautiful cloudy mix onto the pie.



And then decorated it with thinly sliced Key Limes.

Not OVERLY tart, and not OVERLY sweet either. Just perfect.

Make this for yourself too! Of course, regular limes could be used in place of Key Limes and if you like things on the tart side, you can add a couple more tablespoons of lime juice.




Key Lime Pie
Makes:
1 Pie



Ingredients:

1 9 inch Graham Cracker crust (store bought or make your own)

4 egg yolks

1/3 cup Key Lime juice (+2 T if you like things more tart)

1 can condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla extract



for the Key Lime whipped cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 T sugar (more if you want it sweeter, less if you want it less sweet)

1 T vanilla bean paste

1-2 tsp Key Lime zest



Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl. Whisk in Key Lime juice, condensed milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Set aside and let the mixture thicken for 15-20 minutes.

Pour mixture into the Graham Cracker crust. Stick into the oven for about 15 minutes or until the mixture is set and not super jiggly.

Cool completely in the fridge.

Meanwhile, make the whipped topping by combining the heavy whipping cream, sugar, vanilla bean paste and Key Lime zest in a bowl. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip on high until soft peaks form.

When the pie has completely cooled, cover the top with the Key Lime whipped cream and decorate with thinly sliced Key Limes.



Key Limes. They’re a good thing.

April 18, 2011

a key lime craving

About a week ago, I was watching Food Network and Bobby Flay’s Throwdown was on. The dish for the particular episode was Key Lime Pie. I’ve never had Key Lime Pie nor really ever wanted to have Key Lime Pie, but by the end of the episode, I was craving a Key Lime Pie like nothing I had craved before.



For this reason, I was super excited to find Key Limes for only 98 cents/bunch at Fresh & Easy the other day. This find put me over the edge to make my craving a reality.

I bought 2 bunches of Key Limes just because I wasn’t sure how juicy they would be and didn’t want to run short on juice and have to run to the store in the middle of making my pie. What can I say, I like to be prepared!

These limes, however, ended up being quite juicy! Especially when squeezed with a garlic presser.

I’m convinced that a garlic presser should be renamed to a Key Lime presser. I was a little sad because after buying this garlic presser, I found I never used it. I think one of the most satisfying culinary tasks is crushing garlic with a knife. I LOVE doing that! And thus, I find I never pull out my garlic presser when I use garlic.

But this garlic presser produced so much more juice out of each Key Lime than my weak hand ever could.



Since I’ve never even had Key Lime Pie before, I wasn’t even sure exactly how it should taste. But I went online and researched recipe after recipe and I found that the filling basically amounted to these simple ingredients:

Egg Yolks, Condensed Milk, Key Lime Juice



And ermm…I decided to go the easy route with the crust this time around. Hey, it was only 99 cents! Can’t beat that. :) Once I actually buy a pie pan, I will┬ámake my own crust though – hold me to it!



So, pretty simple, eh? But I also found that though the ingredients are pretty standard, the proportions of each ingredient varied slightly recipe from recipe. In the end, I ended up using these proportions (which I will change slightly next time I make a Key Lime Pie, which will be very soon!):

-4 egg yolks

-2 cans of condensed milk

-1 cup of fresh Key Lime juice



It produced a beautiful pie.

This was the pie, prebaking.



Once I took the pie out of the oven, I stuck it into the fridge to cool and then decorated it simply with a little Reddiwhip and Key Lime slices.

This, was delicious, BUT it was a little too sour – even for us sour-lovers! I had to douse my whole slice of pie in a lot more Reddiwhip, which made it REALLY delicious, but I’d like to enjoy it without having to do that next time.

So next time, I’ll reduce the Key Lime juice from 1 cup to about 1/2 a cup, reduce the condensed milk from 2 cans to 1 can, and make a couple more changes. This new Key Lime Pie will happen soon, so stay tuned!

Though I won’t be making this exact Key Lime Pie recipe again, I’ll post it anyway (not in the Recipes tab though, since it’s not something I’d make again). You may like it if you like your Key Lime Pie really sour!



Key Lime Pie

Makes: 1 Pie



Ingredients:

1 9 inch Graham Cracker crust (store bought or make your own)

4 egg yolks

1 cup Key Lime juice

2 cans condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Whipped cream



Directions

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl. Whisk in Key Lime juice, condensed milk, and vanilla extract until smooth and well mixed.

Pour mixture into the Graham Cracker crust. Stick into the oven for about 20 minutes or until the mixture is set and not super jiggly.

Cool completely in the fridge and then top it whipped topping.



April 18, 2011

the steak method

A few weeks ago on Amazon, I bought these two items:

An instant-read digital thermometer and a 10-inch cast iron pan.

Of course, there are a multitude of uses for these 2 tools, but the main reason we bought them was for these:

Jeff and I love a good steak, and we really love the idea of making it at home to save some money. We’ve wanted to try the method of searing it in a pan and then finishing it off in the oven, which is hard to do without a cast iron. Friday night’s dinner became the day we made it happen!

So after my Fresh & Easy market trip the other day, we took a bottle of this,

and used it to marinate the steaks.

Some sources say to marinate it for about 6 hours, but we ended up just marinating it for 24 hours.



This is what we did with the steaks (which we got off of a Good Eats episode):

-Preheat the oven to 500F and stick the cast iron pan into the oven for about 5 minutes.

-Season the steak with kosher salt & pepper, then rub a little oil with a high smokepoint (we used Grapeseed oil) onto the steaks.

-Take the cast iron pan out of the oven and place the steaks onto the pan.

-Sear one side of the steak for 30 seconds, flip and sear the other side for 30 seconds.

-Flip the steaks over again before sticking the cast iron pan with the steaks into the oven for 2 minutes.

-Flip the steaks over for the last time and leave in the oven for 2 more minutes. (We took the temperature of the steaks at this time and it was around 130F, which is about medium-rare, which is what we wanted.)

-Take out of the oven and let the steaks rest.



Yum. It was a littttttle more medium than we would’ve liked but that might’ve been because we let it rest for quite a while. Next time, we might leave the steaks in the oven for 1 1/2 minutes on each side instead of 2 minutes. Of course, it also depends on the thickness of the steaks.

But I will say that these were the best steaks we have made at home yet!

We had the steaks with brown rice, roasted carrots, roasted garlic, and sauteed spinach.

Jeff’s favorite vegetable is carrots. And he told me about 5 minutes before we were going to cook the steaks that he wanted carrots with dinner. I was slightly annoyed because carrots take a little longer to roast in the oven and wished he had told me earlier. But I found out from Friday night’s dinner that carrots will cook in almost no time when an oven is set to 500F and the carrots are cut into tiny, tiny pieces. The carrots were perfect, drizzled in a little grapeseed oil with salt & pepper.

I also halved a bunch of garlic cloves and stuck them into the oven with the carrots. I find that I like “roasted” garlic this way better than this way:

Of course this way is absolutely delicious, but all the garlic cloves turn out soft and mushy. Whereas we find that the garlic gets crispy on the outside and soft on the inside when we just halve a whole clove and stick it in the oven (with a little oil, salt & pepper). Plus, it is 100% easier and 100% cleaner, especially if you have those huge bags of already-peeled garlic from Costco.



Dessert was just as amazing and it included this:

Shouldn’t be toooo hard to figure out. ;D

Did you have any good eats this weekend?

April 15, 2011

a new contender

Like many, Trader Joe’s is the main grocery store I go to. I love it because it’s generally cheap, has unique products, and is super close to where I live (a 5 minute drive).

Some of the other grocery stores I like going to but don’t go to that often include,

Whole Foods: Of course I always have a blast walking around Whole Foods, but it’s a 15 minute drive away instead of a 5 minute drive which makes a big difference in terms of convenience. But maybe this is a good thing because they’re $$$.

Costco: I only buy a few things from here mainly because I don’t have a huge # of people to feed so most of their products are too much for me. Plus, they’re a 15 minute drive away instead of a 5 minute drive so I just don’t find myself going here too often.

Safeway: I usually go here for things I can’t find at Trader Joe’s, such as dried milk. Or when I’m having a random hankering for Haagen-Dazs at midnight (because they’re open 24 hours)

Asian Supermarkets: I love Asian supermarkets because often they can be cheaper, and they sell things I can’t get at other supermarkets. For example, king oyster mushrooms, a certain sweet potato, and zucchini squash that is not as skinny as the ones they sell at other supermarkets.



But watch out, because there’s a new grocery store in town and I think I’m in love!

Up here in Northern California, Fresh & Easy Markets are just starting to pop up here and there. I was incredibly happy to find out that one was opening up really close to my house, even closer than Trader Joe’s! I’ve been to Fresh & Easy once in LA, but it was in a rush so, not really.

Anyway, I think the biggest thing is that there is another option for me to buy my groceries. Some of their products are cheaper than Trader Joe’s and some of Trader Joe’s are cheaper than Fresh & Easy’s. I guess that’s what it means to be a competitor! :) Fresh & Easy does seem to sell more things in general than Trader Joe’s though.

Here’s what I bought on my first trip there! (I’ll be comparing prices with Trader Joe’s in parenthesis)

I’m still on a quest to find the best soymilk, so I immediately picked up their vanilla soymilk (Trader Joe’s is a little bit cheaper). It was good, but still not quite what I’m looking for. And of course, butter (Fresh & Easy’s is a little bit cheaper).



2 for $3! (Fresh & Easy is a little bit cheaper, but then the bag is a little bit smaller too)



I got suuper excited when I saw this. This whole bunch of cilantro for 98 cents! Trader Joe’s cilantro bunch is tiiiny and I think it’s also a few bucks. Trader Joe’s is organic, but I’m okay with my cilantro not being organic. I’m obsessed with cilantro. I can have a salad made entirely out of cilantro, and I would if it weren’t so expensive!

When I was in Southern California one time, I went to a Subway where they had CILANTRO as an option for a topping. They also had Tapatio sauce. BEST. SUBWAY. SANDWICH. EVER. I’m topping all my sandwiches with this cilantro. Heck, I’m topping everything with this cilantro!



KEY LIMES! for 98 cents too! Awesome. I bought 2 of these bad bunches. :)



Because we love it.



Because we love it. AND Fresh & Easy’s Blue Moon 6-pack is the cheapest I’ve found (not including sales) – $6.99! Even Trader Joe’s sells it for $7.99.



I’ve been to Fresh & Easy a grand total of 3 times in 2 days. Fine, one time was to get oranges for the Blue Moons and the other time was an equally important trip (you’ll see on my next post), but in Jeff’s words, “you’ve betrayed Trader Joe’s.”

Don’t worry Trader Joe’s, I’ll be back!

What’s your #1 grocery store?