Posts tagged: lime

OMG Mojito

mojito

mojito - lime, mint, and rum, yum!

On a warm summer day, when the kids are playing in the yard making themselves dizzy, I often join in the fun with the adult version of the trampoline, the mojito. It’s been so unusually hot here recently in the Great White North that I’ve gone through more limes in the past month than the previous year. The only way to beat the heat seems to be with limes and alcohol, as the Cubans have told me for years. The key is making the drinks one at a time rather than a whole pitcher at once. The sugar dissolves more easily, and the drink blends better, and mine will blow yours away if you dare make a lot all at once (actually it will blow anyone’s away, but that’s because I make them with love and sweat, and my sweat is very sweet and tastes a little like lime). Follow the leader to the best of the classic Cuban Mojito recipe (and leave the 7-up behind, restaurants don’t know how to make a good mojito, just a fast one).

Ingredients
1 tsp powdered sugar
the juice from 1 lime (or 2 ounces)
1 small handful mint leaves (to taste, I use about 6 leaves)
2 oz white rum
2 oz club soda
1 sprig of mint (for garnish)

Directions
1. Place the mint leaves in a glass with the lime juice and sugar and mash them together with a wooden spoon (for best results, or use whatever is handy).

2. Add ice to the glass, crushed is the most commonly used, then the rum.

3. Stir in the rum, then add the club soda and garnish with the sprig of mint. Feel free to add more or less club soda to taste.

N.B. Some people use simple syrup instead of powdered sugar as it dissolves very easily in cold liquids. There is no reason not to if you prefer, just play around with the proportions to suit your taste. There are some people who prefer a more dry mojito, and some who like it sweet. There is no rule but personal preference, and anyone who says otherwise needs to be high-fived in the face.

Garlic Lime Skirt Steak

Garlic lime skirt steak

Garlic lime skirt steak

Inspired by my love of Cuban foods, I make this steak often, and its robust flavor is like a predator with your tongue as its prey. I don’t mean to imply that it is overpowering, but the strong lime flavor blends with the beefiness of the skirt steak, and the combination announces itself clearly upon arrival. Skirt steak is a particularly fatty and flavorful cut, so it holds up well to the lime, and remains juicy even after an assault on the grill and then the pan (if you choose to finish the steak the way I do). This is perhaps the best way to serve this cut of meat and anyone who tells you otherwise is probably a vegetarian.

Ingredients
1 lb skirt steak
3 limes
3 garlic cloves, pressed or grated

N.B. Limes can be difficult to juice so one thing I have been known to do is buy bottled lime juice and use 6 tablespoons of that instead. With the garlic and meatiness of the steak, no one will notice the difference.

Directions
1. Cut the skirt steak into pieces small enough to easily fit in a bowl or plastic bag.

2. Combine all ingredients in a covered bowl or plastic bag and allow the steak to marinate for at least 2 hours (I marinate as long as 8 hours with no problems), moving the pieces around occasionally to ensure that the lime juice gets to all the sides of the steak.

3. Remove the pieces of steak, however there is no need to scrape any of the garlic pieces that stick to them, they are very flavorful when cooked. The meat is then preferably cooked on a grill for maximum flavor, however I just as easily broil the meat in the oven. For those who are not interested in adding to the work load, the cooked meat can be served. However I like to take one additional step.

4. (Optional) Cut the steak into strips and quickly fry them in a pan with a little bit of oil to make them nice and crispy on the edges and then serve.

Serves 2 and goes really well with yuca, garlic mashed potatoes, or plantains (sweet or savory).

This dish goes so well with a Cuban Mojo sauce that it’s just mean not to try it. It’s so good, I sometimes pretend we’re related.