Limes

 Limes Key facts Limes are used widely in Oriental food to flavour and add a citrus tang to curries, salads and stir-fries. When buying, choose limes with a smooth skin. In Thailand, cooks cut out the central core of bitter pith from a lime before cooking with it or using it as a garnish.

Whilst lemon trees grow and thrive in the Mediterranean, they can't survive the hot, steamy humidity of Asian countries - so enter limes, yet another supreme gift of nature.

Limes, like lemons, are filled with fragrant acidic juice and the zest contains the same high-flavoured oils. Though limes are a small, green lookalike lemon, their flavour is distinctly different. I love limes and always have them in my kitchen.

If you want a low-fat salad dressing, look no further – just squeeze lime juice all over and it's remarkable how it offers both its own flavour and at the same time manages to enhance other flavours in the salad. It also really enhances the flavour of mango, pawpaw and pineapple.

 
Related Recipes
Pickled Limes Makes enough to fill a 0.5 litre jar

Pickled Limes

This is a very sharp, concentrated preserve which goes wonderfully with fish, especially Rösti Crab Cakes. It is also good with Baked Thai Red Curry Chicken – but because it's so strong very little is needed. To sterilise the jar, wash it thoroughly

 
 
Thai Green Rice Serves 4

Thai Green Rice

This, thankfully, is a Thai recipe that doesn't require all the speciality ingredients that are sometimes so elusive. The list of ingredients seems rather long, but it is made in moments and has a lovely fragrant flavour.

 
 
Lemon and Lime Marmalade Makes five 0.5 litre jars

Lemon and Lime Marmalade

This is a very refreshing marmalade, good wake-up food on a dull morning. Its other advantage is that it can be made at any time of the year. Although this does need fast boiling, the quantity is small enough for a modern hob.

 
 
Key Lime Pie Serves 8-10

Key Lime Pie

This is a very famous recipe from Florida, where a certain special variety of limes called Key limes are used. Their season is short and there aren't enough grown to export; however, the pie tastes just as good with other varieties of lime.

 
 
Mexican Enchiladas with Cheese Serves 4 for lunch or as a starter or 2 as a main course

Mexican Enchiladas with Cheese

What are enchiladas? Well, they're Mexican wheat-flour pancakes that can be spread with some spicy salsa and stuffed with almost anything you have handy – in this case cheese – and then baked. An excellent light lunch dish served with a salad.

 
 
Thai Red Curry Paste Makes 8 tablespoons, ½ pint (275 ml)

Thai Red Curry Paste

This dark, pungent curry paste makes a delightful alternative to dry, ground spices. I have included it in the recipes for Angel-hair Pasta with Thai Spiced Prawns and Thai Fish Cakes with Cucumber Dipping Sauce

 
 
Toasted Sweetcorn Salsa Serves 4

Toasted Sweetcorn Salsa

Salsas are at the height of food fashion at the moment - and this is one of the best: healthy, easy to make and magnificent with rosti crab cakes, salmon, chicken or grilled meats!

 
 
Mexican Guacamole Serves 4

Mexican Guacamole

The first time I ever used Tabasco (hot chilli sauce) was when I made my first guacamole. This spicy Mexican purée, made with fresh avocados, chillies and ripe tomatoes, is still a great favourite.

 
 
Tropical Fruit Salad in Planter's Punch Serves 8

Tropical Fruit Salad in Planter's Punch

Fruit salad with a kick, based on a Caribbean cocktail of rum, fruit juices and spice: a mouthwatering way to end a summer meal and a good recipe when entertaining.

 
 
Marinated Halloumi Cheese Kebabs with Herbs Serves 2

Marinated Halloumi Cheese Kebabs with Herbs

If you're cooking for vegetarians, these wonderful kebabs will go down a storm. The halloumi cheese is firm enough to withstand grilling, and combines beautifully with the other flavours in this recipe.

 
 
 

 

 




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