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Food a La Carte

"Cooking With Luscious Limes"

Limes

"Limes For The Month Of July"

August in Central Virginia! Don't even ask me if it's "hot enough for you?" The answer is unequivocally, a loud, resounding, "YES!" I am waving the white flag, by this time in the summer, the heat and humidity have gotten the better of me. I procrastinate and avoid going outside at all costs, well almost all costs. One thing that will get me outside is a good old-fashioned barbecue. Cooking outside is the one thing for which I will endure the heat; you simply cannot achieve the level of flavor indoors that a grill provides.

Our recipes this month feature the wonderfully refreshing lime. If you think nothing beats a tall, cool glass of lemonade, then you've never had a limeade! Talk about good! Speaking of good, how good is steak on the grill? The best, of course! Skirt Steak with Chimichurri sauce starts us off with a quick and easy entree that's easy and delicious. The fresh herbs make this dish; take advantage of your local Farmer's Market! Accompany the steak with Pinto, Black, and Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad. Grill the corn first and have your sous chef prepare the salad while you're preparing the steak.

Finish your meal with the best ever lime pie, Kansas Style Lime Pie. It's not Key Lime Pie, but it's as close as you can get without the key limes. This is absolutely, without a doubt, the best lime pie I have ever eaten. Seriously. If you make this pie once, you will make it over and over again. It's not too sweet and it's not too tart, either. The first time I made it, I couldn't believe the pie would thicken, but it does...like magic! This recipe makes a lot, too. But, don't worry about having to deal with any leftovers; this pie doesn't stick around for long.

So, take advantage of what's left of this wonderful summer and plan an outdoor get-together. Use the recipes from this month's column, add some limeade and you're ready to party! Keep cool and we'll see you back here in September!

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Skirt Steak with Chimichurri

Skirt Steak with Chimichurri

Prep. time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 10 minutes - Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

SAUCE:

  • 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

STEAK:

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Ground cayenne to taste (1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 1/4 pounds skirt steak

DIRECTIONS:

CHIMICHURRI SAUCE:

  • Process parsley, basil, cilantro, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, lime juice, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth.

STEAK:

  1. Preheat the grill or broiler (coat a broiler pan with cooking spray, if using broiler).

  2. Combine the chili powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne, and sprinkle the mixture evenly over both sides of the steak. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.

  3. Place the steak on the prepared rack or grill and broil 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare or until your degree of doneness.

  4. Transfer to a cutting board and allow the meat to rest 5 minutes. Cut across on the diagonal into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch wide strips.

  5. Serve drizzled with the chimichurri sauce.

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Pinto, Black, and Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado

Pinto, Black, and Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado

Prep: Hands-on time 42 Minutes - Serves: 12 (2/3 cup each)

INGREDIENTS:

FILLING:

  • 1 cup halved heirloom grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3 ears shucked corn
  • 1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 diced peeled avocados

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

  2. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes.

  3. Brush corn, onion, and jalapeño evenly with oil. Place vegetables on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill corn for 12 minutes or until lightly charred, turning after 6 minutes. Grill onion slices and jalapeño 8 minutes or until lightly charred, turning after 4 minutes. Let vegetables stand 5 minutes. Cut kernels from cobs. Coarsely chop onion. Finely chop jalapeño; discard stem. Add corn, onion, and jalapeño to tomato mixture; toss well. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, cilantro, and next 4 ingredients (through kidney beans) to corn mixture; toss well. Top with avocado.

Kansas-Style Lime Pie

Kansas-Style Lime Pie

Prep: 10 Minutes - Bake Time: 30 Minutes - Serves: 16

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 14 - ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded lime peel (2 limes)
  • 2/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust + 6 graham cracker tarts
  • Whipped cream or whipped dessert topping (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. For the filling, put in a large bowl and stir together egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk.

  2. Stir in lime peel.

  3. Gradually stir in lime juice; mixture will thicken. Pour into Baked Pastry Shell.

  4. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; cool completely on wire rack, then refrigerate.

  5. Serve with whipped cream.

ENJOY!