Tag Archives: lime

My Favorite Cold Weather Soup

10 Mar

  Back in college, I worked at Mimi’s Cafe and became addicted to their corn chowder.  When I lived in Long Beach, I decided that I wanted to make my own and see how it turned out.  I found a recipe on Allrecipes.com for Gramma Brown’s Corn Chowder.  It is a fabulous, rich soup that beats Mimi’s chowder any day.  Since then, I have made this soup several times and tweaked it to include my favorite spices.  I also usually make the soup without bacon, but I decided to add it as a special treat for a few wonderful people this time around!

To start, I cooked the bacon until almost done, and then sautéed it with onions and celery.  I usually add a bit more celery than the recipe recommends.  I also add more carrots.  The result is more of a hearty stew, than a soup.


This being the first time in well forever I made bacon, I did not have the foresight to first chop it and then cook it.  I ended up cutting it into pieces in the pan while it simmered.  The pan I used is well-loved, so I didn’t worry too much about adding a few more scratches.

I then transferred everything to a big pot with 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth and cooked it with the carrots and potatoes.


The final step involves adding the milk and a paste of flour and water.  This thickens it up and makes it creamy.  You can add more flour if you like your soup thicker, but I think the flour plus the starch from the potatoes are plenty.


Once everything is nice and soft and hot, you can top it off with some salt, pepper, and any other spices you’d like.

IMG_0890   I typically add a bit of cayenne, onion powder, and basil.  This gives it just the right amount of kick.  This soup is fairly easy and it always gets rave reviews.  This time around I added a side garnish of chopped tomatoes, avocado, and lime juice.  Some chose to add it to the soup, others just ate the avocado, but all in all I think it went over well.  I also like to buy or make a round loaf of sourdough and serve it warm with the soup.  Let me know if you think of any more exciting spice combos or interesting ways to serve it!



Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes with Lime-Spiked Frosting

14 Jul

The cupcake that inspired this blog. The strawberry tasted like a warm jam when these came fresh out of the oven.

Sounded Like Ceviche, Ended Up Like Deconstructed Thai Clam Chowder

22 Jan

Colleen had to travel up to LA this morning to check in with her thesis advisor. So I promised that I would sift through the interwebs and find a delicious meal to prepare when she returned (or that I could have ready for her upon her return should she arrive late). I went straight to Epicurious. If you haven’t tried it before, I highly recommend it if you like one thing: flavor. Epicurious started as a website, but they have excellent iPad and iPhone apps that are actually free. If you want to sync your curated lists between devices you can – you just have to donate $1.99 to their culinary cause.

I found a great recipe there that was exactly what I was looking for: Lime Spiked Seafood Stew with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I love seafood. I love spices. Colleen eats seafood. It was the perfect match. I swung by the store, nabbed all the ingredients including: a Serrano Pepper, Cilantro, Heavy Cream and Red Onions. But to start were the sweet potatoes.

**Edit/Disclaimer** I’m attempting to write this blog using only my iPhone to take and edit images with Camera+ and to write the posts using WordPress’ app on my iPad. Still getting “the ropes”, so the first publish was a mistake… carrying on now….

Colleen played sous-chef this evening and peeled the sweet potatoes. Then I sliced them down to about 1/2″ pieces. The ease of the peeling process due to the size of the sweet potato amazed her. She usually struggles to hold on to their smaller, brown cousins.  During this time a baking tray had heated in the oven. When the temperature hit 400 degrees, I spread all the slices out on the tray and popped it into the oven. The recipe didn’t specify that you should coat the pan with oil, or toss the potatoes in oil – but I can tell you (spoiler) do it! Otherwise they stick horribly when you actually try to remove them…you know…to eat them. I set the timer for 25 minutes and then went about prepping the rest of the ingredients.

With the onions sliced, celery diced (not too finely), and limes juiced, I turned to the fish. I took the Salmon and Scallops out of the fridge and slices them into 3/4″ pieces. I tossed the seafood with black pepper and some of the lime juice and started to saute the rest of the ingredients.

Things started to speed up now. By this time there was about 7 minutes left on the Sweet Potatoes (which were starting to smell delicious). I added the cream to the pan, and cranked up the heat until it was boiling. I folded the seafood into the mixture and then watched the timer for 5 minutes. When the timer rang, I poured the last of the lime juice into the stew and removed the potatoes from the oven.

Colleen plated the sweet potatoes into a grid of 6 slices each. I served up a steaming mound of stew on the potatoes and added extra sauce (because in reality, food is just an excuse for sauces anyhow, right?). I finished the dish by adding a sprinkling of fresh cilantro to the plates. Next time we’ll add the cilantro into the stew and let it mix up a bit (it was a bit too fresh, and the texture stuck out too much from the rest of the dish). The end result was delicious. The sweetness of the potatoes combined almost perfectly with the spiciness of the Serrano peppers, and the cilantro was reminiscent of Thai curries I’ve had in the past. Next time we may try adding coconut to the mix.

Oh! No meal is complete without adding a complimentary beverage of some sort. Based on some of the comments on Epicurious I bought a Prosecco called Lunetta from the store. It was a tart, effervescent white wine that exploded in your mouth when you drank it. It was the perfect companion to this meal. You’d take a sip and then take a bite of the stew. The tartness of the Prosecco (which was almost painful at first) led right into the spiciness of the stew, but then mellowed to include the sweetness of the underlying potatoes.

Final note to self: Serve this in a bowl in the future and grab a spoon. The broth is delicious, but doesn’t thicken. You have two choices: overcook the seafood or thicken the broth. I’ll stick with a soup-like sauce and not overcooked fish (which were cooked to perfection).

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