Tag Archives: lime

Brazilian Mojito

Standard
Brazilian Mojito

As promised, here is my recipe for a delicious and refreshing drink to go along with yesterday’s Poblano Chicken Tacos with Pipicha.

I’ve dubbed it the “Brazilian Mojito” simply because it’s a fusion of a classic mojito and Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha.

Brazilian Mojito 2

The husband and I honeymooned in Brazil last September and sipped Caipirinhas like they were going out of style. We also camped out in a grocery store to borrow some WiFi so we could look up how many ounces of liquor we could stash in our suitcases and still make it through airport security.

The Caipirinha is made from Brazil’s national liquor, Cachaça, which is similar to rum but made with cane sugar instead of molasses. We brought back a few bottles of Cachaça and have been slowly working through them, saving this sweet nectar for special occasions and worthy dinners. You can purchase Cachaça at lots of liquor stores here in the U.S. – try asking at the counter if you can’t find it.

A Caipirinha  is made by muddling lots of fresh lime wedges with sugar, then topped off with Cachaça and ice. If it sounds like a strong drink, that’s because it is. Really strong. And full of sugar, which makes for a fun morning the day after you’ve had a few.

I played off this basic formula by incorporating some mint I picked up at the Farmer’s Market, and a splash of triple sec as a substitute for some of the plain sugar to add a bit more flavor.

Here’s the recipe:

Makes: 1 “Brazilian Mojito”

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Cachaça (subsitute rum if you can’t find it)
  • 1 oz. Triple Sec
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar (brown sugar works nicely, too)
  • 1/2 lime, cut into 6 wedges
  • Ice
  • Water (I used still, but sparkling would be lovely, too)

Directions:

  1. Using a muddler (or the back of a wooden spoon), work the mint leaves and sugar together in the bottom of a rocks glass. When you think you’re done, muddle it for another 30 seconds. You want it really, really, muddly.
  2. Throw in the lime wedges and muddle for another 60 seconds. Muddle, muddle, muddle.
  3. Fill the glass with ice, and pour the Cachaça and triple sec in over the top. Top it off with water and give it a few swirls with a stir stick. Alternatively, you can make this in a cocktail shaker and pour the whole thing over ice, but I just didn’t see the sense in dirtying another dish.
  4. Garnish with an extra lime wedge, and drink up!

Brazilian Mojito 1

Advertisements

Thai-Style Sweet & Sour Fish Soup

Standard
Thai-Style Sweet & Sour Fish Soup

fish soup

This soup is heavenly and comes together in under 15 minutes. I adore Thai cooking because nearly everything is very quick to put together. Once you get down the basic methods of cooking a stir-fry, a curry, fried rice, and soup, you can adjust recipes to your own preferences and explore your own combinations.

Many soup recipes call for a slow simmer for what seems like hours, but Thai soups are flavored with fresh spices which brighten up a broth in a matter of minutes rather than hours.

While this recipe calls for a few non-Western ingredients, I’ve included substitutes below so those that may not be near a grocery store with access to wild lime leaves, galangal root, or sweet Thai basil can still make this soup. For those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, this soup is also fabulous when made with vegetable broth and extra vegetables substituted for the fish. Try carrots, bok choy, or bell peppers!

The husband and I took a trip to Thailand back in 2011, which is where we got engaged.

feet

It was such an incredible trip – the main reason why I wanted to travel there was to try the food.

temple

It completely opened my world to new flavors and experiences, and I love Thai food now more than ever.

rest.

As with most Thai cooking, be sure to prep all of your ingredients before you get started. The dish comes together so quickly you won’t have much time to dice or chop once you start.

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 12 oz. (about 2 filets) of white fish, cut into bite-size chunks (I’ve had good success with Tilapia, which is cheap and holds up well in the freezer)
  • 1 Tbsp. galangal root, cut into think matchstick (ginger root* works as a substitute)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass**, smashed and chopped into inch-long pieces
  • 2 wild lime leaves (substitute juice from half of one lime if you do not have access to lime leaves)
  • 2 small tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup mushroom, button or white, quartered
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh sweet Thai basil leaves, chopped (substitute regular basil if needed – you can also omit if you don’t have any handy)
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce (sorry, no substitutes! You can find this in almost any grocery store on the Asian foods aisle. It is called for in the majority of Thai dishes so it is a great pantry staple. The Red Boat brand has a paleo-friendly version)
  • 1 hot Thai chili pepper (Bird’s eye or similar**), seeded and sliced into rings
  • Juice from half of one lime

Directions:

  1. Bring the chicken broth, galangal (or ginger) root, lemongrass, and hot Thai pepper to a boil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir in the fish sauce, mushrooms, basil, lime leaves (or juice if substituting), and tomatoes then reduce heat to medium low. Let it simmer for about ten minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in your serving bowl (or divide among individual soup bowls, place the cilantro, green onions, and lime juice and give the bowl a little swirl.
  4. Add the chunks of fish and continue to simmer until fish is opaque and cooked through (just a few minutes).
  5. Remove the lemongrass stalks and lime leaves and discard.
  6. Transfer the soup to your serving dish (or individual bowls). The cilantro and green onions will rise to the top and maintain their fresh flavors.

Nutrition (per  serving):

176 calories, 6 g. fat, 21 g. protein, 11 g. carbs, 3 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 4

Okay, friends – what’s your favorite Thai dish? Give me some inspiration!

*Did you know that the easiest way to remove ginger peel is with a spoon? Seriously. Give it a try. I peel mine once I buy it then freeze it. I use my microplane zester to grate the frozen ginger directly into my dishes.

**You can usually find lemongrass among the other spices in your produce section. It freezes nicely if you have extra left in your pack!

** I buy these by the handful and keep them in my freezer. They are so little they thaw in just minutes. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling them, and avoid contact with your eyes!