Friday, July 13, 2012

Life Gave Me Limes...

I went grocery shopping earlier this week hoping to find a nice cut of meat to grill at a BBQ I was invited to. Instead I found myself geeking out about all the things I could make with the delicious limes that were, get this, on sale! I bought myself 12 limes and some chicken quarters (legs and thighs attached, with skin) and walked happily to my car. Then I realized that I failed to buy any BBQ sauce. After having quite a drawn out internal struggle with myself, I decided to not go back to the store. And this is where my limes became the inspiration for the past few dinners. But before I get to the main dish, let me start out with a simple recipe for perhaps the most delicious drink in this here planet. Ever been to Tucanos? It's Heaven on Earth, otherwise known as a Brazilian grill. One of their specialties: Brazilian limeade. Guess who knows how to make it! That's right :)

Here's the recipe for this magic:

  • 6 c. cold water
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 4 large limes 
  • 6 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk 
  • A ridiculous amount of ice
  1.  Mix the water and sugar in a pitcher and leave chilling for a couple hours.  
  2. Wash limes with cool water using a bit of dish soap. Make sure you get it all off. You don't want Palmolive flavored limeade. Cut the ends off all the limes and then cut each lime into eighths. (Sometimes when the peels are too thick, I cut some of the peel off, but not very much. The oils and zest add a lot to the drink.)
  3. Put half the limes in a blender along with half of the chilled sugar water. Pulse with the lid on 5-7 times. 
  4. Pour the liquid through a strainer into the pitcher you will be using. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the rest of the limes and sugar water.
  5. Add sweetened condensed milk and mix well. DO NOT leave this step out! I know a lot of people freak out about mixing milk with lime, but trust me, it is what makes this so AMAZING! 
Serve this in a glass full to the top with ice. You want to drink this very cold! I would say this is enough for a dinner group of 4, but if you want refills I suggest making two batches.

**DISCLAIMER: This limeade does not keep for long. You can't make it ahead of time. You can, however, prep the sugar water and cut the limes ahead of time if you would like :) **

Ok, so there was the star of today's dinner. I also made some grilled Peruvian chicken and cilantro-lime rice. These recipes are for 4 servings (though the rice actually makes a lot more :) )

  •  2 c. long grain rice
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil for rice plus 1/4 c. vegetable oil for cilantro paste.
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro (it usually comes in bunches a the store)
  •  1/3 c. water
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic or 2 minced garlic cloves
  • The juice of 2 limes
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. In a pot, heat the oil on medium-high heat and slightly brown the rice. Add chicken broth, stir slightly and turn burner on high heat. Bring to a boil. 
  2. Quickly cover the pot with a lid and turn heat to low. Let simmer undisturbed for 20 minutes. DO NOT lift lid up if you're curious to see how the rice is coming along. Remember, the steam from the broth is what cooks the rice. It needs to stay in the pot!
  3. Once cooked, remove rice from heat, fluff with fork and let stand covered while you prep the cilantro paste. 
  4. Wash cilantro and chop. Throw in blender along with the water, oil, garlic, lime juice and sugar. Blend for about 20 seconds. I like my rice to have small pieces of the cilantro leaf but if you like a more smooth result blend it for longer. If your blender is not blending the leaves, it might need more liquid so add a bit more water.
  5. Strain the cilantro so that it isn't too watery. You want a slightly more liquid paste, but if it has too much liquid your rice will turn into mush!
  6. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the cilantro mixture and warm up for a few seconds stirring constantly. 
  7. Turn burner off and add rice to the skillet. Toss in the cilantro mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve! (You might not want it too salty if you're serving it with a salty meat so be careful!)
This rice is great in burritos, with carne asada, enchiladas or grilled chicken!  And speaking of grilled chicken, remember how 2 recipes ago I mentioned not going back to the store for BBQ sauce? I just figured I'd be crazy not to use my super juicy, fresh limes! So I made a chicken marinade that seems to be quite the crowd pleaser! It is reminiscent of Peruvian flavors with the smokey-spice of cumin and a kick of lime. Goes perfectly with cilantro rice! Here's how you make it:

  • 1/3 c. soy sauce and water mixed (half of each...confusing, I know)
  • Juice of 2 limes plus 1 lime quartered for washing chicken
  • 6 tsp. crushed garlic or 5 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. paprika 
  •  1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1Tbsp, olive oil
  • 4 chicken quarters with skins

  1.  Wash chicken with cold water, rubbing with limes all over, including under the skin. This helps break down all the slimy tissue! Cut away any excess fat or the tail part if it still has it.
  2. Put soy sauce/water mixture in a blender along with the lime juice, spices and olive oil. Blend until everything is mixed and garlic is blended completely (about 15-20 seconds)
  3. Put chicken in large plastic, zipper bag and add marinade. Refrigerate overnight (8-24 hours, min-max). The longer the better!
  4. Preheat the grill on high for about 10 minutes. Turn heat to a medium low flame and grease grill with an oil soaked paper towel. Be careful not to burn yourself!
  5. Pat both sides of chicken dry with paper towels. This ensures a crispy skin.
  6. Place chicken skin side down on grill and cook for 10 minutes with lid down. Check once or twice to make sure there aren't flames touching the chicken. Indirect heat is the secret here for a fully cooked, juicy chicken! 
  7. Flip chicken over, close lid and cook for another 10 minutes or until the juices run clear and chicken is cooked all the way through. Try not to over cook it. Although it is dark meat, it could still get dry if cooked for too long.
  8. Remove from heat, let rest for about 5 minutes. Serve with cilantro rice and some of your favorite veggies or fruit!
The picture above is of the chicken I grilled tonight for dinner. The skins unfortunately burned a bit, but usually they're a bit past golden brown and perfectly crisp and the marinade caramelized! I had the heat slightly too high and I was on the phone so I left the chiken on the grill a bit too long on that side, but it still turned out alright :)

Man, I LOVE FOOD and I'm so glad I went crazy buying limes. You can do so much with them! We've had quite the tasty dinners and they were all incredibly cheap! We'll see what goes on sale next week ;)


  1. Sometimes, at night, I wish that I could cook as well as you do.

    1. Sometimes, when I cook, I wish I were as tall as you.

  2. Mmmm! Mayra, you truly bring heaven to earth!

    1. I don't know who you are, but thank you! I also thank my momma for teaching me all I know :)

  3. youre so cute and so is the title of this post! :)