Limes are an integral part of our cuisine. It’s one ingredient that I always have in my refrigerator, no thank you to the bottled version. The juice is the star in many desserts, cocktails and a refreshing glass of ice-cold lime juice, but it’s also what packs a punch to a pico de gallo (salsa). Fresh lime juice is what gives the zing to a rum punch, and the coolness to a lime cooler. It is indeed refreshing, flavourful and very delicious, thus making the juice an excellent choice as the star ingredient in desserts.
Don’t forget the zest, which lends brightness to a savoury rice pilaf as it does to a gremolata topping.
We tend to use them on an almost daily basis for our meats and fish, we use them when making pepper sauces as much as we include them in lip-puckering souses. There are affordable limes at the markets these days, so buy an ample supply and enjoy them in your cuisine! Don’t forget you can juice them and freeze for use later on.
Trini rum punch
2 cups granulated sugar
4 cups water
3 cups Trinidad dark rum
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp aromatic bitters
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (less or to taste)
Maraschino cherries to taste
Place sugar with water in a small saucepan, stir to dissolve, boil for about 6 to 8 minutes on low heat.
Combine cooled syrup with rum, lime juice and bitters, stir in nutmeg.
Refrigerate in a glass jug or bottles until ready for use.
To serve pour over glasses filled with cracked ice.
Garnish with cherries and more grated nutmeg is needed.
Makes about 10 cups
Black bean soup with pico de gallo
1 lb dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
4 tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs fresh thyme
2 onions, chopped
½ cup chopped chives
2 pimento peppers seeded and chopped
2 tsp ground roasted cumin (geera)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
4 tinned tomatoes chopped
1 tbs salt
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs sherry
½ cup chopped fresh chadon beni
unflavoured thick yogurt for garnish
Pico De Gallo
4 large tomatoes, diced
2 medium onions, diced
juice of one large lime
1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped
One bunch cilantro or chadon beni, finely chopped
Combine all ingredients, taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve with soup.
Soak beans overnight in 4 quarts of water, drain.
In a large soup pot heat olive oil, add garlic, thyme, onion and pepper, sauté for a couple of minutes, add black beans, stir and add enough water to cover beans, About 6 to 8 cups.
Add cumin, oregano, bay leaf, tomatoes, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil cover and simmer, for about 2 hours.
To texturise the soup, puree half the beans in a food processor or blender, return to pot. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
Add sherry. When serving place the soup in a wide rimmed soup bowl, swirl in 1 tbs yogurt, and spoon on Pico de Gallo
Serves 6 to 8
Key Lime Cake
Preheat oven to 350 F
3 tbs butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, separated
¼ cup flour
2 tsp lime zest
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1½ cups milk
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Grease and flour a 9-inch x 9-inch baking pan.
Cream the butter with sugar until fluffy, add the egg yolks and blend until smooth.
Stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and milk.
Beat the egg whites until stiff with the salt and cream of tartar
Fold the whites into the cake mixture.
Pour mixture into the prepared baking pan; place in a shallow pan with about 2 inches of water and bake for about 1 hour.
Cool and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
Chicken foot souse
2 lbs chicken feet
2 small cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 hot pepper, thinly sliced with seeds
1 cup lime juice
2 cups water
1 cup finely chopped chadon beni
¼ cup finely chopped chives
Wash chicken feet; boil in lightly salted water until tender, about 30 minutes.
Drain and cool.
Place in a large glass bowl.
Add onions, pepper, lime juice, water and chadon beni and chives.
Stir well to cover with marinade.
Cover and let stand at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours, stirring to keep all pieces exposed to marinade.
(This recipe can also be used to souse other meats, like pigs trotters, and cow skin).