In the spirit of Iron Chef, the now-classic Japanese and later American cooking battle show where two chefs compete to make the best meal over a theme ingredient, I decided to put together a multi-course meal using lime in every dish.
To start I came up with a menu.
I always enjoy lime-based cocktails so Mojitos and Margaritas seemed like a great way to greet my guests as they arrive.
I like serving ceviche. In our warm Miami climate, a cool dish can be very refreshing. I can prep the ingredients ahead of time with the citrus “cooking sauce” kept separate. I mix the two 15 minutes before serving in pre-chilled dishes (in this case I used ramekins). Garnishing the dish with local sea salt was a fun flourish.
When I purchased my dining room table, I found an affordable solid wood table at Nadeau that seats ten. It seemed before that when I made a guest list for dinner parties, eight was never enough. Six course, ten people eating, sixty plates of food. Time to get back to the kitchen!
Trying to keep things fairly simple, the next dish was a salad with a lime based dressing. Being the heart of CSA (community supported agriculture) season, I used local beets and fresh, local goat cheese to provide a sweet and tart foil to the lime’s acid.
The crab cake slider was great in concept, but not so wonderful in execution. The biscuits were so good on their own, and the crab cakes, a recipe I developed when I spent a summer working at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland, were wonderful, but mixed together it seemed too bready. If I could do it over, I would serve the biscuits in a basket on the table and just do the crab cakes on their own with the sauce.
The pasta was my favorite dish in this meal. I wasn’t sure it would work, but rolling lime zest into the pasta dough was perfect! The color and flavor came through wonderfully. I used the mousseline formula in the Ratio app based on Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking to make the shrimp filling. Five dollars is a lot for an app, but I find it useful when I need to throw something together and don’t want to bother with a recipe. It was a bit of work to get them ready ahead of time, but since fresh pasta cooks in only 3 minutes, it was easy to get this course cooked and plated.
Next up I had pre-cooked filet’s to 129F in my sous-vide bath so all I needed to do was finish them on the grill, garnish with the premade compound butter and plated with the lime-colored local Romensco.
A simple cheese cake for dessert rounded out the meal and our bellies!