Tag Archives: lime recipes

Spicy Asian Minced Beef in Lettuce Cups

Perhaps my favorite Chinese restaurant in New York City is one that is close to my apartment on the East River midtown, the glorious Mr. Chow’s. One of my favorite dishes is minced chicken served in lettuce cups. So when I started to read Nigella Lawson’s cookbook years ago “Forever Summer” she had me with that title by the way.  No surprise here that one of my favorite dishes would be her Thai Crumbled Beef in Lettuce Wraps! I’ve made this dish many , many times, especially for a quick week night recipe when you are looking for something light to eat, quick to make and delicious to eat. Below is my twist on her recipe, clearly inspired by the many Asian versions of minced meat served in lettuce. You will definitely want to try this recipe!

From by the bay, wishing you lovely food memories cupped in  lettuce!


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Spicy Asian Minced Beef in Lettuce Cups

Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s  cookbook “Forever Summer”


1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 red bird’s eye red chili, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 pound ground sirloin beef

1 tablespoon thai fish sauce ( nam pia)

4 scallions, white and light greens parts only, finely chopped

zest and juice of one lime

4 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 head of iceberg or romaine lettuce, leaves separated


Put the oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and when warm add the finely chopped chillies and garlic cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and saute another minute.  Add the beef, turn up the heat and, break up the ground beef with a wooden spoon or fork, cook for 3 or 4 minutes till no trace of pink remains. Add the fish sauce and, still stirring, cook till the liquid’s evaporated. Off the heat, stir in the spring onions, zest and juice of the lime and most of the cilantro. Arrange the lettuce leaves on to a platter and fill each lettuce cup with a few spoonfuls of the spicy ground meat mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

Jalapeno Kale Coleslaw

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I’m getting ready for the summer and grilling season, which has me in the kitchen testing new light side dishes. Here is a delicious new take on a favorite classic, coleslaw. My slaw adds some shredded kale, the dressing is light and bright using fresh lime juice along with fresh jalapeno and olive oil. Using the food processor ensures that the jalapeno flavor is subtle and it doesn’t add much heat but lots of flavor. You’ll love to add this dish to your summer meals.

From by the bay , wishing you bright summer food memories!



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Jalapeno Kale Coleslaw

Serves 6

Ingredients for salad

1 head of green cabbage , finely shredded

1 cup of kale, remove ribs and finely shredded

1/2 cup red onion finely sliced

Ingredients for dressing

1/2 cup olive oil

juice of 4 limes

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 small jalapeno seeded and chopped


To make dressing combine all the ingredients in a food processor and first pulse and then mix until emulsified. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Chicken and Avocado Mayonnaise Sandwich


I am one of those cooks who hates to waste food. In fact, some of my favorite recipes are the result of leftovers or ingredients that are it the kitchen waiting to be used or they might next be in the trash. That’s how the avocado mayonnaise recipe came about, with my single avocado just ripe in my vegetable basket and calling out to be used before it’s too late.  The avocado mixed with just a touch of mayonnaise, some lime juice and jalapeno pepper resulted in the luscious dressing that was delicious all on it’s own.  The sandwich has a similar story, I had chicken cutlets let over from the previous night’s dinner and needed to figure out a way to use the leftover cutlets in a completely different way. Both recipes are so delicious and worth planning as a meal.
From by the bay, wishing you luscious green food memories!
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Avocado Mayonnaise

1 Haas Avocado
2 tablespoons store bought mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, chopped
Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and mix until smooth. Refrigerate in a air tight container until ready to use.
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Chicken and Avocado Sandwich
Serves 1
1 Breaded/Cooked Chicken Cutlet
1 Ciabatta roll
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons avocado mayonnaise ( see recipe)
1 slice of white cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fresh baby arugula leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut ciabatta roll in half. Place each half on a  baking sheet and brush the open sides with olive oil. Bake for approximately 5 minutes until roll starts to brown. Remove from oven the bottom of the roll. Place the cheese on the remaining side and place back into the oven for another 2-3 minutes until the cheese starts to melt. While melting the cheese assemble the sandwich. On the toasted bottom place the arugula leaves, top with chicken cutlet and spread the avocado mayonnaise on top of the chicken. Remove the bread with melted cheese and top the sandwich. Cut in half and serve immediately.

Cool Cucumber Salsa

In the height of summer, cucumbers abound. Here is a perfect summer side dish for those sultry summer nights. The cucumbers make a crisp, cool base for this salsa. It’s great to serve with fish, chicken or with some grilled vegetable kebabs.
From by the bay, wishing you cool food memories!
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Cool Cucumber Salsa

2 English Cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine granulated sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lime, juice and zest
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and place in a refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.
Note: You can also use regular cucumbers, but remove the seeds before chopping. It’s easiest if after you peel the cucumber slice length wise in half , take a spoon and scoop out the seeds.You might want to add a little more sugar to taste, sometimes regular cucumbers are little more bitter.

Julia’s Crabcakes with Cilantro Mayonnaise

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Each summer our family would visit my mother’s sister Julia and her family at the Jersey shore. It was a big treat for all of us. We would spend our time running around outdoors and then come in to a wonderful meal. What better summer seaside meal then crabcakes. My aunt served them with tartar sauce and lemon.  So when my mom finally got around to getting the recipe, she named the crabcake as Julia’s Crabcakes (best ever made). This is no exageration. I didn’t  touch my aun’t recipe for the crabcakes. How can you improve on the best ever made?  I did add some cilantro mayonnaise and placed on a bed of sauté red peppers with fresh corn,  Yum!

From by the bay wishing you the best ever made food memories!

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 Julia’s Crabcakes with Cilantro Mayonnaise

Serves 4

1 lb lump crabmeat, pick for cartilage

2 eggs beaten

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon finely chopped red bell pepper

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

¼ teaspoon Worchester sauce

½ cup bread crumbs

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

Juice of ½ a lime

½ teaspoon black pepper

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cilantro leaves to garnish


It’s very important that the lump crabmeat is very well picked over for any cartilage. Add to a bowl. In a small sauté pan use 1 tablespoon of butter and sauté the onion and pepper until very soft. Add to the crabmeat. Add the remaining ingredients except butter into the bowl. Form 8 crabcakes patties. Place on a tray and cover with plastic wrap. Keep in the fridge for an hour. Using a large skillet, melt butter and sauté  cakes until golden brown. Place on a bed of the red pepper and sweet corn sauté, add a little cilantro mayonnaise to the top of each cake and a few cilantro leaves. Serve remaining cilantro mayonnaise to the side.

Cilantro Mayonnaise

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic minced

2 tablespoons water

6 oz cilantro leaves

1 cup store bought mayonnaise

Juice of 2 limes

Zest of 1 lime

5 drops Tabasco


In a food processor combine olive oil, garlic and water. Add cilantro and puree. Add mayonnaise, Tabasco lime juice and zest and blend again. Remove and place in glass jar cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with crabcakes.

Lime Sweet Potato Salad

My sister Nancy loves sweet potatoes! I don’t usually think about making sweet potatoes in the summer, it always seems like a fall food for me. So when we were planning a barbecue one weekend, Nan suggested I try making a sweet potato salad. I knew I had to use the flavors of summer which include for me lime and cilantro. Below is the salad I came up with and it was a big hit, so much so that it’s now requested all the time. Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
From by the bay wishing you sweet (potato) food memories!
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Lime Sweet Potato Salad
Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds sweet potatoes cut into cubes
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped chives to garnish
Add sweet potatoes to a large pot of cold salted water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook potatoes until tender about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let cool. While potatoes are cooking, add the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and blend. Add the cooled potatoes and mix throughly, making sure all the potatoes are coated with the dressing. Let sit covered in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Strawberries and Lime Butter

Pancakes make people happy! That was the motto of the Royal Canadian Pancake House, which existed for an all too brief time in Manhattan in the 1990’s. But their clever motto still rings true today. I would be hard pressed to find someone in my world who doesn’t love pancakes. My sister Nancy is on top of the “Pancakes make people happy” list! Now she would never refuse a pancake but she certainly is selective in picking a favorite. These buttermilk pancakes won Nancy’s approval, they are light and fluffy from the buttermilk. I added some lime butter to compliment the fresh strawberries. You’ll want to try this recipe this weekend! Enjoy!

From by the bay, wishing you the fluffiest food memories!


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Buttermilk Pancakes with Strawberries and Lime Butter
Serves 4-6

11/2cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
Fresh strawberries, sliced and confectionery sugar

In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix. To this add the buttermilk and egg yolks and combine- do not over mix. Batter will be a little lumpy. In another bowl add egg whites. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until it is in soft peaks. Fold egg whites with rubber spatula into the batter. Set aside for 20 minutes. Heat a griddle pan and spread 1/4 cup of batter for each cake, Cook two minutes on the first side and flip and cook another minute. Place on baking sheet and keep warm in oven until all cakes are made and ready to serve. Serve with sliced strawberries, confectionery sugar and lime butter.

Lime Butter

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest

To butter add lime juice and zest and combine well.  Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Creamy Cilantro Avocado Soup

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Creamy Cilantro Avocado Soup

Serves 6

4 Avocados

4 tablespoons scallions, chopped

4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon jalapeno, seeded and chopped

4 cups chicken broth

½ cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon fine sea salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Cilantro to garnish


Halve avocado, remove pit and scoop out the flesh into a food processor using a spoon. Pulse until the avocado is chopped. Next add the scallions, cilantro, jalapeno, lime zest , lime juice and salt . Pulse again. Slowly, add the chicken broth, heavy cream and olive oil pulsing to combine. Remove from processor and place in bowl. Refrigerate the soup for at least two hours. Serve in glasses, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Basic Guacamole

Wondering what to make for your Super Bowl Sunday crowd??  I’ve pulled together some of my favorite recipes for entertaining a crowd – start with guacomole, salsa and jalapeno hummus all served with corn chips. Next serve up some great Memphis style ribs baked in the oven along with this great cilantro coleslaw.  Finally, your winning touchdown will be these butterscotch cranberry and oatmeal cookies. Have fun!

From by the bay keeping score with some of the best food memories!
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Basic Guacamole
Serves 6

3 Haas avocados, ripe
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt

In a medium bowl add the lime juice and sea salt , let the salt dissolve. Cut and remove flesh from avocado and place into bowl with lime juice /salt along with scallions and mash with fork. Add ingredients listed below depending on the version you are making and mix well. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Make it Classic:
To the base recipe add 1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, chopped.

Make it Red:
To the base recipe add 1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, chopped and 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomato

Make it Greek:
Make the base recipe but replace the cilantro with chopped mint and add 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese.

Make it Blue:
Make the base recipe but instead of cilantro add 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese.


Scallion Cheddar Corn Bread with Lime Butter

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Scallion Cheddar Corn Bread with Lime Butter

Serves 8

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 cup milk

1 egg beaten

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup scallions, chopped

¼ cup grated cheddar cheese

½ pound unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon lime zest

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 350F. Butter  2 – 5.75  by 3 inch mini loaf pans. In a large bowl combine well these dry ingredients: flour, salt, cornmeal, sugar and baking powder. In a separate medium bowl combine and beat milk, eggs and butter. Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir well. Fold in the cheese and scallions using a spoon. Pour the batter into the mini loaf pan. Place pans onto baking sheet and bake for about 35 minutes until the tester comes out clean. Cool on metal rack for 10 minutes. When cool remove bread from pan. To make butter, place softened butter , salt , lime zest and cayenne pepper . Combine well. Serve with sliced cornbread.