Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

OK, so once again I'm proving that my photographic skills are lousy. And that my dishes are ugly. One of these days I'll have to have Michelle show me how to take truly tempting photos. It didn't help things that this was a very last minute picture as I dashed out the door this morning. I promise it tasted fabuloso and got two thumbs up from everyone last night (and I'm very grateful for the half a pie left over in the fridge, of which I ate one piece for breakfast to reward myself for running so well this morning). I decided at the last minute yesterday to throw a party with tasty south of the border favorites. Since I have a photo of the pie, I'll start with that.

I love key lime pie, but the genuine way to make it grosses me out because of the raw egg factor. My friend Jen made this for book club several months ago and it passed muster because it's actually cooked enough to kill off any lurking salmonella and it's delicious to boot.

Key Lime Pie

1/2 cup fresh lime juice
4 teaspoons grated lime zest
4 egg yolks
1 - 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
11 graham crackers, crushed
3 T. sugar
5 T. butter, melted

Whisk the egg yolks and lime zest together for about 2 minutes until tinted light green. Beat in milk and lime juice and set aside at room temperature until it thickens (10-15 minutes). In another bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter until well incorporated. Press into an 8 inch pie pan and bake at 325 degrees until lightly browned (or you could cheat and use a pre-fab graham cracker crust like I did). Remove and allow to cool to room temperature. Spread the filling evenly into the crust and bake for another 15 -18 minutes until the center sets but still wiggles when shaken. Remove to a wire rack until cooled to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. I served it with sweetened whipped cream....mmmm, tasty!

Fajitas for a crowd

6 chicken breasts, thawed and trimmed

1 small can pineapple juice

1/4 cup lime juice

2 T. olive oil (optional)

generous dashes of chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, coriander and salt

Mix all of the ingredients in a gallon ziploc bag and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. In the mean time, slice 4 bell peppers of assorted colors and a purple onion into thin strips. Toss the chicken on the grill and cook until no longer pink, then set aside to rest for a few minutes while you saute the veggies in a large skillet. Season the veggies with a splash of olive oil, the juice of a lime, salt, and a dash of chipotle chili powder. Thinly slice the chicken breasts.

Set out tortillas, cheese, fresh salsa, diced avocados, sour cream, black beans, and the cooked veggies and chicken. This will serve 8-10 adults and leave everyone with very happy tummies.

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