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Entries in lime (2)


NEW RECIPE! Smoky Black Bean & Bacon Stew with Avocado and Fried Egg

It's hard not to enjoy black bean soup. It's rich and dark, a perfect cold-weather recipe, and virtuous too--both calorically and financially. Black bean soup is a simple classic, and should therefore not be tweaked, added to, or substantially changed.

Or, instead, we could do all of those things! We could seek to improve black bean soup--nay, perfect it. 

"Perfect it?!?!" you gasp. "But how?"

"With bacon," I say. "With bacon."

Yes, dear friends, dear readers: We can make our black bean soup with bacon. Then, we can play off the rich bacon with smoky chipotle and sweet garlic and let the soup slowly cook down into a thick, hearty stew. We can load up the toppings: sour cream to offset the smoke and heat; fried egg for protein; avocado for healthy fats and texture. Finally we can serve the whole mess with the afterthought of some greenery: a little chopped scallion to make it look as though we went to trouble (we didn't, of course; the whole thing was quite easy).

Et voilà--a delicious, dark, filling meal, served in a single bowl. (Recipe after the jump!)

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Key Lime Pie: The Easiest Pie Ever


I even kind of made it look pretty.
Ok. Unless you're a masochist who enjoys spending several years squeezing tiny little Key limes, this pie is definitely the easiest pie, and perhaps the easiest dessert, evah. Which is how we like to say "ever" whenever we're excited the Red Sox decided NOT to spend July and August dropping to the bottom of the AL East! But I digress.
There are FOUR ingredients, and one of them comes with the dish for baking:
-Key Lime Juice (You can spend 14 hours squeezing 'em, or it comes in a bottle)
-Sweetened Condensed Milk (you can own a cow, or it comes in a 14 oz. can)
-Egg yolks (comes in an...egg)
-A graham crust (you can make it, or it comes in a pie tin)

Note my awesome super old hand mixer.
If you want to make it look pretty like I did, then you also need:
-One blackberry
-Half a lime
See? So easy.
Important detail: You can't just use regular lime juice. Key limes are significantly tarter and possess a greater depth of flavor -- they almost taste more like a wicked tart berry than a citrus. They're very, very small, about an inch in diameter, and you can sometimes find them in small sacks in the produce section. Each lime contains only a scant amount of juice; however, my Grammy turned me on to Kellie and Joe's Famous Key West Lime Juice and I haven't looked back since. I've seen it sold everywhere form a standard supermarket to the neighborhood bodega, so look around.
Actually making the pie is simple. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric beater (mine's from like 1976, if you can't tell) or a whisk, or a fork (but come on, spring for a whisk), beat together three egg yolks, the milk, and 1/2 cup of the juice. Then, pour it into the crust. BAM. That's it. If you don't know how to separate egg yolks from their whites, here's a helpful video explanation
Now if you want to be fancy (happy, Dawn and Rachel?), paint the exposed edges of the crust with the egg whites you've separated out -- it gives the crust a nice sheen and will help prevent it from breaking into crumbs when you try to cut the final product.

That's an el cheapo silicon brush, but fingers work too!

Throw the pie in for 15 minutes. Don't worry if it seems a tad loose when it comes out; it's set in about another ten minutes on the counter. Here's the pie BEFORE being topped with fruit:



Finally, if you're decorating, thinly slice a halved lime and arrange on the pie. I threw a blackberry into the center, because we had some and I like blackberries, which is the reasoning that guides many of my cooking decisions.




I think it's best to let it cool fully and to refrigerate the pie before serving, but that's your journey. The pie keeps reasonably well for maybe five or six days in the fridge.