10 May 2011
mother's day eats
Since Mother's Day usually falls around the time when May starts to warm up, I orchestrated a grilled dinner with a citrus flavored pie for dessert. The meal consisted of shrimp skewers with tomatoes and mushrooms, cheddar onion turkey burgers, Italian sausage, bulb onions, a salad, limeade for drinks and key lime pie for dessert.
The shrimp and vegetables were marinated in a simple cilantro-garlic marinade with a little paprika for added smokiness. The used a recipe from the back of a crispy cheddar onion bag for the turkey burgers (the kind of onions you use in green bean casserole). I didn't have one, but everyone said they were good.
The salad was a giant antipasto-like salad with marinated mushrooms, black olives, and green olives, dressed lightly with a homemade vinaigrette.
I had some extra limes leftover from dessert and used them to make limeade, which was then turned into strawberry limeade by adding macerated strawberries. Very cool and refreshing.
I followed Simply Recipe's recipe, minus the mint. I didn't strain the lime zest, but make sure you strain the lime juice because the pulp gets a little overwhelming. I doubled the recipe and used 2 cups of sugar, which ended up minimizing the tartness of the limes. I added more juice to compensate. I'd suggest starting with the lesser amount of sugar, holding back half a cup of the water you add to the sugar syrup and juice. Afterward, if you feel it needs more sweetness to offset the tartness, whip up another small batch of sugar syrup and add it to the rest of the ingredients.
As an aside, a small bag of ice costs $1.80. It wasn't just for the limeade; I made a sweetened and spiced cold brew concentrate that needed ice for iced coffees. Next time I make cold brew coffee I'll zest an orange into the coffee grounds.
For dessert, I made a key lime pie which I have previously blogged about. I didn't add the egg whites to the filling this time. I used them to make an Italian meringue (using the recipe from the frosting for coconut cake I recently blogged about). Since the egg whites are stabilized by the hot sugar syrup, it holds up much better than a traditional meringue. Those usually weep and dissolve after a few days, but this one is still looking good. I beat the meringue mixture for a few minutes on high speed after the last of the syrup was added so it would be stiff. I then baked the pie (sans meringue) for 7 minutes first, then spread the meringue onto the hot filling, sprinkled with sugar, and baked for 15 minutes. The top wasn't browning like I wanted so I turned the broiler on to finish it. Next time, I'll sprinkle lime zest on the meringue before it bakes.
The meringue was amazing and almost marshmallowy. In the future, I'll never make a regular meringue again.
For the crust, I par-baked a homemade coconut shortbread. I winged the recipe because I wasn't sure what I used last time and I forgot I had blogged about it. Next year, I might use browned butter in the dough.
So ends another Mother's Day with a successful dinner. It was low key and fun. I look forward to grilling some more food now that the weather cooperating.
What was the highlight of Mother's Day weekend for you guys?.