Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spicy Lime-y Shrimp-y Salad

I've been using True Lemon products for a long time, so when Virtual Potluck got a chance to work with them, it was a no-brainer. Of course I want to feature their products; bring it on!

The nice folks at True Lemon didn't skimp when they sent the samples to us. We got a box loaded with what looked like every product they made. And a tee shirt. Well, okay, then. I can work with this.

Although I've been using the products for years, I don't think I've ever featured it in a dish. Usually it's a dash of it here or there. Or in water to keep apples from browning. Or as an emergency substitute when I don't have lemon or lime on hand.

Now, before you say tsk, tsk, about my use of a processed food in the recipes coming up, let me tell you that there's nothing weird in the True Lime I used. It's basically just a lime without the water. There are no preservatives, colors, fake flavors, chemicals, or other funky stuff. I've actually dried citrus and powdered it, and let me tell ya, its a lot of work for very little product. This stuff makes sense to have on hand.

A million and one uses, but never the star.

I figured it was time to change that. My first thought was something like ceviche, but then I decided to use in in a cooked shrimp dish instead.

The night I made the shrimp, I served it warm with a side of rice and some vegetables. It would also be great tossed with some pasta.

The next day, I served some chilled, as an appetizer. And then, finally, the most brilliant salad ever.

Spicy Lime-y Shrimp

These shrimp look pretty innocent, but they pack a punch of flavor. First, you taste the lime. then the white pepper creeps in. And at the end is the warmth of the cayenne.

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon True Lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
Generous pinch ground white pepper
Pinch of cayenne
Butter or oil for cooking

Combine the shrimp, True Lime,  salt, pepper, and cayenne in a bowl. Stir to combine and let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes.

Heat about a tablespoon of butter or oil (or a combination of the two) in a saute pan. Cook the shrimp on both sides until it is cooked through and opaque. Shrimp cooks quickly, so don't walk away - this will be done in just a few minutes.

Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.

Lime-Pickled Onions

Lime-pickled onions are one of my favorite condiments ever. The first time I made them, they were specifically for pork tacos. Since then, I've used them on sandwiches, as a condiment for roast meats, and along with fish.

They're also great on salads. The lime takes most of the "bite" out of the onion and adds that great lime flavor.

Red onions are my favorite to use - they turn a bright magenta color that makes a great accent on the plate. You can certainly use other onions, but you won't have the great color.

Until now, I've always used fresh limes to make my pickled onions. I like the idea of using fresh local ingredients.

But let's be realistic for a second. I live in Colorado. Limes are never going to be local.

The second problem with using fresh limes is that you don't know ahead of time exactly how much lime juice you need, and you never know how much juice you'll get from a lime. I've had some limes that are a struggle to get a teaspoon out of. Others are full of juice. You just never know.

The third problem I have is that I like these onions really lime-y and tart. Possibly even limier and tarter than fresh limes. Maybe that's just me. But I was really happy with the ability to amp up the lime.

Oh, and when the onions are gone, the juice can be added to salad dressings... or other things where lime and onion flavor are welcome. It still tastes very limey, but it also has a hint of onion.

Lime Pickled Onions

1 red onion, peeled, quartered, and sliced
1 tablespoon True Lime
Pinch of salt
Water, as needed

I find that a pint canning jar i the perfect size to hold one onion after it has been sliced. Put the onion slices in there, add the true lime and salt, and add enough water to cover the onions.

Put the lid on the jar and shake to dissolve the True Lime and salt. If you want to adjust the tartness, taste the liquid - that's about as tart as your onions will be. It's hard to give an exact amount you'll need every time, since the amount of water will vary depending on how much onion you've jammed into the jar.

If you want a little sweetness, you can add a little sugar. I didn't but it's up to you.

Refrigerate the onions at least 24 hours. You'll know they're pickled by the color - they'll be evenly colored throughout.

What about that salad?

The salad I ended up with was very simple. Romaine lettuce, some sliced hearts of palm, the shrimp, and the pickled onions. I finished it with just a little bit of sherry vinegar - it didn't need much because of the lime flavor in the shrimp and the onions. Then I drizzled it with some good olive oil, and called it a day.

It was a really, really good salad.

How about a Giveaway? Contest is CLOSED ...
... and the winner is @thriftyfoodies

Would you love to try True Lemon products in your own kitchen? Well you're in luck, because each and every one of the Virtual Potluck bloggers is giving away a True Lemon gift set that includes a box each of True Lemon, True Lime, True Orange, True Grapefruit, True Lemonade, True Raspberry Lemonade, True Lemon shaker, True Lime shaker, and a t-shirt, just like the box I received for participating in this event.

Just like this:

You want this, don't you?

For my recipes, I used the True Lime, but it's been fun playing with all the flavors, and the drinks are going to come in handy now that the weather is getting warmer. There's nothing like a tart lemonade on a hot day. It's a pretty impressive box of stuff.

To enter the giveaway
  • Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite citrus fruit is. That's the only mandatory entry.

For optional entries:

  • Follow @TrueLemon on Twitter and leave a comment here telling me you've done so,
  • Follow @VirtualPotluck on Twitter and leave a comment here telling me you've done so.
  • Follow me (@dbcurrie) on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you've done so.
  • Pin a photo from this post on Pinterest and leave a comment telling me you've done so.
  • Tweet a link to this post and leave a comment telling me you've done so.

This giveaway starts when this posts and ends on Sunday, March 18 at midnight mountain time. Prizes will be shipped by True Lemon to US mailing addresses only. See the tab at the top for more about contests here.

Oh, but that's not ALL I have for you!

If you's like a sample of True Lime products, just send an email to customercare@truelemon.com.

For more info about True Lemon, visit them on the web or on Facebook.

But WAIT! I'm not DONE YET!

Remember how I said all the Virtual Potluck bloggers are participating? Well, if you want even more good luck, go check out the potluck host site, Cooking With Books where Marnely can lead you to all the other posts where you can find even more recipes and enter for more chances to win one of these boxes of citrus love.
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