Chimol: Honduras’ Answer to Pico de Gallo

Chimol: Honduras’ Answer to Pico de Gallo

Raw Onions and Green Bell Peppers are Gross

Ok, I am just gonna be honest with ya’ll. This recipe for Chimol is basically a bowlful of onion and green bell pepper. I hate raw onion and I hate raw green bell peppers. If I eat raw onion, I taste it for days. I can brush my teeth and gargle mouth wash and it will still be there. That faint bite of onion sitting in the back of my throat, ruining every other thing I eat. With green bell peppers all you taste is a bitter vegetal flavor. It’s not delicious, it’s just blah. I will cook with them all day long. When they are cooked, they are transformed into deliciousness that I would never want to avoid. Raw though? That is another matter.

Why Eat Chimol?

So why in the world would I post a recipe for Chimol? First, I have a hack for you. Secondly, for some mysterious reason, this stuff is actually delicious. All the flavors magically combine to provide the perfect balance of flavors you need for rich foods like Honduran Skirt Steak. If you have ever had Pico de Gallo, this can be used anywhere you would serve pico. It is a great little salsa that can sprinkled on your taco, nachos, steak, or what ever sounds good to you!

An Onion Hack

So even as a raw onion hater, I have on occaison been served raw onion and eaten it if someone went through the effort of making me something they think is delicious. The least I can do is try it, right? In Spain I was astonished at all the raw onion around that did not attack my palate. I wondered for AGES what the secret was, and one day in a Fernen Adria cookbook, I discovered the secret. Soak your sliced onions in water for about 15 minutes before your add them to your dish. Its soooo simple, but it really, really works. I also find that shallots are much tastier in raw applications than onion, so I often just substitute in shallots for onion, but even then, soak those babies first!

Serve with Honduran Skirt Steak, Curtido de Repollo, rice and beans

Chimol

Chimol

Ingredients

  • 1 Shallot, diced
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro, chopped fine
  • 1/4 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 Watermelon Radish, julienned
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Lime juice

Instructions

  1. Combine all your ingredient in a bowl
  2. Let it set for at least 10 minutes before serving
Honduran Skirt Steak

Honduran Skirt Steak

My Comfort Food

My family has deep roots in the Americas. On my Dad’s side, the part of America we have been in for more generations back than we can track, is Central America. We come from a mountainous part of Honduras called Santa Barbara. I’ve been told that our family’s land even has a castle on it! I never visited Santa Barbara or the castle. My childhood was a series of moves through out Central America and the US. I lived in Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas; all before I was nine.

As a result the food of my childhood is pretty varied. I wasn’t a peanut butter and jelly girl, that’s for sure. I was the kid who loved lobster …and mac and cheese! When I was in the US, I ate any weird thing and grossed other kids out with stories of eating tongue and whole fish (with the eyeballs still there!) When I was in Central America, I enthralled other kids with tales of hamburgers, pizza and Dunkin Donuts. One thing both food cultures have in common is a good steak. A Honduran Skirt Steak or Carne Asada a good ‘ol American Steak both have a place in my heart and on my plate!

The Plato Typico

Some of my very favorite meals are comforting, simple foods. In Honduras you find food on what is routinely called the “plato typico.” This usually consists of fried ripe plantains (maduros), Honduran red beans, or black beans with rice (comunion), some pickeled vegetables called curtido (usually cabbage but sometimes onions or a medley of cauliflower and carrots), tortilla, some queso fresco and the main event is the Honduran skirt steak or carne asada. Versions of carne asada are found all over Latin America. In Honduras though, carne asada means one thing and one thing only: grilled skirt steak or sirloin marinated in a mixture of naranja agria, cumin, salt and oil.

The Naranja Argia Problem

The key flavors in Honduran Skirt Steak are the cumin and the naranja agria (sour orange). So making this dish here in the US can be tricky because… well, when was the last time you saw naranja agria at your local mega mart? A latin or specialty grocer in your city may have it but, even then you are more likely to find it in a bottle. If you do find the fruit, buy it and use it (get yourself some ripe plantains while you are at it!) If you don’t, the problem is simple to solve. Just use a combination of orange and lime. It’s not a perfect replacement, but it’s pretty darn good!

Making Honduran Skirt Steak Paleo

Issue number two with the most common version of Honduran Skirt Steak is that it contains worchesteshire sauce. Which as a paleo-ish eater I try and avoid. The most popular store bought version has quite a bit of sugar added. I am hyper-aware of these types of hidden sugars and try to avoid them. In my first few attempts at this, I skipped the worchesteshire sauce completely. I was dissappointed with the results. I looked for a paleo version and to be honest, while they were delicious umami bombs, they did not taste at all like the original. So I decided to make my own. Check out the recipe for it!

Serve with Chimol, Curtido de Repollo, rice and beans

Tim’s Picks!

I will earn a small commision on some of the products on this page if you purchase through my link. I have only recommended products I know and love. I have not recieved anything from these companies for free.

Pairing Considerations

Steak. The easiest pairing to make, right? You could just grab the good ‘ol Cabernet and you’re all set. Look, I like Cabernet. It’s grown everywhere, it packs a ton of flavor, and you can find a good bottle in any shop. However, there is a whole world of wine out there and so many grapes to make wine with, you could have a different wine everyday FOR YEARS! Seriously, why limit yourself?

The Wine

My pairing for Tracy’s Honduran skirt steak is Lioco “Sativa” Carignan out of Mendocino County. Dry-farmed from 70 year old mountain vines, this red is racy and vibrant, with dark berry fruit, hints of herbs, and cocoa. The fruit is fresh and juicy, easily matching the recipe’s citrus marinade and complementing the use of the grill. Enjoy!
 

Honduran Skirt Steak

Honduran Skirt Steak

A paleo friendly version of this tasty steak! Enjoy with fried ripe plantain and a tangy cabbage slaw.

Ingredients

  • Skirt Steak
  • 2 tbsp Kosher Salt, Diamond Crystal
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 1/4 cup Lime Juice
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt, Diamond Crystal
  • 2 tsp Cumin, ground
  • 1 tbsp Paleo Worchesteshire Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Give yourself 2-3 days in advance for this. Both the salting and marinade steps will lead to a more delicious steak. If you skip them, it will be tasty but not nearly as great as it could have been.
  2. Salt steak liberally with salt and place in a covered bowl or ziplock back for 24-48 hours
  3. After at least 24 hours and at least 12 hours before you are ready to grill prepare marinade.
  4. Combine orange juice, lime juice, salt, cumin, garlic, worchesteshire and olive oil and pour over steak. Let it marinade for 12-24 hours
  5. Grill your steaks over high heat for 5-6 minutes per side
  6. Remove from grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving

 

 

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Honduran Skirt Steak

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Dijon Chicken with Potatoes

Dijon Chicken with Potatoes

The Cookbook Addict

I am a cookbook addict. My collection of cookbooks is so expansive that when Tim and I talk about living and traveling in a converted school bus (dreaming and scheming!) we have to talk about where the cookbooks would go. It’s bad… well it’s awesome… but it’s bad. Which means that many of the recipes I make have been inspired by these books. The Dijon Chicken with Potatoes is one of those recipes.

Melissa Clark

I have two of Melissa Clark’s cookbooks. They are both truly wonderful. I find myself going back to them again and again. Before I went paleo, the recipe I made the most was a recipe that has evolved quite a bit, even in her world. Melissa was inspired by a friend’s version, of a whole roast chicken and mustard recipe with bread as the base. She revised that recipe and then her mother changed it AGAIN. Melissa’s recipe and her Mother’s version are fantastic. I have made it for parties and used that toasty bread for a panzanella salad. It is just delicious! However, I don’t really eat bread. I mean I do sometimes (I am more paleo-ish than 100% paleo) but I certainly don’t cook with it most of the time. So I decided to evolve this baby one more time.

My Version

This time, instead of bread as the base I use potatoes. This way I can capitalize on all those delicious chicken juices without any of the side effects I usually get when I eat bread. I mean, why let all those chicken juices go to waste, right? Layers of potato slathered with mustard and thyme sprinkled through out make a perfect base for mustard-y chicken thighs. It comes together with a tiny bit of effort, but it is quick and not complicated at all. Serve this with fresh sliced beefsteak tomatoes drizzled with balsamic, good olive oil, and some nice flaky sea salt. You’ll have a special occaision dinner you can make any night of the week.

My Favorite Melissa Clark Cookbooks

Tim’s Pick!

Pairing Considerations

When looking at a wine to pair with a dish, I want to see the individual components of the recipe and how those components come together when cooked. For this dish, our main flavor ingredients are mustard, thyme, and dark meat chicken. I need a wine that can handle the subtle heat of the mustard, the herbal notes of the thyme, and the rich fat from the chicken thighs. Knowing this, I want a wine that has a good amount of fruit for the mustard heat, some tannic qualities for the richness of the chicken, and soft herbal notes to accent the thyme.

The Wine

One varietal that can hit on all of these notes is Carmenere from Chile. Camenere originated in France, but has fell out of favor over the years and now Chile is the main country for production of this red varietal. You will be able to find most bottles of Carmenere for under $20. This offering from De Martino is just what I need. It has soft red and black berry fruit, hints of smoked herbs, and velvet textured tannins on a medium-full body. Enjoy!

 

Dijon Chicken with Potatoes

Dijon Chicken with Potatoes

Rich and savory, this chicken is quick enough for a weeknight, but special enough for company!

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Thighs, Bone-in, Skin on
  • 4 medium waxy potaotes like red or yukon gold
  • 4 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 4 sprigs Thyme
  • 1 large Bay Leaf
  • Kosher Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • 6 Garlic cloves

Instructions

  1. 24 hours ahead, salt you chicken liberally and set in refridgerator in a bag or in a covered bowl
  2. The next day: Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Remove chicken from the refridgerator and set aside
  4. Oil your casserole dish with olive oil on bottom and sides.
  5. Thinly slice your potatoes into circles (about 1/8 inch thick) brush liberally with Dijon mustard, season with salt and pepper. Repeat on next two layers.
  6. On the third and final layer after you had brushed on the Dijon and added salt, pepper, crushed garlic, torn up bay leaf and thyme leaves.
  7. Coat chicken in Dijon mustard and place on top of potatoes. Top with thyme sprigs.
  8. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until chicken is golden brown and potatoes are soft and bubbly. 
  9. Before serving be sure and remove the pieces of bay.

Artichoke Chicken with Lemon and Olives

Artichoke Chicken with Lemon and Olives

Dreaming of Greece

I’ve never been to Greece. It is on my list, but I just have not made it there yet. I dream of days on some lovely Greek Island, surround by crystal blue water and bright blue skies. This little fantasy inspired me to make Greek style dishes. In my mind, Greek flavors are bright and lemony. I taste oregano and yogurt, mint, olives artichokes and lots of green leafy veggies like spinach. Artichoke Chicken with Lemon and Olives is that fantasy of Greece on a plate. I hope you will imagine the blue and white of Greece with me when you make this dish and like me, dream of a day when you too will be soaking up the sun on a Greek Island.

Serve with Lemon Caulirice with Spinach

In this Recipe:

Tim’s Pick!

Domane Wachau 2016 Federspiel Terrassen Gruner Veltliner – White Wine

While daunting to pronounce and from an area you may not look to buy from, I can promise you that Gruner Veltliner is the PERFECT CHOICE to pair with this dish. This is a bone-dry, zesty, and refreshing white wine that has notes of lemon peel, Bosc pear, herbs, and golden apple. Gruner Veltliner hits on all the notes of this dish with bright acidity that can handle the greenness of the olives and artichokes, citrus notes to pair with the lemon, and lush fruit that melds oh so well with the crispy chicken skin. Enjoy!
Artichoke Chicken | Sweet Lime Road

Artichoke Chicken with Lemon and Olives

A quick and easy weeknight meal that packs in a ton of flavor with out much effort!

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • Kosher Salt, Diamond Crystal
  • 2 Lemons
  • Black Pepper, Tellicherry, coarse ground
  • Black anf Green Olives, pitted. Any kind you like but not the canned black olives
  • 1 jar Artichoke Hearts, in oil
  • 1 tbsp Oregano, dried
  • Olive Oil, extra virgin

Instructions

  1. For your very best results, season your chicken thighs with salt the night before. This will ensure that the salt infuses throughout the chicken and also make your chicken much moister. Doing this step first will ultimatley lower the total amount of salt you will need to season your dish. (So if you remember do this first!) Don't use table salt here... it will taste gross. Use kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal.
  2. The next day remove your chicken from the fridge and pat it dry, allow it to come to room temp if you have time. This will help you get a crispier skin. (If you don't have time, it will still taste GREAT!)
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  4. Season your chicken with salt, pepper and oregano. Use your hands to make sure the seasoning is distributed all over the chicken.
  5. Heat your cast iron skillet on med-high. Once the skillet is hot. Add olive oil let it heat up about 30 seconds
  6. Add your chicken to the pan skin side down and cook until the skin is brown and crispy. (If it seems like things are happening too fast, lower the temp a bit) 
  7. Once the skin is brown, flip over your chicken breasts and brown the other side.
  8. When the chicken is browned on both sides, add your quartered lemons, olives and artichoke hearts to the pan and slide your pan into your hot oven
  9. Cook for about 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and lemons are well roasted.

I will earn a small commision on some of the products on this page if you purchase through my link. I have only recommended products I know and love. I have not recieved anything from these companies for free.

Lemon Caulirice with Spinach

Lemon Caulirice with Spinach

Giving Up Rice

When I went Paleo, I had a really hard time with the idea of giving up rice. I mean, I missed pasta, but giving up rice seemed like I was cooking with one hand tied behind my back. Rice has always been my go-to, quick and easy meal. I could always add some leftovers to precooked rice and chow down. It has taken me some time to find my way back to those flavors and that easy way of cooking.

Discovering Caulifower

Thank God for cauliflower rice. I wasn’t convinced at first. It was probably a year and two Whole30’s before I even tried it! The first time I actually believed that cauliflower rice could be tasty was when I made Nom Nom Paleo’s Asian Fried Cauliflower Rice. It was so dang delicious, I knew then that I could adapt my old standby’s to my new grain-free (ish) world. The very first version I tried transforming was my Greek lemon and spinach rice and so this Lemon Caulirice with Spinach was born.

Transforming on Old Favorite

I created this recipe years ago after eating a delicious Greek meal in downtown Cleveland. I know, Cleveland is not the first place you think of when you think of Greek food, but trust me, they make some truly wonderful Greek food in that town! Now that I eat mostly Paleo, that same dish has evolved into this new version! I hope you will enjoy the Lemon Caulirice with Spinach as much as I do.

Serve with Artichoke Chicken with Lemon and Olives

Lemon Caulirice with Spinach | Sweet Lime Road

Lemon Caulirice with Spinach

Enjoy this Paleo spin on a lemony greek style spinach rice.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Cauliflower, grated
  • 1 bag Baby Spinach
  • 1 Lemon, Zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil, extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp Oregano, dried
  • Salt, Kosher
  • Pepper, Tellicherry, coarsly ground

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on med high
  2. Add cauliflower, salt, pepper, oregano and lemon zest to heated pan
  3. Stir to combine and cook until cauilflower is tender. 
  4. Add a little oil if needed and brown the cauliflower a little, so there are some golden brown flecks throughout the cauliflower 
  5. Add your baby spinach and lemon juice and stir into the cauliflower as the spinach wilts. 
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking if needed.

Perfectly Paleo Breakfast Sausage

Perfectly Paleo Breakfast Sausage

When I went paleo a few years back I was shocked to discover that sausage has sugar in it. WHY? Back then paleo and the Whole30 were not what they are today and getting products that were paleo or Whole30 friendly was a whole lot harder. I mail ordered bacon! I mean come on… I was desperate. Fortunately, things have gotten easier for us paleo folks and we don’t have to work as hard to find products that don’t have a ton of chemicals or added sugars. But back then, I had to find a solution and ASAP. That is when I realized just how simple breakfast sausage is to make. I mean dead simple. Add a few spices to ground pork and fry! So even though I can find breakfast sausage without sugar now, I still just make my own. I like it better!

This is the basic recipe. If you want to add some of that sweetness back into the game (I don’t miss it) you can fry this up with some apple, which makes a delicious egg-free breakfast. Play with it and make it your own! You won’t hurt my feelings.

Not familar with Paleo or the Whole30?

The paleo way of eating involves removing grains, processed foods, seed oils, dairy and added sugars from your diet and focuses healthy whole foods. This high fat, high vegetable animal protien way of eating has transformed my life and my health. Find out more here. The Whole30 is a thirty day elimination program that helps your body reset so that you can identify the foods that are optimal for your body and which foods you don’t tolerate as well. Based on paleo principles this program has been effective of thousands of people including me! Find out more on the Whole30 website

Perfectly Paleo Breakfast Sausage

Perfectly Paleo Breakfast Sausage

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

None of that sneaky sugar hiding in this breakfast staple! Just high quality pork and seasonings. What could be better?

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground pork, best quality you can afford
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt, Diamond Crystal
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flake
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 6-8 grates fresh nutmeg, use your microplane here
  • 6-8 grinds black pepper, preferably tellicherry

Instructions

  1. Add all seasoning to ground pork and mix well with your hands. Make sure all the seasoning is fulling incorporated throughout the meat
  2. Take a small pinch of the meat and microwave it for 12-20 seconds. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  3. Once the flavor is where you want it, heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat. No oil needed, there is plenty of fat in the pork. Once the pan is hot add the pork to the pan.
  4. Brown the meat well. You want crispy bits of brown goodness on that sausage!
  5. Serve and enjoy!

 

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