recipe

Mangrove Mama’s Original Key Lime Pie

It seems every Floridian has a recipe for Key Lime Pie, so The Miami Herald combed the Keys in a 2-week taste test of restaurants serving Key Lime Pie. They reported that 674 restaurants they visited in the keys served it. Their No.1 pie came from Mangrove Mama’s on Sugarloaf Key, from proprietor Rose Orzo. Note that Key Lime Pie is supposed to be yellow, not green as some Yankees might have thought.

Here is the winning recipe:

Two crusts:

Banana-Cocoa Bread

This is not too sweet, with a slight tang from the yogurt and a mellow olive oil undertone. I like the balance the cocoa powder imparts, but if you're partial to a simpler banana bread, omit it. I do think the olive oil is key here; butter is nice of course, but the olive oil really makes this special.

Makes 10 servings.

Fudge-Raspberry Thing

This won the Refrigerated Pie Crust category of the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1989. Write your own sarcastic comment here. Its original name was "Fudge Crostata with Raspberry Sauce" but I couldn't tell that to guests with a straight face, could you?

Homemade Yogurt

This is simple. A few tablespoons of pre-made yogurt gives the necessary bacterial base while the milk makes up the bulk of the yogurt. I have listed whole milk as the starting point but you may use nonfat, low-fat, (unsweetened) soy milk, etc., and the formula remains the same.

Makes 1 quart of yogurt

Fragrant Saffron Rice

This rice is good with the recipe for Sweet Curry, and is adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's "A Taste of India" cookbook.

  • 4-5 saffron threads (or a tablespoon of it if it isn't somewhat fresh)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk or cream
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • Light cooking oil (probably no EVOO here)
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • slivered almonds or whole cashews
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 2 pods cardamom

Optional: sautéed onions

Sweet Chicken Curry

There is no one recipe for curry. The fragrant and salty-sweet taste of this one indicates it's probably from Indian diaspora rather than India itself. I found a very similar recipe being served years later at a festival in Miami by a group of Hindus that brought it from Guyana in South America.

This recipe can be complemented perhaps with some fresh tropical fruit in cream, and sweetened saffron rice (below), with mango chutney or other Indian chutney. Eat with an IPA beer, but follow after with coffee or tea. Adapted from a recipe by my Gator friend Linda Tournade.