There’s nothing better than a smooth creamy cheesecake. If you can’t find key limes simply substitute with freshly squeezed lime juice. The lime zest and juice provide a nice balance to the richness of the cheesecake.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons brown sugar 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted – plus more for buttering the pan
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 egg yolks
5 egg whites
3 limes, zested
3/4 cup key lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
Thin lime slices for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 3 inch springform pan. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a bowl and mix well. Pat the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake the crust for 7 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the cream cheese with a paddle at medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add 1 cup of the sugar and beat until blended. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the lime zest, lime juice and vanilla extract and mix until blended.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with a whisk until they begin to expand. Gradually add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, increase the speed to high and beat to soft peaks. Fold the whites into the cream cheese mixture 1/3 at a time and place batter into the prepared pan.
In a roasting pan or a larger baking pan place the cake and pour in enough hot water to come 1 inch up the side of the springform pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until just set. Leave cake in the water bath to cool then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
With a metal spatula, spread a thin layer of sour cream over the top of the cake and finish with thin lime slices.
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup mint leaves
3 small or 1 large cucumber with skin, ends removed, cut into chunks
A pinch of salt
1 large bottle sparkling water, ~33 oz.
Cucumber slices, for garnish
1 ounce of silver tequila or vodka (optional)
Make simple syrup by combining water and sugar in a small saucepan and bringing to a boil. Remove from heat and cool thoroughly.
In a blender, add water, sugar, lime juice, cucumber, mint and salt. Puree until smooth then pour through a strainer to remove any remaining seeds or bits of cucumber peel.
To serve, fill tall glasses with ice then fill half way with cucumber mixture. Top off with sparkling water, stir and garnish with a slice of cucumber, lime, or mint.
Cucumber Cocktail: Pour 1 ounce of silver tequila or vodka into a tall glass filled with ice. Top off with cucumber mixture and sparkling water. Garnish with a cucumber slice and serve.
Street Food Fights return to the patio at Border Grill Downtown LA every Tuesday, August 2 to August 30, 2016. Inspired by countries from around the globe – Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Italy, Lebanon, Thailand, and USA – two street tacos will go head to head each week. Winners will be decided by you based on social media votes and will compete for the gold in the championship round! Call 213.486.5171 for more details and let the taco games begin!
Tickets: $20 – all you can eat early bird tickets $25 – all you can eat tickets at the door $7 – cocktails $6 – a la carte food
Each country will feature one taco, one signature cocktail, two sides, plus a shared dessert station!
This Heirloom Bean Tostada is the perfect way to highlight a variety of vegetables and use proteins as a complement for a satisfying and healthful combo. At Border Grill, we call it “Good for the Planet, Good for You” and follow an 80/20 rule–at least 80% plant based ingredients–building many dishes around vegetables, grains, beans, and fruit and using meat for flavor and garnish. It’s the way of the future. For this tostada, look for interesting dried heirloom beans like Christmas lima, scarlett runner, Peruvian yellow, or black calypso.
Heirloom Bean Salad
1 1/2 cups dried heirloom beans, a couple different varieties
3 to 4 bay leaves
1 small onion, cut into thick slices
2 cups trimmed green beans and yellow wax beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 ounces slab bacon or 4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/16-inch batonettes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 to 2 canned chipotle chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 to 4 jalapeño chiles (red and green), stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
3 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
6 6-inch corn tortillas, fried until crispy
1 1/2 cups frisee lettuce, torn into pieces, for serving
1 ripe California avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and sliced, for serving
6 pieces crispy Serrano ham* (optional), for serving
1 bunch cilantro
1 lime, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Cooking each variety in a different pot, cover beans with water. Add bay leaves and onion slices, diving evenly between pots. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat, simmering gently, covered, for 45 to 75 minutes or until beans are cooked through and creamy inside. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature, remove bay leaves and onion, and drain thoroughly.
Meanwhile, fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil with a very large pinch of salt. Cook green and yellow beans until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and scatter on a platter lined with paper towels. Set aside to chill in the refrigerator.
When all beans are ready, fry bacon in a skillet until crisp then drain on paper towels. Transfer a spoonful of bacon fat to a large mixing bowl and add olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, chipotle chiles, salt, and pepper. Whisk to form a vinaigrette. Add all cooked beans, jalapeño chiles, green onions, and crispy bacon and gently toss to evenly coat. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and vinegar as needed.
For the Aioli: To a food processor, add cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse until cilantro is very finely chopped and a paste begins to form. Add mayonnaise and combine thoroughly.
To Serve: Squirt or spread a little cilantro aioli on each crispy tostada and top with frisee lettuce. Mound bean salad mixture on top and garnish with avocado slices and a crispy Serrano ham slice if desired. Serve immediately.
* Cook thinly sliced pieces of Serrano ham between 2 cookie sheets in a 300 degree F oven for about 10 minutes, or until crispy.