Lime Leaves

nicko

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In Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman new cookbook: Simple to Spectacular published by Broadway Books One recipe calls for lime leaves. Are they the same as Kaffir lime leaves (some
people prefer not using the word Kaffir as being too derogatory), or would
they be from the Tahitian lime tree or does it matter. (Can you even cook
with a Tahitian lime leaf?) I suspect the former because it is a Thai -
influenced recipe.

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Thanks,

Nicko
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In defense of mugwort, it can be a very useful medicinal herb. I have a tea a drink daily that has mugwort in it.

Sorry I don't know the lime leaf answer.
 

isa

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Nicko,

Sorry I can't help you with the lime leaves. I would love to have your impressions about this new book. I quickly glance at it the other day and it seemed interesting. What are your thoughts about it?


Thanks


Sisi
 
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Nicko,
I have used about four different types of lime leaves. Kaffir is by far, my fav.. Some of the others do not have that floral scent that the kaffir has.
D.Lee
 
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Mugwort AKA felon herb and sailor's tobacco is used for a variety of purposes including promoting the appetite and stimulating digestion, it's in a lot of homeopathic remedies used for acid reflux and similar conditions, regulates menstruation, rheumatism, and the fresh juice helps stop the itching of poison ivy, oak and sumac (really works too!) It also can be used as a natural insect repellant,

Mugwort's name comes from German Muggiwurti meaning fly plant (so called because it repelled them). In the middle ages it was considered to be a potent magical herb heavy in protective properties; it was thought that if you had mugwort hanging over your door, it would keep away the devil. It also wards off the evil eye, and annoying people. It is rumored that John the Baptist had worn a girdle of mugwort "to help sustain him in the wilderness."

Sorry, I get excited about herbs. I think that discovering their properties has been fun and an experience I am enjoying immensley.

L.
 

nicko

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Joined Oct 5, 2001
Sisi,

There will be review up on ChefTalk shortly.

Nicko

P.S. Great so far.
 
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Since I live in California I never paid attention to the different types of lime leaves. Now I know, Thanks

[This message has been edited by Chef David Simpson (edited 11-02-2000).]
 
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I am sure it must be the kaffir lime leaf that is meant, but it is strange that it is not specified. Sometimes Thai recipes say citrus leaves and they mean this lime leaf. It has a very specific strong medicinal/perfume/floral scent that you won't find in other lime leaves. If there are any Thai grocers in your area (I am lucky to have some) then you can get them either fresh or frozen. I have a friend who grows one in Northern Calif because she cooks so much Thai food. She gave me some that I keep in the freezer...they freeze well, I sure this is much better than dried.

[This message has been edited by nutcakes (edited 11-06-2000).]
 
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Definitely kaffir lime. Jean-Georges Vongerichten uses them exensively. They give a wonderful flavor to curries and braised dishes. The fresh leaves are available from Thai and Indonesian markets and freeze beautifully. They are worth buying in quantity when you find them.
 
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In the past I had the same question when attempting various Asian dishes which called for lime leaves. Through research and experience I found that these recipes are referring to the kaffir lime (aka makrut lime) as others have surrmised.

These are the fragrant leaves of the wild lime tree and are used widely in Thai and South East Asian cuisine in the same way as bay leaves are used in the West. The double leaves are joined tip to end, creating an unusual figure-of-eight shape. They have a spicy, lemony flavor and give a distinctive citrus scent to soups and curries. They are becoming more widely available, both fresh and dried, but substitute lemon grass if you can’t find them.

While the fruit and zest of the kaffir have plenty of flavor, the leaves are the most prized for their floral scent that straddles the line between lemon and lime. The leaves are generally inedible and, like lemongrass stalks or cinnamon sticks, are fished out of soups and curries before serving. However, finely sliced fresh leaves can be used for garnish.

The kaffir lime leaf is essential to Thai curries and soups, but many dishes can benefit from their flavor. Fry in a bit of oil for a fragrant kaffir oil to be used to finish salads or soups. Kaffir lime leaves can also be steeped in milk that can then be used in fragrant puddings and custards.

Ground leaves are an easy way to add a floral citrus flavor to soups, curries, stews, and to homemade curry pastes. Blending it with ground chilies, ground lemongrass, salt, black pepper, and amchoor powder will create a fantastic spice blend for chicken or pork that is spicy, citric, sweet, savory, and sour.

If you make your own sausage, add a bit of ground kaffir lime leaf to the next batch. You’ll be blown away by their Thai-flavored intensity when they hit the searing metal of the grill.
 
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