I’m definitely on the green smoothie bandwagon. When they initially gained popularity, I really wasn’t convinced that I would be okay drinking a salad. I finally tried it because of the nutritional benefit and found that I really like them! (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Mango’
Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
-Harriet Van Horne (Vogue 1956)
Is there anything more comforting than freshly baked banana bread? Growing up a friend and I would always make banana bread when we were down. We would spy each other with that knowing look and immediately start gathering ingredients. When we were apart we would often bring a warm slice to each other “just because” and the sentiment contained in that delicious slice is something that I can conjure up all of these years later. It was more than the ingredients, it was an act of love. It was an act of knowing that we can’t always fix things with words, but sharing in a scrumptous delight and surrendering to that moment, somehow everything was just a little more bearable.
Tell me what you eat,
and I shall tell you what you are.
After tonight’s dinner, with the above quote in mind, Jean would peg me as a lover of all things tropical and he would be right. I have long fantasized of changing my heritage to more suit my palate and climate preferences. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t get excited at the prospect of scaring the life out of people when I tell them I love them (I’m mostly German BTW), but island cuisine and way of life melds so much better with my current state of mind than my own German roots ever have. (With the exception of Christmas of course. I would be lost without my German Christmas traditions and pfeffernusse.)
Every time I eat a perfectly ripe pineapple or sprinkle some toasted coconut on my latest creation I am reminded of how grateful I am that other cultures and countries share their food with us. My diet would be pretty unexciting if I were only able to eat the foods that naturally grew near my geographical location. It would, however, give me even more incentive to move to a tropical locale.
Nonetheless, this quick and easy recipe helped to muffle my desire to escape to a tropical paradise.
With the kids now back in school and back to a myriad of activities, it has been increasingly difficult to get a good meal on the table. This is the perfect season for slow cookers. With a little prep work earlier in the day, your family can be sitting down to a warm delicious meal moments after mom’s taxi service closes for the day.
One of my favorite movies is the OLD Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Always one to be attracted to the silly and whimsical, Willy Wonka has been one of my favorite characters, played so adeptly by Gene Wilder. He has such delight in the simple pleasures of life and finds ways to share those simple delights in fantastical ways! And yet, behind that silliness, there is such a deep and complex person who cares so much for others. And then there is sweet, innocent Charlie! It is so easy to love him and his genuine, tender personality. And of course, the basis of the movie is a love of chocolate. And I LOVE chocolate!
I used my case of mangoes to make the best jam ever! I was researching different jam recipes online when I stumbled across nectarine jam with basil. I immediately got excited at the possibilities of basil!! My husband and kids love to eat mangoes, but I wanted to do something special with them. I let the 8 pounds of mangoes ripen all week until they were wrinkled and soft, but not mushy or moldy. I discovered last summer that very ripe mangoes make for a more spreadable jam, and that’s why I added Sure-Jell to this batch of mangoes.
Beautiful Ataulfo mangoes from Bountiful Baskets paired with red peppers 3 for $1 at one of my favorite stores, what does that mean? Well, in my kitchen it means “Sweet and Spicy Mango Chutney”. I don’t know that this could technically fall under the “chutney” category as it has no nuts, no raisons, and none of the curry flavors I associate with chutney. It’s probably more like a salsa but since that is the name it came with, and I do not think it’s polite to rename someone else’s baby…chutney it is.
This recipe is beautifully simple to create and has a wide range of uses. I start by dicing mangoes, red bell peppers, and yellow onion. That all simmers in a mixture of brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and lime juice. I add in finely chopped garlic and finely chopped ginger along with a happy helping of crushed red peppers. When that is smelling good and looking pretty I pack it all into my warm pint or half-pint jars and water-bath the heck out of it (15 mins in my neck of the woods).
The shelf- life is supposed to be 1 year but with it’s delicious taste and versatility, mine has never lasted that long. What do I do with it you wonder? Thanks for asking because I really want to tell you. One of my favorite ways to use it up is for a Sunday slow cooker meal that has become a family favorite. I pop in a lightly seasoned pork roast, add a touch of water and let it go low and slow until it’s literally falling apart. I shred that sucker up and mix in a pint of “Sweet and Spicy Mango Chutney”. This “Sweet and Spicy Mango Pork” is then served over rice or in cabbage leaves and topped with macadamia nuts for a delicious Asian dinner.
We have discovered that this recipe is great on the grill. I open a jar, pour some into a ziplock bag and pop in a few chicken legs or thighs, whatever I have on hand. I let that marinade for an hour or so (don’t go much longer or the vinegar will break down the chicken too much) and then put the chicken on the grill. I serve extra sauce (NOT any that was used as marinade) right at the table.
I have also found success making it into a salad dressing. I take a half-pint jar of the “chutney” and whisk that up with a combination of olive and sesame oil and use it to dress a chopped green salad or an Asian-style cabbage salad.
Last , but certainly not least, this sauce makes a great dip for my favorite wonton recipe. I add a touch of sesame oil and some soy sauce to the chutney and then let my guests dunk away. (I’m including the wonton recipe here just for fun.)
Chutney, Salsa, Sauce or just YUM! Whatever you decide to call it I hope you enjoy this delicious way to use up those mangoes.
Last Monday I contributed for the Guacamole add on, and started to dream about rich, creamy guacamole. On Saturday I picked up my Guacamole pack and looked through the bag; avocados, green onion, jalapenos, cilantro, limes and another bag. Inside that bag was a treasure that I was not expecting; dried Chipotle peppers. By the time I got home I had lost interest in the avocados and my sights were firmly set on those wonderful aromatic chipotles. In my conventional basket were 4 big ripe tomatoes, BINGO…Fire Roasted Salsa! It took a couple days before I had time to make the salsa, by then I had remembered the avocados and guacamole.