Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mango Madness

I struggle to resist a mango in its sublime, summertime sweetness.  They make a happy, bright compliment to so many savory dishes.  If only their darn pits weren't so tricky to work around, not to mention enormous relative to the actual flesh of the fruit!  When my kids spy a mango on the cutting board, I can count on instantaneous hovering, with mouths open and not the slightest concern for the labor required to to amass just one juicy, yellow morsel.  Weakened by those sweet little faces, I've just embraced the reality that, as a rule, I need to purchase roughly twice the  quantity of mango specified in recipes.

Here are a few light, summertime dishes featuring mangoes; incidentally, seafood stars in all of these plates as well!

Seared Tuna with Mango Chutney (Click here for recipe)

This dish rocks, and why wouldn't it?  My girl Ina never lets me down.

(I know I talk about her like she's my BF.  I did actually meet her once when my friend and I waited in line outside Sur la Table with an 8 week old Andrew to have her sign our cookbooks.  I greeted her assistant Barbara - whom I instantly recognized from my dedicated program viewing - like we were old chums and then waited with eagerness for my 12 1/2 seconds in Ina's presence.  She goobed at Andrew, which kind of made my year.)  

Back to the food.   The rich chutney harmonizes perfectly with the light fish, which we happened to grill for this dish (but I've seared it as well before, and both techniques are divine).  Toasted coconut rice played a sweet supporting role.

Shrimp and Mango Salad

This dish was inspired by this Epicurious recipe for Shrimp, Mango and Avocado Salad with Sweet Chili-Ginger Vinaigrette.  We grilled shrimp (brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper) and tossed it along with diced mango - but no avocado since it didn't make it home from the store with me - in the dressing as outlined in the recipe.  The result was tasty and bright.  I love when a single bite satisfies tangy, spicy and sweet all at the same time.  The rice in the background is Barefoot's herbed basmati rice recipe. The broccoli is just lightly steamed and flavored with the sauce oozing over from the shrimp.

Mango Cucumber Rice Salad  (Click here for recipe)

While this is a rice salad per the title, my salad did not actually contain rice, due to my failure to read the recipe until mealtime was 15 minutes away.  Digesting the reality that my poor planning did not leave me with enough time to actually cook the rice, I defaulted to increasing the quantity of quick-cooking quinoa instead.  (So I guess a more appropriate title is Mango Cucumber Quinoa Salad....tomato tom"ah"to.)  Let's be honest here.... if you're a regular quinoa eater, you will find this simple salad to be pleasant and refreshing.  To me, the sweet mango plays nicely off of the crisp cucumber and salty crunch of the peanuts. If you're most men...oops I probably shouldn't have said that not typically a grain person, I'm going to guess that you'll find this boring and mildly tasteless.  Just trying to keep it real, friends...  The bowl next to the salad contained the main course:  Asian Black Cod with Hoisin and Ginger Sauces.  This was a yummy and flavorful partner for the salad.

Darnit.  To be entirely festive, this post really should have included some delicious cocktail like a mango martini or margarita.   Here's a recipe.  Let's pretend I made this too.  Cheers!


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