Monday, April 4, 2011

Just a Quickie

My friend came over the other night on a whim.  We wanted something yummy and relatively healthy to nosh on while watching our kids run wild in the warm spring evening.  My fruit bowl had ripe mangos piled in it.  Her fridge had cilantro hanging around.  The answer?  Mango salsa.  This is what we made and boy, was it yummy.  We scarfed it down with chips, but I think it would be lovely heaped on some grilled chicken or fish.

Does the idea of chopping up a mango intimidate you?  For a long time, it did me.  Invariable, I would land up with slimy, stringy bits wrapped my knife and a mango that was a slithery pile of mush.  There is hope! First of all, choose a mango that is soft when you squeeze it.  Not mushy, overipe, but not rock hard.  You want a mango with some give to it.  Next check out the color.  Go for one that is mostly red and yellow. Stay away from green.  Stand the mango on end and slice down on either side of the big stringy seed.  Like this.
 Now take the big piece you just sliced off and score it in a cross-hatch pattern, not cutting through the skin.   Like this:
Turn the piece inside out and slice yummy, juicy mango pieces off the skin.  Like this:
Little bits of sunshine.  Yum!  See, not hard at all.  And so delicious!

For the record, there was no measuring involved when we created this, so here are approximate amounts.  You could change it up any way you like.  Omit the tomato, add in some mint.  Play! It's a fun alternative to standard chips and salsa.

Mango Salsa
4 cups diced mango (3-4 large mangos)
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1/2 cup small diced sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped grape tomatoes
1 handful minced cilantro
1/2 jalapeno, minced, seeds and membrane removed
1-2 tsp kosher salt
Juice of one lime

Stir together diced fruit, onions, tomato, jalapeno and cilantro.  Squeeze lime juice over all.  Add salt and stir together. Taste for seasoning. Add more jalapeno if you like a little kick. 

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