Category Archives: savory summertime eats

Bright Mango Salsa


SB and I were invited to a friend’s house for dinner tonight, and like the good guest I am, I asked if there was anything I could bring to accompany our meal.  My friend said that we were having fajitas, so I should bring something that could be eaten with that.  I got to thinking, hmmm, what should I bring to eat with fajitas?  Could bring guacamole, but that’s easy and she’ll probably have that already…hmm…aha, salsa!  I’ll make salsa.

But I wasn’t going to make the traditional tomato-based salsas that you think of when you think of fajitas.  No, no, dear readers.  I decided to do something a bit different and go with a fruit based salsa (yes, I know tomatoes are technically fruits but hear me out here).  I wanted something sweet and spicy all at once, so I began thinking of what things I could combine to create that flavor profile.  Et voila:

An alternative to tomato-based salsas, this mango salsa is sweet and as spicy as you want to make it--whatever peppers you choose will amp up the heat.

I went with a mango-based salsa, to which I added 3 types of peppers, avocado and cilantro.  Normally, I would add in a purple onion which would make a good addition here, but I left it out of this one so that SB could partake as well.  Mind you, there is a lot of chopping and dicing that goes into this recipe, but trust me, one bite of this salsa and you’ll know it was all worth it.  I think this would be excellent on seafood and grilled chicken, which is how I plan to serve it the next time I make it.

Here’s how I did it.  You will need:

  • 2 mangoes
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large Poblano pepper
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 ripe avocado (not too ripe, you want the flesh to be a bit firm)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  • salt to taste

You will need a medium size glass mixing bowl.

Wash the mangoes, and cut the fruit into small dice.  If you don’t know how to dice a mango, here is an excellent instructional video that demonstrates how to do this:

Add the mango to the mixing bowl.  Next, cut the red pepper into large pieces so that you can remove the seed cluster in the center of the fruit.  You will also want to trim down the inner membrane of the fruit (called the placenta), as it is bitter tasting.  Julienne each of the pieces of pepper, then cut into small dice.  You will want to do this with the Poblano pepper as well.  Repeat this process with the jalapeno, except you want to mince the jalapeno, unless you want large pieces of really hot pepper.  In that case, go for it!  Remember, when buying jalapenos, if there are more cracks on the outside of the fruit, that is an indication that the flesh is hot!

Slice the avocado in half, and remove the pit by carefully sticking the knife into the surface and gently turning it to loosen the pit from the flesh.  The pit should come right out.  To dice the avocado, remove the skin by slicing off a little bit of each end.  The skin should come off easily in one piece.  Cut the avocado into 1/4″ slices, and then turn the stack of slices on its side to cut them in half horizontally.  To dice the avocado, then cut down the stack vertically to create small cubes.  Repeat this process with the other half of the avocado and place the cubes into the mixing bowl.  Mince your cilantro and add it to the bowl.

Finally, add the lime juice, pouring it over the entire bowl of fruit, and using a rubber spatula, gently fold all the ingredients together.  You may or may not need to add salt; it is up to your preference.  I did not add salt to mine, as the flavors of all the ingredients together simply did not need it.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  I stored mine with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface (to prevent too much contact with the air), and then covered the bowl in another sheet of plastic wrap.

Because of the avocado, this is best if made and consumed the same day.  The lime juice will keep the avocado from oxidizing too much, but really, avocadoes once skinned are best eaten that same day.

This recipe made 4 cups of salsa.

 

Advertisements

Lemon Chicken Potato Salad


It’s been a while since I posted a new recipe.  That can be attributed to the fact that the month of May in my house is typically the craziest time of year for me–I’m getting students ready for AP and IB exams, trying to make sure each of my seniors graduates, and trying to wrap up the school year.  Couple that with preparing to head out of town for 2 weeks 3 days after school ends, and things get a little hectic.

I have decided though, that since school is out for the summer and I have a *wee* bit more free time that I will cook much more and post many more new and tasty recipes, and this one’s no exception.

Since summer came early to Texas, the heat came early too.  The last thing you really want to spend your time doing inside when it is 100 degrees outside is spend your evenings cooking over a hot stove/oven.  One day last week, I’d wanted to make a savory salad that could be eaten cold that didn’t require a heck of a lot of prep time.  Enter this:

This turned out to be better than I expected, and was easy to make.  It is best to let this dish sit overnight in the dressing so that everything soaks up the bright lemony flavor.  Here’s how I did it:

You need:

  • 1 full boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 4 cups new potatoes, skin on, cut in half
  • 3 cups fresh green beans
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • salt, to taste

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.  Spread 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a baking sheet.  Place the potato halves on the oil, and roast them for 30 minutes in the hot oven.  Once they are done, remove them and allow them to cool.  While the potatoes are cooking, you can prepare the chicken and green beans.  To prepare the green beans, you are going to blanch them for a couple of minutes in salted boiling water, and then immediately remove them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  You want the beans to be crispy.  Once they have cooled, drain them and set them aside.

Sprinkle the chicken breast with lemon pepper and cook in a skillet with a bit of olive oil until cooked through.  Allow the meat to cool, then dice into bite-sized chunks.

In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup of olive oil, lemon juice, pepper, minced garlic and salt to taste, remembering that potatoes need salt to bring out their flavor.  Whisk these ingredients together so that they are well-combined.  In a large bowl, place the cooked beans, chicken chunks and potato halves and then pour the dressing over all.  Use a set of tongs to toss the veggies and meat in the dressing.  This salad is best if it is allowed to sit overnight so that the dressing has a chance to permeate everything in the bowl.  My advice would be to cover the salad with a tight-sealing plastic wrap and let the salad sit for 24 hours before serving.

SB ate his hot, but I ate mine cold and both were equally tasty.  This recipe made 4 generous servings.