From Chris Halpin
Mangos come in many varieties and are used in many cultures. We typically see two varieties – the Alice that is green and turns red when ripe and the Ataulfo that’s smaller and flattish and turns from green to yellow when ripe. For these recipes either will be suitable.
The fruit is oval in shape and you will see that there is a ridge that runs from the stem around the centre, this is where the pit, or seed, is. The easiest way to peel a mango is to peel along this ridge and then peel each lobe, or “cheek,” on either side of the large, flat seed. To cut the flesh from the seed, place the mango on its stem end, narrow side facing you. Allowing about 1/2- to 3/4-inch as the thickest part of the seed, slice each lobe off the pit, as close as you can get.
Mangos freeze well, with very little change in texture when thawed. I always leave mangos in whole lobes. It’s less work than dicing them and allows me to decide how I want them to look when I’m ready to use them. To freeze, arrange the peeled lobes on parchment-lined baking sheets and place in the freezer, uncovered, for 24 hours. Then transfer them to a freezer bag.
1. Salty Mango and Poblano Pickle
For this recipe choose very firm or even hard mangos. In a pan on medium-low heat, put 1/4 c. canola oil, 2 t. brown mustard seed, 1 T. coriander seeds and gently fry, stirring constantly, for about a minute. Then add 1 t. ground cumin, 1 t. ground turmeric, 2 T. paprika, stir the mixture into a paste and add 2 mangos, peeled and cubed, and 1 poblano chile, cored and diced. Sauté until the chile is wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the zest and juice of 2 limes and 1/4 c. salt, stirring until the salt is
fully dissolved. Pack tightly in a glass container and store in the fridge for up to 6 months. This is great with curries or tagines and equally good with sausages or roast pork. Makes 3 cups.
2. Curried Mango Sauce
This sauce is perfect for mangos that are a little too ripe to eat. In a pan over medium heat put 2 T. butter and 1 large onion, diced, and sauté until very soft and just starting to caramelize, 4 to 6 minutes, then stir in 2 T. curry powder, 1 t. ground ginger, 1/2 t. dried thyme, and salt to taste. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes before adding 2 garlic cloves, crushed. Continue to sauté for a minute more before stirring in 1 c. dry, light-bodied white wine, and then bring to a boil. Add 2 ripe mangos, peeled and sliced, and simmer until the mango starts to break down, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and purée in a blender until smooth. Adjust salt and reheat before serving, garnished with basil and finely diced Roma tomato. This is such a versatile sauce; it is great with fish, chicken, pork, and even lamb. Serves 4.
3. Saffron Chicken Stewed with Mango, Salty Olives and Almonds
This is my take on a Spanish-Portuguese-Moorish stew. Dredge 8 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on, in 1/2 c. flour, 1 t. salt and 1 t. paprika. In a pan over high heat, put 1/2 c. canola oil and allow it to get very hot before searing the chicken. Place the thighs in the oil and brown on all sides, then remove and set aside. Pour off most of the oil in the pan before adding 1 onion, sliced, 1 small fennel bulb, sliced, 1/2 t. chile flakes, 1 t. ground cumin and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until wilted. Add 1/2 c. whole almonds and 1 c. salty green olives, and sauté for a minute more, then add 1 bottle of pale ale or a lager, 2 pinches of saffron threads, crushed, and 1 T. salt. Bring to a boil, add the chicken, cover, and reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring from time to time, Add 1 firm mango, cut into medium dice, and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Serves 4.
4. Warm Mango Salsa
Try this with grilled meat or on a round of Brie. Finely dice 1 mango, 1 sweet red pepper, 1/2 English cucumber, peeled, 2 garlic cloves, crushed, and 1 t. adobo sauce from canned chipotles in adobo and salt to taste. Mix in a bowl. Chop together 1/4 c. green onion, 1/4 c. dill and 1/4 c. cilantro. In a pan over high heat, put 1/4 c. olive oil and let the oil get hot before adding the mango mixture from the bowl and half the chopped herbs. Sauté until hot, spoon over your dish and garnish with the rest of the herbs. Serves 4.
5. Mango Ginger Sorbet
This recipe is perfect for very ripe or frozen mangos. Place 1 c. water, juice of 1 lemon and 1 c. sugar in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Allow this to boil for 5 minutes, then add 4 soft mangos, peeled and chopped, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fruit is pulpy. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 t. grated fresh ginger. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then purée until very smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Cool before refrigerating for 2 to 3 hours until completely cool. Place in an ice cream maker and turn until firm, about 20 minutes. Spoon into a chilled ceramic bowl, cover and place in the freezer for 30 minutes before serving. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make a semifreddo! Just pour the mixture in a chilled shallow ceramic dish and place in the freezer. Stir every 20 minutes, until it starts to set up, then let it sit for another 20 minutes before
serving. This method is best if not completely frozen – the clue is in the name. Semifreddo is Italian for half frozen. Makes 4 cups.
6. Warm Mango Blueberry Custard
For this recipe, the mangos should be just about ripe. In a bowl, put 1 c. frozen blueberries and 1 t. flour, and mix to coat the berries. Set aside. In another bowl, put 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 t. nutmeg, a pinch of salt, 1-1/2 c. 10% cream, 2 eggs, and 1/2 t. vanilla; beat until smooth. Lightly butter a 9-inch casserole dish, arrange the flour-coated blueberries in the bottom, pour the custard over and place 2 mangos, peeled and thinly sliced, over top. Bake in a preheated 350°F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the centre is all but set. Serve warm with a sprinkle of sugar. Serves 4.