Posts Tagged 'mango'

Mango and Cucumber Salad

I have a new cooking toy – a mandoline.

Don’t ask me why a person who is constantly and lovingly cooking never purchased one of these extremely useful tools. With a mandoline, slices are uniform, and can be made very thin, much thinner than you can make them with a knife. The reason I bought one at this time, besides a buy one get one free gadget sale, is to do this:

And the reason I wanted very thin cucumbers (and red onions) was to make a mango and cucumber salad that came from Dash recipes in one of those newspaper inserts.  The original recipe called for a little bit of lemon-flavored olive oil, but I didn’t have that, so I left it out. It also called for finely chopped Serrano chile. I left that out because I was taking it to a “celebration of life” for a recently deceased neighbor. I knew most of the attendees would be elderly and probably not like the extra heat. I think it would be even better with the chile.  The leftovers were very nice with lunch for a day or two.

Mango and Cucumber Salad

3 mangoes, peeled and diced into one inch pieces
1 seedless (English) cucumber, unpeeled and sliced very thin
1 small red onion, cut in half and sliced very thin (about ¾ cup)
1 Tablespoon finely chopped Serrano chile pepper (optional)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl, mixing well. Chill at least one hour. Makes 8 servings at 0 grams of fat/serving.

The cilantro is from my garden. It makes me happy.


Curried Pork Kebabs with Mango Chutney

You may notice a mango theme recently.  This because the grocery store had a two-for-the-price-of-one mango sale.  Who can resist.  I love mangoes. I grew up where people had mango trees in their yards, and in season brought you bags of mangoes.

I recently learned that two-for-the-price-of-one is called a BOGO (for buy one, get one), so now I know that the email ads that tell me BOGO today are not asking me to play a game or dance, but are trying to get me to buy two pairs of shoes.

Back to my BOGO mangoes (that actually sounds like a good name for a recipe: pork with bogo mangoes.)  My problem with mangoes is that they are hard to peel, which is compounded by the fact that I tend to eat them while I peel them, leaving me less than I need of peeled mango.   I have seen photos where someone cuts the mango down its flat sides and neatly dices the flesh while it is still on the skin.  Allegedly, the diced mango comes off the skin neatly diced – but mine never does.  I just peel the whole mango first, slice off as much as I can to dice for whatever I am making – and eat whatever is still clinging to the pit, mango juice dripping down my chin.

This recipe started as a recipe for chicken breasts from Cooking Light, but I have turned it into pork kebabs, adding the vegetables to make it a more substantial meal..  A chutney is a variety of sweet and spicy condiment, usually involving a fresh, chopped vegetable or fruit with added seasonings. When I lived in Mumbai, fresh chutney, made of whatever fruit or vegetable was available in the open air market that day, accompanied most meals. It was often made with chili peppers and very spicy.  The piquant chutneys were thought to stimulate the appetite. Mango chutney in Mumbai was likely to be made from green mangoes.  This mango chutney, made with ripe mangoes, follows a more western interpretation of chutney: fruit, vinegar and sugar, cooked down to a reduction, and often preserved like jam, rather than eaten fresh. Leftover chutney of any kind is great on cream cheese or goat cheese sandwiches.

Curried Pork Kebabs with Mango Chutney

Mango chutney:

2 cups chopped peeled ripe mango
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup apple juice
1/3 cup diced dried apricots
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Pork Kebabs

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
1½ lbs pork tenderloin, trimmed of all fat and cut into 1” pieces
1 medium onion, peeled, quartered, and cut into 20 chunks
1 red or yellow bell pepper, de-veined and seeded, and cut into 16 chunks

To prepare chutney, combine all chutney ingredients in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring mixture occasionally.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To prepare kebabs, combine the soy sauce, juice, curry, and pork cubes in a zip-top plastic bag; seal and shake. Marinate in refrigerator 10 minutes, turning once. (I actually marinated them while I prepared the chutney).  Pre-heat a grill and lower the heat to medium high.

Remove pork cubes from bag. String pork cubes on 4 large or 8 small skewers, alternating with onions and peppers. (If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least ½ hour prior to stringing them on the skewers).  Brush kebabs with marinade, and then discard remaining marinade.

pork kebabs 2

Place pork kebabs on grill.  I have a kebab rack, a nifty metal square with notches that suspends the kebabs above the grill rack. If you don’t have one of these devices, be sure to coat your grill rack with cooking oil so the kebabs don’t stick.  Cook for about 5 minutes, then turn kebabs over and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until pork is done. Serve with chutney on the side.  This makes 4 servings (one large or 2 small skewers) with about 4.5 grams of fat/serving.  I served the kebabs over couscous made with chicken broth.

pork kebab abnd couscous2

Grilled Trout with Roasted Pepper-Mango Salsa

I have been traveling a lot for a month or two and not having much chance to cook – although I’ve discovered some outrageous restaurants.  I love to eat in good restaurants, but I miss my own cooking.. My kitchen has been bereft of fresh fruits and vegetables in order to avoid having them rot  while I was on the road (or in the air).  But now I’m back, and the farmers’ markets and grocery stores are packed with summer fruits and vegetables – the grill has been more or less cleaned – so let the cooking begin!

Tonight I grilled trout. The grocery had them whole, heads and all, but I asked the butcher to chop of the heads and tails and split them open so they would lay flat on the grill.  They were too small to bone prior to cooking, but once they were grilled, the bones more or less lifted right out.  I decided not to fuss with the trout, since they were fresh and would have their own delicate flavor.  Trout Is often sautéed or pan fried, but freshwater trout has a high fat content and can easily stand up to grilling.  I made a lightly spicy fruit salsa with and Asian touch to go with the fish.

Grilled Trout with Roasted Pepper-Mango Salsa

4 whole trout, heads and tails removed, and halved lengthwise. (These trout were only about ½ pound whole, and after the head and tail were removed, there was probably 4 ounces of meat left)
Mesquite seasoning (I used Costco’s, which is not too strong)
1 red bell pepper
Cooking Spray
2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into ½ inch dice
½ cup sweet onion (like Vidalia or Walla Walla), finely chopped
2 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1 green chili, seeded, de-veined,, and finely chopped (optional)
2 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce (I used Sun Luck, but there are several brands)

Preheat the grill, then reduce the heat to medium low.  Cut the red pepper in half and remove the seeds and veins. Place cut side down on hard surface and flatten with the palm of your hand.  Spray both sides of the pepper with cooking spray. Place on grill, cut side down.  Grill for about five minutes per side, turning once. (I used a barbecue grill pan sprayed with cooking spray on top of the regular grill to make it easier to remove the pepper without sticking).  Remove pepper and allow to cool slightly.  Cut the pepper into ½ inch dice.  Mix the pepper, mangoes, onion, cilantro, chili, and sweet chili sauce in a medium bowl and set aside.  Spray the trout  with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with mesquite seasoning. Place flesh side down on the same grill surface you cooked the peppers on.  Cook for 5 minutes, turn over, and cook for about 4 minutes more.  Serve with salsa.  This makes 4 servings. The amount of fat depends in part on the type of trout – rainbow trout have more fat than lake trout, but I estimate that the total fat is about 8 grams/serving.

trout and mango salsa

NOTE on peppers: I had a bag of red bell peppers, and took the opportunity to grill all 5 of them so that I could use them for sandwiches and such.  No sense turning on the big barbecue and grilling one every time I need one, when they keep quite well for several days refrigerated in a sealed plastic bag.


I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

More about me.

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