spicy mango sauce with fresh mint


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i’m going to be totally honest with you.  i don’t really like fresh mangoes.  i respect your opinion, especially if you are from a land in which mangoes grow in abundance.  i understand why you might like them.  they are sweet and beautiful and tangy and slightly sour.  i get it.  but somehow, i just can’t get past the sliminess.  they are just so dang slimy.

any fruit that is slimy enough that it can potentially be dangerous to cut is an aberration, however delicious it may be.  so i spent all day yesterday trying to come up with a way to unslime fresh mango while keeping the flavors which make it ideally suited to fish.

what i came up with might seem obvious to most people, but i surprised myself with the results.  the flavor of the final product took to pan-seared fish like, well, a fish takes to water.

you’ll need:

  • the flesh of one fresh mango
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • hot chinese (or cayenne) pepper
  • heavy whipping cream
  • black pepper
  • orange juice
  • 10 or 12 peppermint leaves
  1. simplicity is the name of the game.  the goal of this sauce was to reduce the textural qualities of fresh mango that i do not like and enhance the flavors that i enjoy.  peel the mango, cut off the ends, a remove the flesh from the cheeks of the fruit piece by piece.  you don’t need to be beautiful about it if you don’t want to, it is all going to get pureed anyway.
  2. peel and mince the garlic.  add it to a large mixing bowl with the mango.  add a splash or two or orange juice.  make sure not to overdo it or the acidity of the orange juice can cause the heavy whipping cream to curdle later on.
  3. IMG_0341add your black and chinese peppers.  i chose to make this sauce spicy for exactly the same reason that people sprinkle salt on watermelon and fresh mango.  spiciness tends to bring out the sweet.  contrast can be one of the most effective ways to strengthen an otherwise subtle flavor, and mango is no exception.
  4. roughly chop the peppermint leaves, setting aside one or two for garnish.  add to the bowl.
  5. add everything to a blender or food processor and pulse until relatively smooth.  don’t full-on blend this sauce into submission or it will end up far too watery.  like good guacamole, a few chunks are necessary to remind us of the original ingredients.
  6. this sauce was made for fish.  however, a unique twist of the mango flavor is that it is not restricted to meats and salads.  although this sauce contains garlic and hot pepper, it can actually be an excellent complement to ice cream or cheesecake (if you don’t mind a little bit of zing).  give it a go, tell me i’m wrong.

makes enough sauce for 3 or 4 meals (depending on whether or not you use it for dessert, too).

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