What to do with 14 mangoes

July 12, 2009

Dare you ponder the reason I had in my possession 14 mangoes? It all started last Saturday morning, at the Athens Farmer’s Market. I ran into a friend who casually mentioned purchasing an entire case of mangoes at Earth Fare for $5. I didn’t think much of it, until later that day I had to run into the grocery and found myself walking past the display with All. Those. Mangoes. An entire case (yes, that would be 14). The display even did the math for you: 36¢ per mango. It wasn’t the food-lover in me that made the move: it was the cheapskate. I would find a way to use them, and lo and behold, I did (though my family might writhe in protest if another mango enters our house within the next month):

Mango lassi
I’ve covered this before, and have now had one a day for 4 days. Not tired of them yet.

Mango sorbet (adapted ever so slightly from David’s book)
If you have an ice cream maker, this is as easy as it gets (well, no — banana sorbet is actually easier, but this is still really, really easy, and your returns outweigh your effort):

Put in a blender:

  • 2 large, ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into pieces (try to get as much of the flesh as you can, and squeeze the pits with your hands over the blender to extract every bit of mango juice)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp rum (dark or light) — this really helps soften the texture, so if you have the rum, use it!
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (from 1-2 limes)

Blend until smooth, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Freeze in your ice cream maker, according to the instructions.

Mango popsicles
Follow the instructions for mango sorbet, omitting the rum, and reducing the sugar to 1/3 cup (popsicles don’t do well when softened by the extra sugar and alcohol). After blending, pour immediately into popsicle molds, and freeze (makes about 6 popsicles, depending on the size of the mold).

Mango salsa
This is from a well-marked page of fresh salsa recipes in my copy of The Moosewood Cookbook. I change her original instructions slightly: I don’t think the onion needs to be wilted, especially if you let the salsa sit for a bit before using; I also add the option to replace cilantro with parsley. This makes plain grilled chicken or fish turn into something spectacular:

Combine the following in a bowl and stir gently. Let sit for about 1/2 hour before serving:

  • 2 Tbsp finely minced red onion
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp minced cilantro or flat-leaf parsley

Eat the last mango
Even if you do all of the above, you might still end up with a lone straggler. I’m looking at a wrinkled-up specimen, as I type. Tomorrow, I shall bravely peel away the shriveling skin and eat what flesh is edible, straight-up. Call me crazy, if you wish.

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