Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fresh Mango Salsa

Sometimes you have the best plans for dinner and then something doesn't work out quite right so you resort to plan B. In my case, I'm just doing it all backwards. I found some beautiful tilapia fillets at Whole Foods last week, so I was inspired to make some fresh mango salsa to go with them. I picked up everything I would need, but the best looking mangos were hard as rocks, so I figured I would let them set out on the counter and they would ripen up in a day or two. Wrong! I ended up cooking the fish because I didn't want to put it in the freezer, and well, you know how long fish keeps. The tilapia was delicious, but fresh mango salsa would have made it so much better. It hurt me to watch my hubby smother his with tartar sauce. Ouch. So... now, a week or so later, the mangos are perfectly ripe and ready so I went ahead and made the salsa, but I don't have any fish. *sigh*

Here is what you will need to make this:

3 good sized mangos
1 poblano pepper
1 small red onion
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 lime

A ripe mango can be any variation of green, red, yellow and orange. the one pictured here was green with a hint of red, and as it ripened it turned more yellow-orange. It is soft when you push on it, but the skin is smooth and not all shriveled up. Mangos have these large, flat pits that make them impossible to cut in half, so the easiest way to deal with these things is to peel it with a paring knife and then slice the fruit off the pit. Don't even try to get it all of because you can't.

Take some of the mango and mash it up in a bowl sort of like a puree. You can do this in a blender, but I didn't feel like getting it out today so I used a potato masher and then ran my knife through the chunks that wouldn't mash.

Take the rest of the mango and dice it into fine little pieces. They don't have to be the same size, some bigger chunks are nice to bite into for that extra burst of sweetness. Mangos are slippery little stinkers, almost slimy, so be super careful with your knife.

Next, dice up a small piece of the poblano pepper. If you want less heat you can use an Anaheim chili instead, or use a jalapeno if you like it hot. Do a fine dice on this, and add about 2 Tablespoons to the bowl.

Do the same with your red onion. You only need 1/3 cup.

Tear off a small handful of cilantro leaves and run your knife through them every which way you can until it's pretty finely chopped. I didn't measure this, but it was about enough to fill up the palm of my hand.

Next cut the lime in half and squeeze all the juice over it. Roll the lime around on the counter first so you'll get as much of juice out as possible. Stir the whole mixture gently until everything is well combined.

Isn't this pretty?

Feel free to adjust the amounts of anything in here to suit your own tastes. I plan to serve this with fish, but I think it would be good on a nice, salty tortilla chip as well. Maybe if I don't make it to the store we'll just eat it anyway!