Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mango with Ginger--Surprising Simplicity

My confession will not sound humble at all but, as my culinary experience evolves, it becomes more and more difficult to impress me. By being interested in cooking for many years I can tell, as many food lovers would, what ingredients were used in a particular dish, or often, just by looking at the ingredients list, I could guess if the recipe would be worth trying. As my notebooks are filled with recipes I rarely ask the "How do you make it?" question any more.

But please do not take me for a culinary snob. I do not eat foie gras, caviar, ducks, or even sushi, and many others delicacies. Although I am somewhat spoiled by good food, at the same time, I am a most grateful guest. I could not be happier to be invited for a simple pasta dinner, which always tastes better if I do not have to cook it myself.  And, I do get impressed.  Funny enough, it does not have to be a sophisticated culinary creation, which could cause many fastidious food lovers to drool, but a most simple one, that can make me think "Wow! It is so easy and so delicious. How could I have never thought about such a combination?"

Last year, I was invited for a dinner by a German friend. I knew he was a great cook and, indeed, everything he prepared for that dinner was superb, from salad to the main dish (I brought the dessert). During the dinner not once, but twice I had to pose the "How did you make it?" questions and, for the first time in a long time, I left the dinner party with two new recipes.

I will share both of them. Today it will be the first one--a simple and easy side dish made with mango and ginger, which is a great fish or meat accompaniment. My previous post featured it as a side dish to the sole in macadamia nuts crust.

This mango dish is very delicate and sharp at the same time, thanks to ginger. And it is composed basically from these two ingredients. Wouldn't you appreciate such a short shopping list--just mango and ginger--and later indulge yourself with its slightly exotic, but subtle taste?

If you are a mango lover and appreciate interesting combinations, that dish will likely become one of your favorites.

Mango with Ginger

3 mangoes, ripe but still firm,
1-2 inch-long pieces of fresh ginger,
2 tbsp butter,
1/2 of a lime.

1. Peel off the mangoes,
2. Cut a flesh from four sides, not too close to the seed.
3. Cut it in smaller, diagonal pieces.
4. Peel off the ginger root and grate it on a grater with very small holes.
5. In a pot, melt butter and add mango.
6. Cook fruits for about 5 minutes (until they soften up).
7. Add ginger--if you like it mild, add about 1 inch of grated ginger, if you like a stronger taste, grate two inches.
8. Cook it together for another 5-10 minutes, depending on how ripe the mangoes are.

Serve with chicken, any meats and fish.If mango happens to be very sweet, a squeeze of lime on top will help offset some of its sweetness.


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