Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mango Showdown

Ahh here we are again, the first challenge of 2010. You may remember the chicken challenge from last year. Well, we're back again with mango challenge, AND we've added another contender. TINA! from Brooks Pepperfire / Peppermaster and Operation Ayiti and don't forget to head over to Snack to check out Caty's submission.
So this is Challenge #2 Mango Showdown. 2 dishes for this one, Mango Scallop Ceviche, and Smoky Spicy Mango Sorbet.

#1 Mango Scallop Ceviche: This summer I was fortunate enough to attend a cooking class in Old Montreal with 4 wonderful friends. One of the dishes we made was a scallop ceviche. A ceviche is a raw fish preparation, but the amount of citrus in the marinade 'cooks' the fish. I've adapted the recipe to be spicier and more tropical (i.e. Mango).

1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped or grated zest of orange, lemon, and lime. Whatever combination / ratio you prefer.
3 toes garlic, minced (A Dutch friend of mine once sent me a recipe where he listed the garlic cloves as 'toes' I have loved that ever since)
The juice of 1 orange, 1 lime, and 1/2 lemon
8 large sea scallops (not bay scallops) sliced thinly
a pinch of salt
1 habanero pepper, minced
1 1/2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
the cheeks of an underripe mango. What cheeks means is the broad flat sides of the mango where you can get the most meat. If you want you can take the rest of the mago flesh off the narrow sides, but I found that it was enough just to use the cheeks. The mango needs to be hard enough that it doesn't fall apart or add too much juice to the marinade but ripe enough that it's actually edible.

So, right, the pictures...
I used a vegetable peeler to remove the zest (the outer coloured area of the peel) from the citrus fruits. However, I guess the skin on the lime was too thin and I trespassed into the pith. You can see in the picture below, the white part. This is bitter and must be removed.

Here are some nice plump scallops, they shouldn't be mushy or smell like fish at all.

And don't forget to tweet while juicing the fruits :)

All ingredients except for the cilantro and put it in the fridge for a few hours. At least 3. You can see that the scallops have already started to turn whitish, this means that the 'cooking' process is starting.

Just before serving, add the cilantro and mix it up. I garnished. Yeah, you know it.

#2 Smoky Spicy Mango Sorbet: So January is sorbet month, as I may have mentioned. This one is not designed to cool you however. I paired the sweet juicy mango with the smoky spiciness of a VERY hot pepper. The Bhut Jolokia (AKA Naga Jolokia) peppers that I bought from Épices de Cru were of the smoked variety, and VERY VERY hot.

2 ripe mangoes (for some reason I can't help typing Mangies, I like that word better)
1 dried smoked Bhut Jolokia Pepper. For those of you who might be intimidated by the 'HOTTEST PEPPER' you might want to substitute with a chipotle or even an Ancho Pepper would be nice.
1/2 cup mango juice
2 cups simple syrup
1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 tsp vanilla

To add to the smokiness, I cut and peeled the mangoes and then placed them in a very hot pan in order to char them. This WILL make a mess of your pan (burnt sugar is eeeeevil). After the fruit is removed I added 1 1/2 cups of water and the dried pepper. This will dislodge some of the material from the bottom of the pan and help to reconstitute the pepper.

To make the simple syrup, just combine a 1:1 ratio of granulated sugar with water and heat until the mixture turns completely clear. Add that to a pot with the chopped charred mangoes (mangies) and the reconstituted pepper (also chopped), and the liquid from the frying pan.

Cook over medium heat until the mangoes are mushy and cooked through. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla and blend with an immersion blender or in a conventional blender. Add 2 tsp vodka and pour into a shallow pan. Freeze over night. And as usual, since the vodka is out, make a drink, otherwise it won't freeze, honest!

Then shave it with a spoon and put it into small cups to serve. Consider serving it with a piece of cake or buttered scone. This baby's spicy, you're going to need some help.

I can't wait to see what my 2 other challengers have cooked up, and you should too!

Mangoes are tasty, but one last thing to note, don't cut too close to the seed. The seed is fibrous and you will be flossing for hours if you eat the flesh that's too close to the seed.

That's all for now kiddies. I will post very soon about the upcoming Wine to Water event in Montreal (tentatively scheduled for mid-May) sponsored by Barefoot wines. Until then, happy mangoes and thanks for visiting the cheeseandolive national zoo!

xoxo -Candace


  1. As the official taste tester of all things littlesnook (in fact, I'm probably the only taste tester), I can safely say that the ceviche was crazy good. CRAZY. You should seriously stop what you're doing immediately, and make some for yourself. NOT. JOKING.

    The mango sorbet has me puzzled. Like the episode of the Simpsons where Bart keeps trying to grab the electrified cupcake. It doesn't make sense to me yet that when I eat something sweet and cold that my mouth ends up on fire.

    Candace can vouch for the fact that my tolerance for spice is going up almost on a daily basis (I add more heat to any already hot salsa that I buy), but these bhut jolokias are not for wusses. If you can't handle heat, well, let's say you've got some sorbet that you can use to torture your wussy friends with.

    It is also tasty, just tread carefully!

  2. That ceviche looks de-loshous. I am a little intimidated to make that at home, but I may have to try a 1-2 scallop version so to not get myself in too deep (no sea pun intended).

    Brava as per usual!

  3. Well, the two of you have successfully made me look like a hack, I only prepared one recipe. Ooops.

    I'll have to concede this challenge. For what it's worth though, I'll take you both on again, now that I know what is expected!

    I'm dying to try these scallops!

  4. i can't cook worth a damn.

    candace, one day i will hire you for an afternoon of introduction to cooking.

    not kidding.

  5. Thanks for all the comments guys! Tina and Caty yours sound great! This was so much fun : )
    I will definitely be trying yours out!

    And Julie, if you need any help with anything, let me know. I'm no expert but willing to lend a hand if needed xoxox everybodies :)

  6. I need a course on how to follow a recipe and a few recipe ideas that are simple and kind of go-to recipes for a single woman who as of yet hates to cook.

    i'm serious. if i supply wine, will you help me?

  7. toes of garlic. a classic!