Almost nothing beats a fresh mango. Still, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate mangoes into my cooking that go beyond fruit salad. But with all that there is to do this time of year, I rarely feel like doing anything too complicated, while still keeping in mind that I want to make things feel special for my family and friends. Both of these mango recipes are a delicious and easy way to infuse your cooking with tropical yet familiar flavors that feel special and that anyone can enjoy.
I like to have both on hand to use as an everyday condiment.
The chutney is especially easy to make a huge batch of, can it, and have it available all year long, or to give away as gifts this holiday season. Each of these recipes snazzy up the humdrum of our everyday cooking and are great to make a weeknight meal extra special for all of those surprise holiday guests.
Use the mango salsa as is in all of the ways you would use a traditional salsa: burritos, tortilla chips, or as an easy salad topping.
Top turkey sandwiches or crackers and cheese with your own homemade mango chutney. An easy and delicious holiday appetizer is to take your favorite cracker and spread with either a little cream cheese or goat cheese then top with chutney. Turn up the spice or make it milder to compliment nearly any dish.
My favorite thing about both of these recipes is that especially with the busyness of the season, both are extremely easy to make and turn baked fish, grilled chicken breast, or a roasted pork loin into something extremely special and worthy of a holiday meal at a moments notice. You probably already have all or most of the ingredients to make both of these concoctions at home, and you know if you’ve ever tired to purchase mango chutney or salsa at the store the exorbitant expense of even a small jar. Make your own for less than half the price and with knowing each of the quality ingredients you put in yourself – easy homemade deliciousness without all the preservatives.
Smoked Paprika and Lime Infused Snapper with Mango Two-Ways
Fresh Mango Salsa
3 mangoes, medium in size, cut into a small dice
½ r. onion diced
1 medium red pepper, cut into a small dice
1 jalapeno minced small
½ c chopped cilantro
1 T garlic, minced
2 Limes, juiced
¼ c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-Mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
-Allow salsa to sit for at least an hour or preferably over night for flavors to marinate.
Spicy Mango Chutney
4 c mango, diced in 1 in. cubes (approximately 4-5 medium sized mangoes)
1 ½ c sugar
¾ c apple cider vinegar
1 medium onion, diced
¾ c golden raisins
1 in. ginger, grated or finely minced
1 t mustard seeds
½ t crushed red chili flakes
1 cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
½ t salt
Heat sugar and vinegar in a large saucepan on medium heat until sugar is just dissolved.
Stir in remaining ingredients, turn heat to high, and bring mixture to a simmer.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally until mixture reduces and syrup thickens to a jam- like consistency.
Allow mixture to cool to room temperature, and use within 2 weeks or preserve in clean mason jars using your favorite canning method!
Smoked Paprika and Lime Infused Snapper
4 Snapper Filets (or other mild white fish) 6 oz. each
1 Lime, juiced
1 T Smoked Paprika
2 T Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Check fish for pin bones. You can ask your fishmonger to do this for you.
Drizzle on olive oil and limejuice and sprinkle on salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Rub seasoning over fish and allow to permeate while the fish coming to room temperature, 20-30 minutes. Do not over marinade.
Pre-heat a large nonstick sauté pan on high until it just reaches the smoke point. Sear each fillet in a small amount of olive oil for approximately 3 minutes on each side. Do not over crowd the pan. You may have to do this in two batches. Fish should still be slightly opaque in the middle and will continue to cook after you take it off the heat.
Serve with jasmine rice, garnish with chopped cilantro, and top with fresh mango salsa or spicy mango chutney (or both!).
About the Author
A former baker, chef, caterer, and a forever foodie, John is now a writer and essayist, who has written for newspapers and magazines across the country, and enjoys spending his spare time traveling and collecting bow ties.