Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mango Salsa, Heidi style

I've made this and fed it to other people a few times recently, and had requests for the recipe each time. This is something that I've tweaked quite a bit over the last few years, and am pleased with my current version. It is absolutely heavenly when the produce is ripe and perfect - fresh tomatoes and peppers out of the garden pack such a flavor punch. If you can manage to pick a mango that is sweet and ripe, but not yet mushy, then you've really scored. This is the sort of recipe that you can alter the quantities of each ingredient to suit your tastes. Just use my recipe as a loose guideline. My own batches never come out the same either.

1 large mango, peeled and diced**
1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, diced
1-2 large annaheim peppers, diced
3-4 roma tomatoes, seeds and core removed
1 shallot, minced
2-3 T. minced fresh cilantro
2 juicy limes
1-2 t. sugar (depending on how sweet your mango is)
1/2-1 t. salt, to taste
dash garlic powder and coriander
1/4 t. chipotle chili powder

Mix everything up in a medium bowl, and squeeze the lime juice over it. Let it sit for 30-60 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to mix. Easy peasy, and delicious. If I can find an amazing avocado, I'll dice it and throw it in too. I've also added fresh pineapple with good results. We particularly like this in shredded pork tacos, and on top of quesadillas made with chunks of chicken, barbeque sauce and chedder cheese inside.

I used to make this with scallions (green onions). I've found that they can tend to overpower the salsa with onion flavor, and also get wilty very quickly. This salsa is obviously best served fresh, but if you happen to have some leftovers, shallots will hold up better. I love shallots because we're not huge onion eaters. They're the perfect size for me to use one or two at a time, rather than cutting off a hunk of onion and then having the rest of it go bad. Most shallots are more mildly flavored than regular onions as well.

You really, really can't skip the chipotle chili powder. That's the secret ingredient. A little goes a long way, and you can adjust the heat accordingly. It gives such a nice, full bodied, smoky heat. I use it all the time in Mexican cooking. Friends that have made my salsa and skipped the chipotle have come back asking me why theirs wasn't as good - trust me, it's worth the investment.

**A note about slicing mangos: mangos are oblong and flatter on two sides. With a sharp knife, cut as close to the center as you can without chopping into the pit and cut a wide flat slab off of each side. If you are so inclined, you can go back and trim the remaining two skinny sections off the pit. Then, score the mango flesh in cubes down to the peel but not through it. Pop the peel inside out, and voila, you now have perfectly portioned cubes of mango poking up and ready to be sliced off the peel. Very easy.

Sorry for the lack of picture with this post. Next time I make it, I'll snap one and add it. Tonight it all got scarfed up too fast.

1 comment:

Darin and Melinda said...

So fun to get your comment on my blog...weirdest thing, I was sitting at my husbands graduation from MBA school with our two week old baby, and i hear the announcer call out jeff's name and I watch him walk up and grab his diploma...I start yelling his name and waving my arms to get his attention, and he didn't hear or see me...Crazy huh! Anyway, I would love to catch up. you should e-mail me at and we can get caught up...I'd love to see both of your kids!