Mad for Mangos


 A poem for my friendly neighborhood mango fans:

"Mango me baby, it's the fruit you need to eat,

It's got vitamins and nutrients, and it can tenderize meat

Sweet and tart and lusciously golden, red and green in hue

This tropical fruit is perfect for me and for you."

OK, so I'm not waiting for the Pulitzer Prize committee to come knocking on my door, but come on, it's a great way to introduce a column about — you guessed it — the mango.

Mangos are a terrific source of vitamins A and C, beta carotene and fiber. The flavor is sometimes described as a combination of the tanginess of pineapple and the sweetness of peaches. They are considered in season from April to September, but July seems to offer the sweetest fruit at the lowest prices.

Keep unripe mangoes at room temperature when you're trying to ripen them. It can take up to a week, but be warned — they will not ripen in the refrigerator; it's too cold for them. Once ripe, a mango can keep in the refrigerator for about 10 days.

Mangos and their friend the papaya is often a main ingredient in marinades and other such condiments because they contain an enzyme that helps break down the connective tissue in meat and poultry. Just make sure not to marinate too long or they will get mushy.

I'm sure you've heard horror stories about cutting and or peeling a mango, but it's not so tough once you grasp the logistics of the pit and how to work around it.

Sure, you can peel it and cut away slices, but if you're looking to have uniform cubes, there is a trick to slicing and dicing. First, orient the mango so that you know where the pit is. There is a thick pit that runs the length of the fruit between the two sides — or "cheeks."

Cut through the mango, lengthwise on each side of the pit, as close to the pit as you can get. Without peeling the skin off the half, score the half (make a checkerboard), making sure not to cut through the skin on the outside.

Gently push the skin of the mango so that the checkerboard pops out and the skin is concave. Cut the squares from the side as close to the skin as you can.

The recipes below are sure to give you a chance to mango it up. Be warned, however, that once tasted, this fruit can be addictive. And there's only one cure: Eat more of them!

Mango and Black-Bean Salsa


3 mangos, cubed
2 cans drained black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
4-6 green onions, sliced thick
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
2 Tbsps. minced fresh parsley or 1 Tbsp. dried
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2-1 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients, then season with the salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 10 to 12.

Mango Chicken With Rice


8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flattened
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
5-6 cups cooked wild rice or a mixture of wild and white rice
4 mangos, peeled, pitted and diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2/3 cup pistachios
6 Tbsps. dried cherries or cranberries
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350°.

Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.

In a bowl, combine the rice, mango, onions, pistachios, cranberries, cinnamon and allspice. Mix to combine.

Place about 1/3 cup of the rice mixture in the center of each chicken breast and fold the sides over to cover the rice. Tie the breast up with string or secure it with toothpicks.

Place the remaining rice in a 9×13-inch or larger pan.

Heat a grill pan (or you can do this on the grill) and cook the chicken breast for about 4 minutes on each side — just enough to cook the outside but not totally finish it.

Place the stuffed chicken breasts on top of the remaining rice.

Drizzle the broth over the top, cover the pan with foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the rice is hot and chicken is done.

Serves 8.

Mango Caramel Buns

(Dairy or Pareve)

Submitted by Carin Smith of New York

11/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 stick (8 Tbsps.) softened butter or margarine
1 large mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed

In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of the mixture with 6 tablespoons butter. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, whisking constantly.

Add the mango and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until all the sugar is melted.

Spread this mixture in the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking pan and sprinkle the pecans on top. Set this pan aside.

Roll the thawed dough out until it is approximately a 12×12-inch square (you'll need to flour the surface before you roll it out).

Spread remaining softened butter on top of the dough. Sprinkle the rest of the brown-sugar mixture on top of the butter.

Roll the dough (tightly) into a log and then cut the log into approximately 1-inch slices. Place the slices on top of the mango mixture, cover and let rise for about an hour (the dough should double in size).

Preheat oven to 350°.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown.

Let the rolls set for at least 5 minutes, but no longer than 10, before inverting them onto a serving platter.

Mango Banana Bread

(Dairy of Pareve)

Modified from

1 cup butter or margarine
11/4 cups brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
3 cups self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 mashed ripe bananas
1 mango, peeled sliced and puréed
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°.

Grease two 8×4-inch loaf pans and set them aside.

In a bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy; beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.

In another bowl, combine the self-rising flour with salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Combine the mashed bananas with mango purée.

Mix the dry ingredients and banana mixture, alternately, into the creamed mixture until the batter is just combined; fold in the raisins and nuts.

Pour batter into loaf pans.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in the center tests done. Leave in pan for 10 minutes; remove from loaf pans and let cool on racks.

Makes 2 loaves.

Spicy Mango Salad


Modified/submitted by Art Pender of Trenton, N.J.

1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
3 carrots, peeled and julienned
1/2-1 head of green cabbage, shredded
1/2-1 head of purple cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, chopped
2-3 green onions, green parts sliced thin
1-2 mangos peeled and sliced
1/2-1 cup chopped, toasted peanuts

Citrus Vinaigrette:
juice of 1 orange
juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsps. sesame oil
2 Tbsps. rice vinegar
11/2 Tbsps. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. red-pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. coarse salt

Combine all of the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.

In a container with a tight lid, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients and shake vigorously to combine.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.

Serves 6 to 8.

Lime Chicken With Mango Salsa


Modified from a Laura Klein from

Salsa Ingredients:
2 mangos, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup orange juice
juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup fresh basil minced or 2 Tbsps. dried basil
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste

Marinade Ingredients:
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsps. frozen limeade, thawed
salt and pepper

12 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs

Make the salsa first.

In a bowl, combine the mango, pepper, orange juice, lime juice basil, jalapeño and mix to combine.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

In a resealable plastic bag, combine the orange juice, limeade, salt and pepper.

Add the chicken. Seal the bag and turn it upside down a few time to coat the chicken. Marinate in the fridge for 2 hours.

Heat a grill pan and drizzle a little olive oil on it.

Grill for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until the chicken is done and it's golden crusty brown.

Place 2 thighs on each plate and top with mango salsa.

Serves 6.

Mango Coleslaw

(Dairy or Pareve)

3 cups shredded cabbage
2 carrots, shredded
2 mangos, diced
3 Tbsps. minced onion
2 Tbsps. chopped red pepper
1 cup plain yogurt, mayonnaise or a mixture
1 tsp. caraway seeds
2 Tbsps. apple cider or rice-wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. celery salt (you can use regular)
pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.

Serves 6 to 8.

Mango-Raspberry Tart


Tart Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
8 Tbsps. margarine or butter

Filling Ingredients:
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
3-4 large mangos, peeled and sliced

Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup crushed raspberries
1 cup whole raspberries
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsps. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, powdered sugar and margarine. The dough will be crumbly.

Press the dough into a round pizza pan pushing it up the sides.

Bake for 10 minutes, until the crust is set and lightly golden-brown. Remove from oven.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and sugar, and then spread the mixture over the warm crust.

Place the sliced mangos in a concentric circle on top of the cream-cheese mixture.

In a small saucepan, mix the crushed berries with the water, sugar and cornstarch. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble.

Cool slightly, then spoon glaze over mangos. Top with the fresh raspberries. Cut into wedges.

Serves 8 to 10.

Eileen Goltz is a freelance food writer and the author of Perfectly Pareve. E-mail her at: [email protected]


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