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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How Not to Slice a Mango...

I wanted to make a burger with spicy grilled mango as a topping. In addition to a newly ripened Paul Robeson tomato, of course.

I was watching the Tour de France and flipping channels during a commercial, I saw a couple of dudes on Food Network who had sliced some mango, then drizzled it in olive oil, salt, pepper and cayenne, and grilled it.

I assumed slicing mango was a straightforward operation, and I guess it is if you know what a mango stone is shaped like. The stone of a mango is sort of football shaped and runs the length of the fruit.

I didn't know this, and the carnage was spectacular. I barely got any pieces of mango big enough to straddle the grates on the grill. What I did get got some olive oil and cayenne, though, and went on with the burgers to caramelize away.

I also picked some Thai Magic basil, sliced a bit of red onion and finished off with a dab of mayo and some alfalfa sprouts.

Serve with more Paul Robeson (I had two ripe fruits; there are a half dozen blushers ripening on the counter, it's not the tomato tsunami, it's more the tomato trickle, but it's a start) and steamed Brussels sprouts.

Wow. It's probably an overly complex sandwich: the tomato gets a little bit lost between the burn of the cayenne, the sweet mango, the almost minty basil, the onion and (oh yeah) the charred beef. And if I'd left all the sliced tomatoes on the side, it might not have been as big a mess to eat.

Mo didn't have any interest in the tomato or mango, but she did do in the lion's share of the Brussels sprouts and alfalfa sprouts. With steroidal Mexican marshmallows for after (I skipped dessert, the coals had died down too much to roast them, and I'm not as into plain marshmallows as Mo is).

Oh, and if you don't already know how to slice a mango, in case you join the cooking show after they've done that part, here's what you need to know:

So much for presentation: I realized after the fact that the one shot makes the Brussels sprouts the focus, and don't get me wrong, I love Brussels sprouts, but they're not the focal point; the other, my basil blooms are turned away from the camera.

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