Saturday, August 7, 2010

mango, Mango, MANGO! Mango on a stick...2 ways

Imagine yourself strolling down the streets of Mexico.  Big, lazy sun in the sky.  Niños running by with colorful balloons flying in their wake.  Mariachi music in the distance, putting that extra sway in your step.  People old and young greeting each other on the streets.  Bold colors and patterns captivating your senses around every corner.  A man pushing a cart selling paletas (popsicles) in every mouthwatering flavor you could image!  When I saw the array of Paletas featured in the recent issue of Saveur, I knew...without a doubt...that I needed to make some.  Pronto!  Do I even need to tell you how stoked Mexi was when he found out what I was making? 

Paletas de Mango con Chile

1 c. mango nectar
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. ancho chile powder I used pasilla since I recently made some, this made it a bit darker
1 large mango, peeled, seeded & cut into small cubes

Heat mango juice, sugar, lemon juice, and 1/2 c. water in a 1 qt. saucepan over medium-high heat and stir until sugar dissolves.  Transfer mixture to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.  Stir chile powder and cubed mango into the chilled mixture and pour into popsicle molds.  Insert a popsicle stick into each mold and freeze ~3-4 hours, until frozen.
You don't know Paletas until you've had one of these.  Serious taste action going on here...dare I say...best popsicles ever?  I do dare! Best Popsicles Evahhhhhh!  Coming soon to my kitchen are the following paletas: Tamarindo y chile, Arroz con Leche (popsicles!!!), Fresas y Crema, Piña. YUMMMM.  For even more amazing popsicle idea, pop over and visit my friend Kim at Stirring the Pot.  She has made popsicles almost every week this summer with her Popsicle of the Week feature!

Now...let's talk MANGO again!  Perhaps on your stroll down the street you look left instead right...and you see a different type of street food...something so simple you may not believe how utterly amazing it is!  It's a mango.  On a stick.  A warm, ripe mango is skewered, peeled, sliced into petals, doused with the juice of a lime, then sprinkled with salt and chile piquín.  Imagine stopping mid-step...lifting the fruit to your mouth, the tropical scent permeates your whole being...you take a bite.  Warm and juicy. An explosion of the perfect sweet fruit spiked with a bit of salty heat.  Your eyelids flutter.  The juices dribble down your mouth and your arm, leaving their sticky trail for you to find later- once the experience is all over...as if to remind you of those few moments of sheer ecstasy.

You can close your eyes and pretend you're in Mexico unless you actually are in Mexico, then, well...lucky you! after just a few simple steps:

Peel a mango, stab it through the seed with a skewer.  Slice it into petals, starting at the bottom.  Yes, my technique leaves something to be desired...but I was in a hurry to eat...no beauty contest going on here today.  Squeeze a lime over the top, letting it get into the crevices. Sprinkle it with sea salt or kosher salt and some piquín chile powder.
Go outside...bask in the heat of the sun...close your eyes...take a bite...feel the juices dribbling down your chin...repeat.