Mango Tango in a Pie

I can’t stop thinking about mangoes. I always crave them, lust after them, so when they’re plentiful at the market, I go bananas! (and that’s saying something seeing as how I dislike bananas). I’ve cooked with mango. I’ve moussed¬†it, but I still want more mango ways. I started thinking about a pie, wondering how it would turn out. So I went for it. Secure in the fact that The Hubbz and B-Boy would dispose of it had it¬† not met my high mango criteria.

As luck would have it, they did eat it up. I only had a small morsel of it because I ended up with one of those tummy bugs. By the time I was better, the pie had moved on to a better life. Boys will be boys.  But the piece I had was to die for.

Originally I thought about serving it with vanilla ice cream, but The Hubbz, being addicted to whipped cream, insisted on that alternative. The results were perfect. The pie is a bit robust, so the lightness of the cream made for the best combo ever.

Let’s talk crusts. Do you have a favorite, no fail recipe (easy)? I’ve tried the one by Melissa d’Arabian from Food Network and I find it to be delicious and super easy, but please share yours. I’m always looking for a better crust. And now, without further ado, I bring you some Mango¬†Tango Pie!

Melissa d’Arabian¬†Pie Crust
Yield: 2 (9-inch) pie crusts

1 cup butter (2 sticks), cubed and chilled
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 to 10 tablespoons ice water

Put the butter, flour, and salt in the food processor, and pulse lightly just until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing briefly after each spoonful of water. Keep adding water until the dough just begins to gather into larger clumps.

Transfer equal amounts of the dough into 2 resealable plastic bags and pat each into a disk. Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

For the filling:
4 cps of ripe mango, sliced against the grain
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flour
Pinch of salt
Juice of 1/2 lime (or lemon)
2 tbsp chilled butter, cubed
1 egg, beaten

Prepare the mango: peel and slice. Because mango is a very fibrous fruit, make sure to slice it against its natural grain, this way you’ll avoid having a stringy filling.

When the mango is ripe, it will be juicier. Once you have removed most of the meat, squeeze¬†what’s left on the pit to extract¬†some of the juice. Place the meat and juice in a medium-sized bowl and add the sugar, flour, lime, salt stirring it well, but with care.

Preheat oven to 325¬į.¬†Remove 1 of the dough¬†disks from the bag to a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling-pin, roll the dough out to a 10-inch round. Gently fit the rolled dough into a 9-inch pie pan and add the filling. It is best if it seems like you have too much filling. Dot it with the cubes of butter, before rolling out the 2nd disk of dough.

Brush the edges with the egg before placing the second crust over the top, then trim any excess dough and crimp the edges together. Lightly brush with the egg. Cut a few holes on the top, this will allow the steam to vent without any oozing filling along the sides.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, checking it after 30 minutes or so. I like to cover the edges with foil paper after a while to keep them from browning too much.

Once golden brown, allow it to cool before serving.

Cookingly yours,


Eating Summer: mango mousse


Oooooh mango-time! The one time I don’t complain about Houston’s increasing temps and humidity is when I find beautiful mangoes at my local grocery store. Even better when they’re in the season and, thus, affordable. Can you say win-win?!!

I can eat mangoes like nobody’s business, but I can’t write a valuable post with that as the subject. So I’ve kept my thinking cap on, trying to find ways to incorporate them into a recipe. That’s how this little treat came to be.

Have you been watching the new Cooking channel? I hope you have. I’m loving it and found a few new chefs that have quickly moved into my DVR’s record list. This recipe comes as the result of adapting a recipe from the show French Food at Home. Laura Calder is a French chef bringing that fancy cuisine into normal people’s homes. On one of her episodes, she made a pumpkin mousse, the perfect platform for a mango coup.

She served it with a chocolate sauce, but not being a chocolate fiend and knowing I would need some texture, I opted for some crumbled ginger snaps. It’s easier too.

Mango Mousse with Gingersnap Crumble

3 cps ripe mango, peeled & chopped
2-inches fresh ginger, peeled (optional)
1 pkt unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon rum or bourbon (water works too)
2 cps heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cp sugar
Gingersnap cookies

First, you will need to turn that mango into puree. Place the mango in a medium saucepan, add the ginger, 2 tbsp sugar and 1/2 cp water. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, reduce heat to medium and allow it cook down until the mango softens–about 10-15 minutes.

Stir the rum/bourbon and gelatine together in a cup, and let soften 5 minutes. Add a third of the cream and¬†the vanilla to the¬†saucepan with the mango syrup. Stir in the dissolved gelatin and the rest of the sugar to dissolve. Remove the ginger pieces and the mango mixture¬† to cool just a bit before running it through the blender or food processor to puree. You’ll need to strain the puree, mango is very fibrous; set aside to¬†cool and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled and starting to get thick.

Whip the remaining cream and fold it into the chilled mango mixture. Chill at least 4 hours before serving. Spoon into individual serving dishes or goblets topping with crushed gingersnap cookies.

This was delicious and the crunch from the ginger cookies added a much needed textural dimension. Tell me, how do YOU eat your mangoes?

Cookingly yours,

What happens when you combine mangoes & shrimp?

Some crazy deliciousnes is what happens. I bought some mangoes, they were supposed to be organic, but they kinda sucked. Outraged, I peeled and chopped them and threw them in a pot determined to make them useful citizens of society. I’m happy to report that this rehabilitation effort was a success. The mangoes proved to be a great addition to their community, the Price Household.

This was the first I had integrated mango to a savory dish, come to think about it, this was the first time I had done anything with mango except for my usual peel & eat and the occasional lassi. I was a bit nervous. I mean, I had about 1lb of gorgeous, fresh LARGE shrimp and I hate messing up shrimp. But I showed it no fear, never let an ex-con see you sweat…, right? Onward!

There’s no real recipe here, just add things at will. Also, if you don’t have mangoes, don’t fret. You can substitute with any caramelized/syruped¬†fruit, like peaches, pineapple. Anything you like, really. And you can just get it from your local grocer. Don’t sweat it. Feel free to add more or completely eliminate the chili pepper, though I must admit it makes for a really nice contrast: sweet & tangy combined with fiery spicy. But that’s just me. On with the cooking.

Spicy & Tangy Shrimp with Mango

Start with about 1lb of peeled and deveined shrimp. Season them with 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 tsps sea salt (less if using regular), ground black pepper and about 1-2 tsps of olive oil. Mix it in and set aside while you prepare the veggies.

Slice 1 onion, 1-2 serrano peppers, 1 cp of mangoes, drained and about 1/2 cp of chopped cilantro.

Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high and add about 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the onions and peppers and cook until the onions are translucent.

Add the shrimp and toss them after 2 minutes or so, allowing them to cook for another 2 minutes on the opposite side.

Add the mango and cilantro, stirring them into the rest of the ingredients. Cover tightly with a lid and turn off the heat, allowing the contents to finish cooking in the steam. Serve over rice or pasta or with your favorite vegetable.


Cookingly yours,

Lesson #8: Peeling a mango

Mangoes are my favorite fruit. I wouldn’t want to live life without them. Mangoes are deliciously versatile and excellent for you. Mangoes are pretty. They’re pretty when green. They’re pretty when ripe. Mangoes are pretty with or without peel. Doesn’t that sound like an essay submitted by an 8-yr-old? That’s how mangoes make me feel. Like a kid looking forward to a full life. I love mangoes, I simply do!

I don’t know how many varieties there are, but I do know that I can think of at least 10 different types available in Panama. Some are extraordinary, while others are considered poor quality and snubbed. Now that I live in Houston, I cherish EVERY mango I can get my mango-eating hands on.

It also occurs¬†to me that as common as they are to me, they are still exotic to a lot of people. With that i mind, I thought I would give you a quick how-to peel a mango post. No mad scientist skills required, to tell you the truth, I’m worried you’ll find this unnecessary and patronizing. But really, I’m coming from a place of helpfulness.

First, don’t buy your mangoes soft/ripe already. Instead, opt for the ones that still have quite a bit of green in them. It’s best to let them ripen under your watchful eye. Just leave them out on your counter for a few days and allow nature to do its thing. Sniff it, squeeze, but not too hard. When it smells sweet and honey-ey, its ready. The outside will be a mottled orange-red, depending on the varietal you get.

There are 2 routes I know of. The first one is how I used to do it back in the homeland, Panama–did I mention I’ll be there in 3 weeks? I digress. This is your basic peel a fruit route.

See? You knew how to do that.

Now it’s ready to eat or chop at will.¬† The other method I learned after moving here. I think it looks fancy and pretty.

First, remember there’s a large pit right in the middle of the mango. One side of the mango is rounded and the other end has a slight point/end. Trim the rounded side so you have a flat surface on the mango, stabilize to avoid cooking injuries.

Lay it on the trimmed end and place the knife on either side of the pointy end and work it down. Then do the same to the other side.

Once you have 2 halves, score them across. Be careful not to cut too deeply, you don’t want your knife to cut through the peel.

Flip it and score it in the opposite direction. Again, mind the peel.

Now the fun and making pretty part comes in. Hold the halves with both hands and push from the bottom/skin side in.

Once it’s flipped, it looks like this.

You can cut the cubes with the knife or you can tear them off with your fingers. Then peel the section with the pit, there’s a lot of meat there too. It’s ready to eat.

As it turned out, these weren’t the best mangoes, so I didn’t eat them like this. Instead, I added some sugar, water, star anise and salt and simmered it down until the mango was softened and used it to jazz up other meals.

Cookingly yours,

And this is one of the meals I created with the caramelized mangoes. Tangy & Spicy Shrimp and Mango. Yum, no?