Spring is a glorious time for mangos! They’re not a food which I just like to eat by themselves, however, I love it as an ingredient or a topping. Mango has a unique tart and sweet flavor and a soft, but chewy, texture which goes well with other foods. I’ve had mango several times on top of sushi rolls and love the contrast. The mango chutney recipe I’m sharing today is very good on steak, but also delightful on salmon or other fleshy seafood.
Mangoes are an odd fruit with a large flat seed in the middle. When preparing mangos you want to peel them and slice a small piece off the top and the bottom so you have a flat surface to set it on. Then carve the two large cheeks of fruit off each side and the smaller slices from the edges. Mangoes are slippery and a little sticky, so be careful. You don’t want to lose fingers doing this! Once you have the cheeks off then you can easily work them into slices or cubes. A more traditional way to do this is to skip the peeling and just slice the cheeks off with the skin intact. Then you make a grid pattern through the fruit and flip the skin wrong side out to make the fruit easy to harvest. Either way is fine, but both take a little practice. Look for mangos without soft spots or blemishes and that are relatively heavy for their size. They’ll be the sweetest.
1 mango, peeled and cubbed
2 roma tomatoes, cubbed
juice from one lime
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel (This will be determined by just how juicy your fruit is. Start with 1 Tablespoon and allow the mixture to sit before adding more.)
A few days back we had Thai Basil for dinner. I’m certain that sometimes happens in everyone’s house and we really like their food. Shortly thereafter I had a craving for rice pudding. I hadn’t ever tried a left over rice pudding recipe before, but figured why not?
I compared a few recipes and finally came up with one which I really liked. I used Thick Gel to go with the rice for a silky smooth finish and I was very pleased with the results. It’s not quite as rich as rice pudding when you cook the rice and use arborio however for a fast pudding which also uses up my leftovers? I’ll totally take it.
Easy Leftover Rice Pudding
2 cups cooked rice
3 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar + 2 Tablespoons Thick Gel – mixed together
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (opt)
1 Tablespoon butter
In a heavy sauce pan combine rice, milk, sugar/Thick Gel mixture and salt and stir well. Bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring consistently. It will thicken quickly as it approaches boiling. Remove from heat and add vanilla, spice and butter. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold. Over time the pudding may continue to thicken as the rice releases more starch. I like to eat it the next day with a splash of additional milk or cream and some craisins. It’s also excellent with a dab of whipped cream.
This week is both Cinco De Mayo and Mother’s Day! It’s a good week with some great food available. One of my favorite very easy Mexican dishes is Guacamole, but like many other dips as it sits guacamole tends to go very brown and can start weeping, and you just can’t keep it for more than a few hours. A combination of lime juice and Ultra Gel brings both flavor and fridgability.
Now, I’m not claiming this will totally keep your guac from browning a bit. Avocado just oxidizes at the drop of a hat and the only way to stop that is to eat it fast. However, the combination of the juice and the Ultra Gel really does help and it will keep it from weeping in the fridge, provided no one double dips and contaminates your dip!
4 medium avocados
Juice from 1 lime
1-2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel
Remove the flesh from the avocados and crush lightly. Mix in lime juice and Ultra Gel until well mixed. Add spices to taste. Eat. To refrigerate: Cover tightly. I press a layer of plastic wrap right onto the dip which does a lot to keep the air way.
I looove lemon crinkle cookies. I’ve made and eaten a lot of them. A few days ago I wanted to make them, but all I had in my fruit bowl was limes. Undaunted I decided I’d just adjust my favorite lemon crinkle cookie recipe to make a lime one.
You’ll be happy to know that lime crinkle cookies are amazing. They’re not quite as bright as the lemon ones, but I think lime crinkle cookies are more flavorful and a little more mellow. Besides…they’re green, and you can’t go wrong with green cookies!
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add Ultra Gel and beat to combine. Whip in vanilla, egg, lime zest and lime juice. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients except powdered sugar. Fold into creamed mixture. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again. Pour powdered sugar onto a plate. Roll teaspoons of dough into balls and roll in the powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes until bottoms begin to brown. Remove from oven and cool for 2-3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
One of my husband’s favorite breakfasts is coffee cake and scrambled eggs, often with bacon. We’ve been on the look out for the last few years for the perfect coffee cake. We’ve had a lot of really good ones, but until this weekend didn’t have one which we really thought was perfect. I’m happy to say this sour cream coffee cake is amazing. It’s got a tender crumb, and a rich flavor, and the addition of Ultra Gel and cake flour make for a nice moisture which has continued for three days. It also freezes beautifully, all in all a perfect coffee cake.
The funny part… I’ve had this cake in my recipe book for years. I just had to play around with the Ultra Gel. Thanks mom!
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream (I like the reduced fat)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups cake flour
2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup milk
Filling and Topping
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
2-4 Tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream and vanilla and beat well. Combine dry ingredients and add to sour cream mixture. Fold in lemon rind. Gradually add milk to make a smooth batter, but do not over beat.
Combine ingredients for filling. Spread half of the batter in a greased and floured 8×8 inch baking pan. Sprinkle with half of the filling. Spread with remaining batter and top with remaining filling. Bake for 25-30 minutes until tests done.
Mix 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel and 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips into brownie mix. Prepare brownie as per the box. Spread 2/3s of the brownie mix in the bottom of a glass 9×13 inch pan. With an electric or stand mixer beat cream cheese, egg, sugar and 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel until smooth. Add raspberries and beat until well mixed. Spread cream cheese mixture over brownie mixture. Top with remaining brownie mixture and swirl. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-40 minutes until tests done with a toothpick. Cool and serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or a light layer of chocolate buttercream to push it right over the top!
Spring in Utah is always an interesting beast. The weather can rarely make up its mind and 20-40 degree temperature swings are nothing. This last week was one of those. I’d just started getting comfortable with temperatures in the mid 60s and it bottomed out and headed for freezing with a side order of snow. Given this temperature shift and the fact I had some really nice lean ground pork in the fridge it was a night which called for an amazing pork chili.
One of the fun things with chili and Ultra Gel is the ability to make up your own spice packet. I make these 6-12 at a time and keep them in the cupboard so that chili is as easy as brown meat, add beans, toss in spice packet and warm. I love that this spice packet is all ingredients I choose so I can avoid allergens or flavors we don’t like, and cut back on sodium and sugar! It’s a win no matter how you look at it!
Chili Spice Packet
1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel
1 1/2 Tablespoon Chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Combine all ingredients in a resealable bag. Label. Good for upto 6 months.
1 pound ground pork
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 can tomato sauce
1 can drained northern white beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 chili spice packet
1-2 teaspoons Lousiana hot sauce (if desired)
Brown pork and onion in a medium sauce pan until pork is browned and onion is translucent. Add all other ingredients and cook until warmed all the way through. Serve hot with bread. Yum!