Sauces

Pork Loin and Mango salsa

Whole Foods (a.k.a Whole Paycheck) just opened a new store in Irvine near our recently acquired home. It’s a 40,000 square foot extravaganza of all manner of produce, meat, prepared foods, and many other assorted goodies. If you shop carefully (By “carefully” I mean not purchasing pre-peeled oranges in plastic containers. Really? We can’t even take the time to peel an orange anymore?), you CAN walk out of there without having to take a second mortgage out on your home. 

While browsing the plethora of fruit and veg, I spied some petite, yellow mangoes (they’re technically called Atualfo mangoes) and immediately thought: pork! Because I had two college boys home for spring break, and they love the “other white meat,” the deal was sealed.

You want your mangoes to be ripe, like avocados. If they’re too hard, you will not be able to cut through them (only your fingers). Don’t be shy. Give them the old Charmin squeeze before you make your final decision.

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Mango Salsa

1 large lime, zested and juiced

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

2 jalapenos, de-seeded and diced small

3 small mangos (Ataulfo), peeled and diced small

1 tbsp. EVOO

Pinch of kosher salt

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Mix all of these items together and let sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Longer if possible

Pork Loin Rub

3-4 lb. pork loin

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. ancho chili powder

3 tbsp. smoked paprika

4 tbsp. brown sugar

Mix all of the spices together.

Liberally rub the mix all over the pork loin and let sit for 4-5 hours. It’s even better if you can let is sit overnight.

Roast the meat in a 400-degree oven until the pork reaches 140-degrees. The meat will come up another 5-degrees and reach the optimal temperature of 145 – degrees. Each oven is different, but it should take 45-60 minutes. Remove the meat from the oven and let it rest before you slice into it.

Eat well!

April

“Don’t expect mangoes when you plant papayas” – Mimfa A. Gibson

 

 

 

 

Mango and Avocado Salsa

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Taco Tuesdays are always great, but I recently found myself in a bit of a rut with the usual toppings. I felt the need to jazz it up a bit, so I decided to tinker with salsa fresca. After traipsing through the isles of the market, I decided to focus on mango and avocado.

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1 ripe mango

Juice of 2 limes

2 tbsp. smokey serrano sauce (I used Boulder Hot Sauce), or hot sauce of your choice

2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. finely chopped cilantro

1 tbsp. EVOO

1 tsp. salt

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Peel the mango and slice off the sides, avoiding the bone in the middle.

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Dice your avocado and add the mango and avocado to a large bowl.

Add the lime juice, smokey serrano, EVOO, and salt.

Depending on how chunky you want your salsa, you could either just smash the mixture with a fork or give it a quick zip in either a robot coup, or a Vita Mix.

I served the salsa with grilled pork chops.

Enjoy!

Eat well,

April

When life gives you lemons, throw them back and say, “I said I wanted mangos!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crying Tiger

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I vividly recall the first time I tucked into a plate of Thai food. It was from the Siam Café (sadly, they don’t exist anymore) in the Charles River Plaza in Boston. It was spicy, bright, juicy, and, dare I say, almost healthy?! I fell in love and immediately developed a disturbing dependency on Thai basil chicken (extra spicy) that my wallet couldn’t afford, but my brain couldn’t live without. Because I like my food teetering on the edge of spontaneous combustion, my Thai food habit eventually grew to include Crying Tiger (Suea Rong Hai). I’ve never been a Pad Thai kind of girl…too sweet for me.

Several years ago my husband and I visited Thailand, and the food we ate on our visit only intensified my existing addiction. On the Scoville scale, U.S. Thai food is mere child’s play compared to the real thing. We were eating, sweating, and in sheer ecstasy. Thai restaurants in this country definitely dummy down the spice for us Westerners.

The following recipe for Crying Tiger (from Simple Thai Food by Leela Punyaratabandhu) will have you falling in love with this dish, too. I used flank steak for the protein, which I marinated with ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup oyster sauce, ¼ cup vegetable oil, and 2 cloves of minced garlic for 6 hours (I had a lot of meat to marinate). Here’s what you’ll need for a dipping sauce to serve 4 –

Here’s the recipe for the dipping sauce –

4 ounces cherry tomatoes

3 large garlic cloves

1 large shallot

1 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tbsp. red pepper flakes

½ tsp. light or dark brown sugar

2 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

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Place the cherry tomatoes, shallot, and garlic (shallot and garlic remain unpeeled) on a baking sheet and broil until charred and soft. Remove from the broiler and cool.

Once they’re cool enough to handle, peel the shallots and garlic. Mince the shallot.

Add the garlic to a bowl and squish with the back of a spoon. Add the tomatoes and squish those, too.

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Add the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, cilantro, and red pepper flakes. Mix well.

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I chose to drizzle the sauce over our meal, and I put the remainder out for those who wanted extra. It didn’t last long.

This sauce would also make a great addition to your July 4th picnic table. Wishing you a safe and fun holiday weekend

Eat well!

April

“Like lime without juice – dull.” Thai Proverb