I pretty much always follow a recipe to the letter. I very rarely freestyle. This has set me up for considerable mockery over the years. “Oh noes! This recipe calls for Gold Medal flour, and all we have is Pillsbury!” You get the idea.
Originally I got this recipe from the Simply Recipes website. Made it several times for various events, of course following the recipe to the letter, to good reviews. The original recipe called for a cut-up orange, cayenne pepper, and paprika.The orange was a good addition but the cayenne overpowered the other flavors, and the paprika made it all look like a bowlful of Cheetos.
So I got inspired, mostly through the example of Kimberly from Poor Girl Eats Well. Yes, it’s true; I actually strayed from the recipe. (“Borrrnn to be wiiiiiiiillld….”) She introduced me to the amazing combination of mango, cumin, and cilantro.
I used canned mango slices. Maybe that’s blasphemy. But peeling the mango and the jicama are both time-consuming; doing both would have taken all damn day. Interestingly, though, a fresh mango is easier to find here in my small Lake Wobegon town than canned slices. Dried mango is fairly easy to locate too. Even jicama. Go figure.
Here’s how, mostly via Simply Recipes:
- 1 large jicama (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cubed (Julienne or shred it if you feel like it. I don’t. Just peeling the damn thing is enough of a PITA.)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/2 large cucumber, seeded, and chopped
- 1/2 mango, peeled, seeded, and cubed (Slices if that’s what’s available. About 3-4 slices.)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/3 cup lime juice (I use Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice, the kind they use at the bar in daiquiris and whatnot. Any lime juice should work.)
- Pinch of ground cumin
- Salt (Kosher, and lots of it.)
Toss together the jicama, bell peppers, red onion, cucumber, mango, and cilantro in a large serving bowl.
Pour lime juice over all. Sprinkle with a pinch of cumin. Season generously with salt. Let sit a half-hour before serving.
There’s something about how the mango, cumin, and cilantro meld that just rocks. I brought it to a potluck at the office – it didn’t go over like I’d hoped – but those who liked it really liked it and asked for the recipe. No worries: that much more for me.
NOM NOM NOM.
Brand new Girl Scout cookies.Mango Crèmes. With Nutrifusion™, whatever that is, so that makes them practically health food.
Manohmanohman, are these good. It’s quite possible mango will join lemon and ginger as my favorite flavors. Seriously, get some before cookie season is over.
NOM NOM NOM.
I hate squash. But I’m diggin’ this. Diggin’ into this, more like.
Another one from Poor Girl Eats Well.
Manomanoman. I can’t even believe I made this.
NOM NOM NOM.
I know, I know, it’s good for me. Yeahyeah, suresure, whateves. I can choke oatmeal down if I must. And Cream of Wheat makes me gag. If you remember “library paste,” that’s what it reminds me of.
But this stuff, Ralston, is great. I’ve always liked it.
It’s hard to find. But I just discovered a place to buy some.
NOM NOM NOM.
More synchronicity in action. Yesterday I tumbled onto an awesome blog called Poor Girl Eats Well, hosted by Kimberly Morales. She describes herself as having champagne tastes on a Two-Buck Chuck budget. Well, substitute craft-brew tastes on a PBR budget and we’re pretty much on the same wavelength.
Today I followed one of Kimberly’s recipes and made Black Bean, Chicken, and Mango Stew. Man o man, this is good. The sweetness of the mango melds astonishingly well with the cumin and cayenne. Believe me when I tell you that finding a mango in East Central Minnesota was no mean feat. Worth it, though.
I even got some questions answered via email from Kimberly herownself, which is quite awesome.
I seriously can’t believe I made this myself. Highest possible rating. Go to Kimberly’s website. NOM NOM NOM.
Last time it was Maple, Citrus, and Ginger Cranberry Sauce. I was jammin’ to the ‘Mats and Teenage Fanclub and Great Big Sea that day too, IIRC. What the hell is it about this particular weekend that morphs me into Guy Fieri? Idoan geddit.
Anyway, throwin’ down some Pumpkin Cornbread today.A recipe that came my way in a fundraising email from Franni Franken. This stuff is awesome. There may not be any left to bring for dinner tomorrow. NOM NOM NOM.
Franni’s chill, she wouldn’t mind if I pass it along.
2 cups cornmeal
2 cups white flour
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
1 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. On the first speed of a hand or standing mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, pumpkin, and milk.
4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry in three batches with a rubber spatula. The batter will be smooth, and is more fluffy than liquid-y.
5. Pour the batter into a 9 by 13 baking pan (or two loaf pans), and place in the middle rack of the oven. I used the baking pan.
6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick stuck in the middle of the cornbread comes out dry. (In my oven, 25 minutes didn’t do the trick. 40 minutes was the ticket.)
7. Let the cornbread cool for ten minutes, and then cut into pieces and serve.
I googled another recipe while this one was in the oven. That one suggested to add ginger and nutmeg. Next time.