Up until just a week or so ago, the weather in Chicago was still pretty chilly (below 40 degrees at night), and we’d been in quarantine for 2 months. My social media continued to remind me of trips to warm places in years past, and I found myself longing for warmer weather. On a grocery run, I happened upon a case of mangoes for $4 and decided that was my (really cheap!) ticket to giving myself and my fiancé the taste of the warmer weather that I was craving. I know it sounds crazy and you’re probably wondering what I did with a case of mangoes, but the answer is a lot! Those 10 mangoes really inspired me to get creative in the kitchen.
It turns out that mangoes have numerous nutritional benefits. They contain 60% of your daily value of vitamin C, are high in fiber, support an increased metabolism and decreased inflammation. They also help fight high blood pressure as they are high in potassium and magnesium, and help with concentration and memory. If all those health benefits aren’t enough, mangoes are delicious and versatile in both sweet and savory applications, so the options are endless.
I learned a trick for peeling mangoes years ago that I want to share with you. You can forget about your paring knife, or your peeler, just grab a wide glass from your cabinet. Yes, a glass. You’re going to cut the two “cheeks”, on either side of the pit, off. Then, you’ll take each half, and use the lip of the glass to separate the skin from the flesh of the mango.
You’ll then glide the mango into the glass, and be left with the peel, and nearly no waste.
It’s life changing! If you need to take a step back and learn how to cut a mango around that tricky pit, The Chopping Block's Owner/Chef Shelley Young has a video tutorial:
If you find yourself with too many mangoes (is that even a thing?), or wanting to make each of these recipes at one time or within a few days of each other, you could certainly peel and puree a bunch of mangoes and store the puree in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3 days, or you can freeze it for several months and thaw as needed. A food processor is perfect for pureeing the mangoes!
I bought the case of mangoes on Cinco de Mayo, so my mind immediately went to frozen mango Margaritas. The recipe is simple. Have a few of these and you’ll forget your quarantine woes, for sure.
Frozen Mango Margaritas
3oz Cointreau (or other orange liqueur)
Course salt for rimming the glasses
1. Peel 2 mangoes. Puree mangoes in a food processor until smooth.
2. In a blender add mango puree, juice of 2 limes, tequila and Cointreau.
3. Add 4 cups of ice and blend until smooth, slushy consistency. Add more ice as needed.
4. Place course salt on a plate. Cut one lime in half, use each half to moisten glasses, and dip in salt to rim glass.
5. Pour in the mango margarita. Cut one of the remaining limes in wedges to garnish glasses. Enjoy!
Next, I decided to smoke some chicken wings and made mango jalapeno sticky wings. These are both sweet and spicy and have a Caribbean feel to them.
Mango Jalapeno Sticky Wings
Rub (makes 1.5 cups):
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 Tablespoons paprika
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons black pepper
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 Tablespoons cayenne
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
6 whole chicken wings (drum, flat and tip attached) or 12 drumettes/flats.
2 mangoes (pureed)
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
1. Stir together all ingredients for the rub. Set aside. You can also double or triple the recipe if you want to prepare extra for grilling season (this rub is great on ribs, chicken, salmon, etc)
2. Drizzle grapeseed oil over chicken wings and toss to coat.
3. Season wings with rub (about half of the recipe).
4. Let the wings sit for 15 minutes while you prep the grill or smoker.
5. Get your grill/smoker to 250 degrees, and you’ll want to use indirect heat, if possible.
I used a gas grill and only used the outside burners. I also set the wings on a rack to elevate them from the heat. You’ll smoke the wings with the lid closed. The wings will smoke for 90 minutes – 2 hours depending on your grill. You’ll want the internal temperature of the wings to be 165 degrees.
6. When the wings are at 145 degrees (about 75 minutes), baste both sides with the mango-jalapeno mixture. Close the grill, let smoke 10 more minutes, and baste again. Let smoke 10 more minutes and serve.
With my last batch of mango puree, I went the dessert route and I made Mango Lime Bars with Coconut Crust. These come together so fast and are a delicious variation of the usual lemon bar.
Mango Lime Bars with Coconut Crust
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
For the Crust:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
For the Filling:
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1 cup mango puree ( will depend on the size, but generally 1-2 mangoes)
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1. Prepare a 9x13" pan with parchment paper so that the edge of the paper extends over the edge slightly (this will help get the bars out of the pan).
2. Add flour, coconut, salt and sugar into food processor. Pulse to blend.
3. Add in butter, cold, and cut in small pieces. Pulse again until a fine sand texture is achieved.
4. Press the mixture into the parchment lined pan.
5. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.
6. While the crust is baking, add eggs and sugar into a stand mixer and blend thoroughly.
7. Add in flour, mango, lime, vanilla, and salt and mix to combine.
8. Pour filling over par-baked crust.
9. Bake again for 20-25 minutes or until the middle is set. Similar to cheesecake, it can have a slight jiggle.
10. Let cool for an hour and lift out the bars by the parchment paper. Slice into bars.
11. Top with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and fresh raspberries.
Mangoes are also delicious as a topping on yogurt, or as a part of a relish, salsa, or guacamole. I used one of my mangoes in a salsa with red peppers, avocados, jalapenos, and mangoes over flank steak and sesame noodles.
Clearly, the possibilities are endless with mangoes. You can even make homemade mango sorbet in your Vitamix.
If these recipes have you ready to enjoy some warmer weather, get ready to fire up your grill and hang out on your patio, make sure you join us for some virtual grilling classes so that you can perfect your skills in time for Memorial Day!
- Saturday 5/23 2pm CST Brined and Smoked Pork Chops with Executive Chef Lisa Counts
- Sunday 5/24 3pm CST Grilled Strip Steaks and Chimichurri with Chef Hans Mooser
- Monday 5/25 3pm Grilled Cheese-Stuffed Burgers with Executive Chef Lisa Counts
And if these recipes have got you thinking that you are missing a few items from your pantry or cookware repertoire, check out our new curbside pickup options now available under the SHOP tab on our website. We can’t wait to see you soon!