Friday, May 13, 2011

Mango and Friends Chunky Fruit Salad Sauce


A warm welcome to Isabel, a new subscriber (and fine baker) from the Facebook side!

With warm weather on the way, it’s a good time to gather up recipes for dishes that not only taste great, but that are also cool and refreshing. In the past I’ve been able to share a recipe for my favorite cold, tangy gazpacho. Today we have Mango and Friends Chunky Fruit Salad Sauce. (It’s a pity something that tastes so good ended up with such an awkward name, but even after much thought I just couldn’t come up with a better one. If anyone makes this and, after tasting it, can suggest a better name, I’d be happy to consider it.)

Mango and Friends Chunky Fruit Salad Sauce is something like chunky applesauce, except it’s made from a lovely-tasting combination of mango, pears, cantaloupe and peaches. What do you do with it? Anything you do with applesauce: enjoy it as is, especially with a bit of sharp cheddar cheese (as seen in the photo); bake it into cakes and muffins; spread it on potato pancakes; use it to glaze chicken…you get the idea.

As recipes go, this one is both easy and delicious. If you’ve never cut up a mango before, you may find that part of it a little challenging at first, but you’ll manage it. (Cutting up your first mango is something like cutting up your first whole chicken. You’ll turn it over and around a lot, cutting where it seems to make sense to, wondering how in the world people on cooking shows can do it so neatly, and eventually finish with a pile of pieces, no two of which look alike. Don't worry; they'll work just fine.)

Another recipe note: you’ll see that all the fruit used in this recipe is fresh, except the peaches. You can make this with fresh peaches if you like, but I chose canned here for the same reason cooks generally use canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones: consistency. Great peaches, like great tomatoes, are available for about two and a half minutes a year; the rest of the time, you take your chances as to how they taste and feel. (Okay, the two and a half minutes is a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I’m getting at.)

Something else worth pointing out: the fruit mixture is seasoned using, among other things, salt. The salt and fruit combination may strike some people as strange, but one of the best bits of cooking advice I ever got was never to underestimate how nicely a bit of salt can bring out the flavor of fruit.

This recipe makes 4 to 5 cups, depending on the size of the fruit you use and the thickness to which you cook it down.
Prepare the fruit by peeling and coring 4 pears, and slicing them into ¼” thick pieces; peeling and slicing ½ a medium cantaloupe into ¼” thick pieces; peeling 1 mango and cutting into bite-size pieces; and cutting two well-drained 15 ounce cans of sliced peaches in juice into bite-size pieces.

Combine the pears, cantaloupe, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, the juice and zest of 1 lemon, 1/3 cup orange juice, ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.

After the mixture has simmered (uncovered) for about 10 minutes, add the mango and peaches. Stir to combine, bring the heat up again until the mixture boils, then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer until the mixture has a “chunky applesauce” consistency, about 1 hour. (Use a masher after about 50 minutes, but be sure to leave the overall texture chunky.)

Refrigerate overnight in a sealed container, then use anywhere you would applesauce.
You can’t get fresh-made good taste much easier than that!

For a cookbook-style, notebook-ready copy of this or any other Kissing the Cook recipe, just drop me a line or a comment, and include your e-mail address. It will be yours before you know it!

See you next week! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)

5 comments:

  1. This sounds like something I couldn't stop eating. I'm totally making it! (erm....minus the mango. Mango grosses me out so bad. Double the peaches, yes?)

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  2. This looks very tasty, but I am with Amy on the mango thing. It must be an acquired taste. I can see putting in more peaches & cantaloupe though.

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  3. Thanks, Amy and Mary...Glad you like it! (Well, most of it, anyway. lol) One of the great things about cooking is being able to adjust what goes in to your liking. Leaving out the mango and increasing one or more of the other fruits should work just fine. I hope you will let me know what you did and how you liked it!

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  4. Thanks, Mary. I am glad you liked it! What combination of fruits did you decide to go with?

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