Mango Madness

7:10:00 PM

I love mangos.
Well – I love the idea of mangos.  Eating them after someone else has taken the time to cut open, clean etc etc is fabulous.  As for me cutting them up and preparing them?  Yea, not nearly as much fun.  Did you know – for instance – that the Mango is a member of the same family as Poison Ivy?  That’s right – never handle a green mango.  It’s not a comfortable experience.
BUT --- I was given mangos, and I really like the way they taste – so I donned my plastic gloves and went to work.
Turns out the mangos weren’t as green as previously thought.  In fact over half of each one was too soft or rotten.   I guess that’s what I get for waiting  a week to do something with extremely ripe mangos.  Lesson learned.
After cleaning as much as I could, I ended up with 5 cups of puree.  That’s actually not too terrible considering my recipe for jam only called for 4 cups.  Score.  I’ll have to find something to do with the remaining cup of mango.  I always wanted to learn what the heck a coulis (Coo LEE) was, so maybe something like that. 
I added pectin and lemon juice to the pulp and cooked until it boiled.  I then added the sugar, returned to a boil and let it go for 2 full minutes. 
Finally, ladled it into hot jars and placed the two part lids, and then put it in the water bath for ten minutes processing.
The kids all requested “Mango sandwiches” for dinner.  I couldn’t wait that long.  We had peanut butter and mango sandwiches for lunch.  Who said I have to be patient?
Dinner was looming though, and I needed to figure out what to do.  I’ve seen on MasterChef and on Hells Kitchen (two shows that I  watch RELIGIOUSLY.  Those and football…) people making these fun fruit based sauces called coulis.  I wanted to try too.  Besides I had this extra cup of mango.
So --- Tonight’s menu?
Pork Steak with Mango Coulis
Baked Potato
Steamed French beans (might as well carry the French theme all the way through, I mean with the Coulis and all..)
Total Cost of the meal
Pork steaks were $1.49 a pound on sale about six months ago.  They’ve been food saved in 3 lb packages in my freezer ever since, just waiting for the perfect recipe.  I used one package
French Beans – big bag of fresh beans at Costco for $4.00.  I only used about 1/4 of it.
Mango Coulis – The mangos were free!  (given to me) but if you had to buy them they are $1.69 each at Safeway right now.  You would only need one to get 1 cup of pulp.
Baked potatoes – again I got the potatoes for $.87 for a 10 lb bag.  I only used 5 of them – but I don’t want to figure out how much each potato costs…so we’ll count the entire $.87.  Sour cream, butter, chives, and cheese and onions and butter (for the pork) – we’ll add another $1.50.
$9.53 total - $1.36 each person.
The Recipes:
1 cup of mango puree
1/4 tsp Ground Allspice
1 TBSP corn starch
3 TBSP sugar
1/2 Cup water

This wasn’t a real recipe.    Pretty much a Coulis is just fancy talk for “strained sauce.” I have to admit “Coulis” sounds a lot cooler.  In order to make this one I decided to read some instructions on how to make a coulis, and then came up with this.  First, I cooked the pulp until it reached a rolling boil – meaning it doesn’t stop boiling even when you stir it.  Once that was done, I strained the mango to get all of the pulp out, and so that I was left with just simple liquid.  (IT was still pretty thick, but had no lumps.)
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I then whisked in 1/4 tsp of ground allspice and 1/4 cup of a simple sugar syrup (3 tbsp sugar to 1/2 cup water), and 1 tbsp of cornstarch.  (I mixed the cornstarch with the sugar syrup so there were no lumps then added it to the puree)
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Then I boiled until it started to thicken.  Removed from the heat and placed in the fridge to cool. 
For the pork – I used butter in a skillet (2 tbsp.) and 1/2 of a chopped onion.  When the onion was tender, but not clear I added the pork steaks.  I have cut mine into strips and pieces because – well – let’s just say I didn’t get it out of the freezer as early as I should have – ah hem…I never said I was really great at planning ahead…
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As for the French beans – they were steamed in my favorite new toy – my steamer, and the potatoes were baked in the convection oven…I had much better luck with that than in the big oven.  These potatoes actually cooked.
I plated it with a bit of the Coulis on the plate, then pork on top.  Beans and potatoes on the side…notice the pretty little mango sauce trail ---yea, that was just for the picture.  We don’t really dress our food that way.  Promise.
The husband’s response?  “It’s good – different, but good.”
Different – don’t ever make this again different or different good different…
He said “Good Different” I liked the flavor of the mango with the pork too, so I’m going to say this was a keeper.
Happy Eating!

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