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Crazy for Florida Mangoes

June 15, 2009

Florida mangoes are in season! The best word that describes this fruit is:

ver-sa-ti-li-ty

From salads, desserts and even sushi, chefs Allen Susser, Ken Ho and our own chef Justin Timineri share with us their culinary adventures with Florida mangoes.

mangoes

Florida Department of Agriculture’s Culinary Ambassador, Chef Justin Timineri, on his visit to a Florida mango farm:

“The Florida-grown mango is one of my all time favorite tropical fruit treats. This super fruit lends itself to many preparations including cooking them when they are still green.

I have been fortunate to visit a mango farm in south Florida when the mangoes were close to harvest time. The air around the farm had a sweet smell that made me crave them even more. I have never run across a form of mango I didn’t like. Of all the tropical fruit grown in this world, mangoes account for 50%. That is a true sign of their popularity thought the world. Here is one of my favorite mango recipes for you to try.”

Mucho Mango Bread Pudding

Yield 8 Servings

Ingredients
6 slices of your favorite bread or pound cake, torn into small pieces
2 Florida mangoes, peeled, seeded and diced into medium-sized pieces
¼ cup natural Florida sugar
3 Florida eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups low-fat milk
1 ½ teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
2 tablespoons butter

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 9×11-inch glass baking dish. Toss together the pieces of bread and mango; pour into buttered baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla and cardamom. Pour over the bread and mango mixture. Place small dollops of butter on top of the pudding (approximately ¼ stick of butter total.)

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until slightly puffed and golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream and fresh, sliced mangoes.  Drizzle Rum Sauce over the top.

Ken Ho, Co-Owner of Masa Restaurant in Tallahassee, Florida, on his idea of creating Mango Sunrise, Sunrise in New York, and Mango Tango sushi:

“It is very simple. Mango is my favorite food. That is also why we use the mango salsa on the Chilean Sea Bass. Mango complements fish very nicely.”

Chef Allen from Chef Allen’s Restaurant in Aventura, Florida,  on trading mangoes for dinners:

“The word is out that I’ll trade mangoes for dinners. It’s a simple deal: dinner for two at Chef Allen’s for a wheelbarrow of mangoes (approximately 200 pounds). That might seem like a steep bounty for this humble fruit, but not in South Florida. It’s a challenge Miamians happily rise to every summer, when mangoes are plentiful in backyards and groves alike. The pride of owning a mango tree turns to a passion as the trees begin to ripen in the steamy tropical heat.”

jerk_calamari_salad_tJerk Calamari, Mango and Watercress Salad

Yield 4 servings

Ingredients
2 cups calamari rings
1 recipe fresh jerk marinade
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 cup julienne mango
1 cup julienne jicama
1 cup julienne sweet red peppers
2 cups cleaned watercress leaves
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons yogurt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
10 large fresh mint leaves

To prepare the Calamari:
In a small stainless steel bowl, mix the calamari with jerk marinade. Warm a sauté pan with half of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the calamari and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the rum and simmer for another minute. Remove the calamari from the pan, keeping warm and reserve the cooking juices.

To prepare the Salad:
In a large bowl, toss together the mango, jicama, peppers and watercress. In another small bowl, whisk together the pan juices with the remaining salt, olive oil, lemon juice, yogurt and crushed red pepper flakes. Pour this dressing over the salad and toss.

To Serve:
In a large white oval platter, arrange the salad and spoon the warm jerked calamari on top. Garnish with freshly torn mint leaves.

Now with so many options to choose from, look for Florida mangoes at your nearest farmers market or ask the produce manager at your supermarket.  That’s how we create demand for Florida produce!

photo from flickr

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