Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Special Days -Spicy Mango Ketchup

Hot chicken tacos-corn tortilla with chicken, shredded cabbage, diced grapes and spicy mango ketchup.

Yesterday Zeke and I had a "special" day. We do this now and then-my Mom will take one of the boys to her house for some alone time with her, and the other will stay home to hang out with his Mama. The boys started calling these "special days" when they were quite little, and it stuck.

One of Zeke's favorite "special" things to do is cook, especially if he gets to make up a secret recipe.
This one is no secret though as I've made it quite a few times. Sometimes I make it with all peaches, but usually Mangoes.

 Unfortunately, I'm notorious for letting fruit go soft in the fridge. And once that happens to a Mango, it's only good for few things-such as chutney or hot sauce!
Hint: fruit off of the reduced rack makes really good preserves!!

This recipe makes a nice, thick sauce (like ketchup) that goes great with just about anything. It goes really well with samosas! The perfect mix of sweet/spicy.

The recipe is pretty simple: yields 8 pints

  • 7 mushy mangoes. They don't really have to be mushy, but they do need to be ripe!
  • 4 peaches or an extra mango
  • 15 Asian chili peppers.
You can use any other hot pepper for this-but please know that Asian chilis are really small. If you go using a different type of pepper that is larger, don't use 15. I'd say maybe 7 Jalapenos, scotch bonnets etc. For Habaneros, maybe 4. You want to enjoy this! The heat level with 15 chili peppers is about the same as Tabasco, maybe a little hotter. It isn't so hot though that my boys can't have it.
  • 1 cup lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar or any other vinegar-but if you're canning it, make sure that it's 5% acidity or higher.
  • 3 tsp of pickling salt, or kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tsp whole mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp curry powder Optional. I've made this with and without the curry. I find that the sauce is a little more versatile if you don't put the curry in, but then again, it's really yummy if you do. If you're a curry fan, go for it.

Peel and dice up the mangoes, and throw into a non reactive pot. (if you're planning on preserving that is. If you're freezing or just putting in your fridge, it really doesn't matter what you cook it in.)

Chop the peppers up as fine as possible, and depending on the heat intensity you want, discard some or all of the seeds. With Asian chili peppers, I leave the seeds in, same with Jalapenos. For hotter peppers though, you might want to leave those out. It's really up to you though.

Put all the ingredients in with the Mangoes, and bring to a low boil. Let this simmer until the Mango pieces are easily *squishable* against the side of the pan. The riper the mango, the quicker this will be.

Then remove from the heat and put through a strainer. This isn't absolutely necessary if you want a few chunks here and there. If you're planning on putting it all in a squirt type bottle though, you'll want to strain it.
There's also the option of pouring it all in a blender. I hate washing my blender though (and where I have it stored right now I can't even reach it)...so I usually pass on that.
With the strainer though, in the end there really isn't much to discard, since you can force just about all of it through. A foodmill would work well too.

Once it's strained (or blended) you can either put it in jars and seal it (open kettle is fine for this) or put some in your fridge and freeze the rest.
I usually save some large soy sauce bottles for things like this, and this recipe will make about two large bottles. One goes straight to the fridge (keeps about 6 months-but never lasts that long!), and the other goes in the freezer.

Some ways to eat your Mango Ketchup:
Bbq'd sausages or burgers
Rice with cilantro, green onions and grilled chicken
Butter chicken
Toast with melted goats cheese and prosciutto 
Casseroles...The list goes on.

Get creative, and enjoy!

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