Monday, March 12, 2012

What do you do with a thousand sub-par mangoes?

Happy to start the blog with a hyperbole!

It's the end of mango season at H-Mart, where I like to buy produce. Because of this, last week I picked up a crate of champagne mangoes (about 24) for just $6. However, they were the sour kind. As in, you bite one and, if you have the mental wherewithal, you start wondering how this lemon managed to masquerade itself as a mango! They also weren't too terribly pretty.

Some fraction of the mango supply
I quickly peeled and pureed the softest half of the collection, assuming I might freeze the pulp for future smoothies. Or.... I also gave thought to savory dishes. Surely mango-that-tastes-like-lemon and lamb go well together....

Typing "sour mango ground lamb" into Google, I found a lot of suggestions involving chutney. I've only eaten chutney a few times (that I know of), and it's not something I've given much attention to. Still, I knew it had strong flavor, and these mangoes had strong flavor, so maybe that meant it was a good idea.
Know what else has strong flavor? Every single ingredient in chutney!
This blog is going to be somewhat useless as a food blog, because entries will all pretty much look like this:
I went to a couple websites to read about mango chutney, including this one, and once I got a sense of how it all works and what the proportions should look like, I started assembling ingredients. I added stuff they didn't mention and left out some of their ingredients, and played it by ear.
Alternately though, I could say that making chutney involves simmering a whole lot of vinegar, mixed with a couple kinds of sugar, and really strong flavored stuff (see ginger, garlic, habanero above, along with relatively mild-mannered lemongrass). Add other stuff, to make up a beverage that would happily dissolve Cleopatra's entire pearl supply.

Add cut mangoes. Boil, simmer. Later add bag of mango puree. Simmer.

In the end, there was enough for a giant jar of chutney, as well as a large serving to go with the fancy lamb dinner of that evening.

Stay tuned for the fancy lamb dinner.

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