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Tag Archives: cilantro

Pineapple & Mango Salad

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I’m ba-ack!  My husband, sister, and I had a fabulous time with our friends in Texas and I put together a slideshow if you are interested, which you can view here.

I had planned to share my favorite basic cheesecake recipe with you upon my return, but you will have to wait until Monday for that one because I’m on a deadline to get a mango recipe posted for BSI (Blogger Secret Ingredient). Trust me, I’m doing you a favor! This salad is so delicious and you don’t risk gaining ten pounds if you go wild and eat the entire recipe.  Which you might be tempted to do with the cheesecake.

OK, so I’m a mango purist.  Mangoes are my absolute favorite fruit and I find them so delicious as they are, with nothing added, that it’s hard for me to make a recipe with them.  There is, however, a lovely salad that I make with them from time to time (usually when I have a mango surplus, because using my only mango for anything other than eating plain would be sacrilege) that is so simple and pure in itself, I don’t feel like I’m adulterating the fruit by including it in the salad.

There are only three ingredients and they marry so well together that in the past I have been inspired to give the salad names that would usually be associated with cocktails, like Hawaiian Sunrise and Tropical Paradise.  To keep things simple and pure, in keeping with the recipe itself, I decided to just go with Pineapple & Mango Salad for it’s official title.

I’ve made this salad with parsley, mint and cilantro and I usually prefer the parsley, though any of them will work.  If you think another sounds better, go with that.  I think it is a matter of personal taste, or perhaps even occasion, as when I’m serving it as dessert after a Mexican meal, the cilantro seems best.  And if you want to give it a little more tropical feel, add in some sweetened coconut.  I did that this morning on my second bowl and thought it was nice, though being a mango purist I can’t exactly condone the behavior. ;)

Pineapple & Mango Salad

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 ripe pineapple
4 ripe mangoes
1/2 cup fresh parsley, mint, or cilantro, chopped fine

Cut a slice off the bottom of the pineapple and cut the top off as well.  Sit the pineapple up on on its now-flat end and slice down around the sides to remove the outside.  Keep cutting until you have no pits remaining in the flesh.  Cut the pineapple into quarters, then slice the middle off of each to remove the pit.  Lay each quarter on its back, cut into thirds length-wise, then chop into chunks.  Place the pineapple chunks in a large bowl.  Peel the mangoes and cut the flesh away from the seed.  Chop the flesh into chunks and add to the bowl.  Add the parsley and stir until combined.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least until well chilled, before serving.

Veronica’s notes: this salad is perfectly delicious when the fruit is ripe, but if yours is a little under-ripe, you can add in some agave nectar or other sweetener of your choice.  If you don’t feel like cutting up a pineapple, you can usually find fresh cut pineapple at salad bars at supermarkets, or even in the refrigerated produce section.  There is a simpler way to cut the flesh from a mango, which is depicted here (I don’t use this method because I feel like I can’t cut the cubes close enough to the skin and I waste too much of the mango), and to see a tutorial on cutting pineapple, click here.

Recipe source: CW (that’s my Mom.  Dad calls her CW, which stands for Crazed Woman, and she calls him “crazy man.”  Gotta love my dysfunctional family! :) )

This is linked with Nutmeg Nanny for BSI: mangoes.

Questions of the day: 1) Is there anything you love so much in its natural state you can’t alter it?  2) What is your favorite fruit?  3) Do you know anyone that has mean/teasing pet names for their significant other?

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Quick Fish Tacos with Baja Cream

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I have several magazine subscriptions and the ones that aren’t entirely devoted to food and recipes do include recipes and by the time I’ve gone through them, they are inevitably bristling with pieces of paper I’ve used to mark those I want to try and never do.  Every once in a while, however, a recipe jumps out at me and I can’t stop thinking about it until it has been made.

Enter the May edition of Everyday Food.  As soon as I saw these fish tacos on the cover, my heart began to sing.  They were so colorful and seemed a perfect spring/summer meal.  I had to make them.

I mostly followed the recipe except I did something a little different with the sour cream, using a recipe from my friend, Kitty, whom I owe a sincere thanks to.  It is the closest thing she’s found to the cream they serve on fish tacos in Baja California and while I wouldn’t have a clue as to whether it tasted the same or not since I’ve never been to California, I can attest that it is delicious on these tacos!

From start to finish, this meal was on the table in fifteen minutes.  So easy!  So simple!  So gorgeous!  So light!  So delicious!  I often forgo simple recipes like this, believing that the more time and effort and ingredients that is involved makes the end product that much better.  As this recipe proves, that’s not always the case.

Quick Fish Tacos
Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 pound boneless, skinless tilapia fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper
12 corn tortillas
1/2 small head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 small white onion, finely chopped
lime wedges, for serving

Baja Cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lime peel
Pinch of salt

Heat broiler, with rack in highest position. Pat fish dry with paper towels and gently coat with oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Broil until fish is browned on top and flesh is opaque throughout, 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the Baja Cream ingredients together and set aside. Toast corn tortillas over a kitchen burner using tongs or wrap a stack of 6 at a time in damp paper towels and heat in the microwave for 40 seconds to 1 minute. Divide fish evenly among tortillas and top with cabbage, cilantro, and onion. Serve with Baja cream and lime wedges. SERVES 4.

Per serving (3 tacos): 440 cal; 14.9 g fat (4.2 g sat fat); 35.9 g protein; 42.8 g carb; 6.9 g fiber (NOTE: NUTRITIONAL STATS ARE BASED ON THE ORIGINAL RECIPE, WHICH ONLY USES 1/4 CUP OF SOUR CREAM. I know, who could possibly only use ONE teaspoon of sour cream on their taco?! I need at LEAST a tablespoon-hahahahaha!)

Recipe source: adapted from “Fish Tacos with Cabbage & Lime” from Everyday Food, May 2010

Green Rice

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I do not really like Spanish rice, but I do love Mexican food, so I’m always looking for alternative side dishes to complement my Mexican meals (let me know if you have some!). I started making this green rice about four years ago and every one that has tried it raves about it and immediately tries to figure out what’s in it b/c they’re always expecting broccoli when they look at it and are surprised by the slightly spicy, garlicky & cilantro taste. It is a very nice complement to any Mexican dinner, but I really like to serve it with my creamy chicken enchiladas along with a salad. It does take a while to make, so I usually save it for special occasions or days when I have an extra hour to prepare dinner.


Green Rice pictured with Fish Tacos

GREEN RICE

3 cups fat-free chicken broth or water
2 poblano peppers, stems & seeds removed
1 jalapeno pepper, stem & seeds removed (use latex gloves so your skin doesn’t get burned during handling)
1 bunch (at least 1 cup) chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided in half
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup brown rice
½ tsp. salt

Combine the broth and peppers in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, and then partially cover and simmer gently over medium to medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender*, add 1/2 of the cilantro and process to a smooth puree. Set aside.

Wipe the pan clean, add the oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in the warm broth mixture & the salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Start checking on it about 30 minutes to make sure there is still enough liquid. There should be enough, but add more broth as needed. Also, the rice will start sticking to the bottom toward the end of cooking so when most of the liquid is absorbed, you’ll have to stir it every few minutes to keep the bottom from scorching. This makes the rice creamy–almost like a risotto in texture. Once the rice is tender, remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes, covered. Stir in remaining cilantro and serve.

*Remove the center part of your blender lid before turning it on so that the steam has somewhere to escape once the internal pressure increases. If you don’t do this, your blender lid will blow off & you could be badly burned (as I have on two separate occasions). It works best to start the blender on low and slowly increase the speed, that way nothing sloshes out through the open hole at the top.

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