Fresh Mango Salsa

June 4, 2012 § 5 Comments

A good portion of my life has been spent daydreaming. When I was little, I dwelled in imaginary worlds with eccentric imaginary friends.  Now, as my life has turned more hectic, and I have lost the whimsy of childhood, I daydream for the more tangible and realistic. I dream of summer.

I find that Minnesota is a perfect state for dreamers, mostly because it’s frozen for most of the year, which prevents most people from doing anything outside. Breath freezes before it escapes open mouths, tiny icicles form around nostrils and the very tips of toes hurt and start to tingle, all while just bringing the groceries back to the car in the parking lot. These conditions almost force ingenuity and creativity in a home setting. It also provides ample time for sitting and thinking.  Come February, after enduring about four months of bitter temperatures, almost all my daydreams focus around summer and warmer temperatures.

And then suddenly it happens.  The daydreams start to come true.  The ice gradually thaws and it seems after waiting years for just a glimpse of green, everything is born – new, green, fresh and living.  I begin to sleep with cracked windows and listen to the rain pitter-patter on the drain spout and soak into the awakening ground.  Then the birds start to get up early to sing and the windows are opened wider, screens are put on, and fresh warm breezes float on the edges of softening winter chills.

Now, there are real, genuine signs that summer is here and with summer comes the want, no, the need, for fresh fruit and vegetables and long lazy dinners sitting outside at the patio table talking, letting the twilight tip toe in as the warmth of the sun hides behind the horizon.

On one warm day, I deeply craved fresh homemade mango salsa – a staple of my summer eating.  The crisp crunch of fresh vegetables, the spicy notes of fresh jalapenos and sweet juicy mango make this the ideal summertime dish.  Mango salsa is perfect for lazy outside dinners with long conversations, meandering thoughts of summer plans, and a content Biscuit sprawled out in a fading sunbeam.  It is fresh, easy, vibrant with summer color and pairs nicely with pork, grilled fish or chicken.  Mango salsa is best eaten outside on a warm summer day, but it is also delightful to dream about at any time you please.

Fresh Mango Salsa

Serves 10

Ingredients

2 mangos skinned and diced

1 red pepper diced

1 jalapeno chopped(take the seeds out or omit according to desired spice level)

1 cucumber skinned and diced

1 small red onion diced

juice from one freshly squeezed lime

1 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic minced

½ cup of fresh chopped cilantro

Cut up mangos, cucumber, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, red pepper and mix together.  Squeeze the juice of one lime over the top of mixture and sprinkle with salt and mix again.  Done!

Fried Pork Chops with Mango Salsa

Ingredients for chops

Serves 4

4 pork chops

1 cup of bread crumbs

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 eggs (whites only)

Mango Salsa (see recipe above)

Combine bread crumbs, cumin, salt, paprika, chili and pepper.  Spread mixture out on a plate and set aside.

Dip pork chops into egg whites and then transfer to plate with bread crumb mixture.  Evenly coat each side of pork chops with bread crumb mixture by pressing each side of the chop down lightly into bread crumb mixture on plate.

Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet.  When the oil is hot (you can see ripples) add the pork chops.  Let each side fry for about 6 minutes.  The interior temperature of the chops should be around 155-160 degrees when done.

Top liberally with fresh mango salsa and enjoy!

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