Guest Author - Jason Hodge
I've always loved the taste of pineapples and mangoes. They've got this sweet tanginess about them that are just calling for a good application to make them dinner-worthy. The other day we had massive snowfall in our area, so much so that we were out of power for three days. Fortunately we had the right culinary tools on hand to fit the bill.
We had our mortar and pestle, from Thailand, a gas range, a skillet, candles, and a lot of creativity.
I pulled out our stash of condiments [coconut vinegar, smoked seal salt, a smoky South African spice blend from Trader Joe's, palm sugar, coconut oil, Himalayan pink salt, extra virgin olive oil], grabbed an onion, 1/2 cup mixed color bell peppers and a quarter cup of cilantro and we were in business.
The thing I liked about this combination is that it's extremely versatile, can be used on savory things like burgers, used to braise tofu in, as a topping for meatloaf when you're baking it, as a sandwich spread, as a dip, as a great base to make other sauces and drizzles... there are a lot of ways you can use this sauce and you're only limited by your imagination.
1 large skillet
1 mortar and pestle [9" preferably]
or blender/food processor
1 chef's knife
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sized brown onion [chopped]
smoked sea salt and Himalayan pink salt [to taste]
1/2 cup bell peppers [chopped]
1 tbsp South African spice [Trader Joe's]
1 tsp chipotle powder
3 tbsp coconut vinegar
1/4 cup palm sugar
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup mango chunks
Step 1. Heat your skillet and add your oil, onions and salt. Cook until onions begin to caramelize [brown] and add your spices and peppers.
Step 2. In your mortar and pestle pound your palm sugar, add your vinegar to dissolve sugar and pound your pineapple and mango until relatively smooth.
Step 3. Once your peppers have released their excess liquid and reduced to 1/3 their size, spoon in your pineapple/mango mixture and incorporate into your peppers and onions.
Step 4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened and reduced by 1/3 volume.
Step 5. Stir in cilantro let cook for another 3 - 5 minutes, constantly stirring, turn off heat and spoon back in to your mortar and pestle, pound until smooth, scrape down the sides and serve.
Step 6. Drop me a line and tell me how you had it.
The thing I love most about this recipe is that it's not only simple and gourmet, but it shows that we don't need a whole bunch of things to make something taste great! It's versatile and can be used in many applications whether you're vegetarian or just wanted some healthy alternatives for a diet full of better choices. It's lower glycemic index than any other sweet sauce out there with all of the fiber and the complex carbs [i.e. the palm sugar - low glycemic index] and it's actually healthy.
Try it out; and, if you don't have one ingredient... no worries! Substitute!
Looking forward to your feedback! Be sure to stay in touch and let me know what you want to read about next!