Monday, July 18, 2011
Mango and Peach Salsa
It comes around frequently during the summer, when fresh produce and warm weather makes the meal all the more enjoyable. In addition to the requisite fish (almost always grilled), we also make a smorgasbord of tasty toppings to accompany the tacos, from raw garnishes like shredded cabbage and diced tomatoes and cucumbers, to more involved but no less satisfying offerings of rice and black beans with corn, carrot salad with a tangy yogurt dressing, creamy guacamole, and delicious and spicy cheese dip (made with beer, it’s outrageously good!).
On our last fish taco night, I was inspired to create a mango salsa. We’ve previously purchased a peach and mango salsa from Costco, but it’s hard to consume a mass quantities of that salsa and the homemade version is so easy and the peaches so good this time of year that it was a no-brainer to make this one myself.
In the past when I’ve made mango salsas, they always turned out more like relish than a cohesive salsa. No disrespect to relish, but I prefer the texture of this salsa, which gets it base from pureed peaches and mangoes, which create a syrupy, almost creamy backdrop to the diced fruit. Hints of lime and hot sauce, which can be adjusted according to your preference, complete the combination of sweet, tangy, and spicy.
This upcoming school year, my roommates and I have decided to initiate Friday Night Dinners (I think the Gilmore Girls reference was lost on everyone but me). Each Friday we’ll celebrate the upcoming weekend by all making a meal together. While I’m sure the requisite pizza and spaghetti will be in our futures, I also have no doubt that they’ll be a few Fish Taco Nights, as well.
Mango and Peach Salsa
Use very ripe fruit in this salsa, which will allow you to make the puree by hand and also imbue natural sweetness to the salsa. Adjust the amount of hot sauce to your taste; I use a few dashes, but you may find that more or less is better suited to your taste buds. If you have some, a sprinkling of chopped fresh mint pairs wonderfully here. Finally, don’t forget a pinch of salt, which brings out the flavor of every component of this dish. I can’t emphasize enough how essential salt is to virtually everything I make in the kitchen.
Yield: about 1 cup salsa
1 medium mango
1 medium peach
Juice of 1 lime
Hot sauce, to taste (I use 3 or 4 dashes)
Pinch of salt
Peel the mango with a knife of sharp vegetable peeler. Slice the flesh off the mango, contouring the blade of the knife around the oblong pit. Take about 1/3 of the mango flesh, chop it into rough pieces, and place into a bowl. Using the back of spoon or a potato masher, mash the flesh until it is broken down and almost completely smooth and pureed. Dice the remaining mango into ½-inch pieces and set aside.
Halve the peach. Take one half and, holding it cut-side down, squeeze out the flesh into the bowl with the pureed mango (this is why soft, ripe fruit is essential). Mash the peach and mango together until you have a mostly smooth puree. Dice the other peach half into ½-inch pieces and add to the mango/peach puree along with the diced mango. Add lime, hot sauce, and salt and stir to combine.
Serve immediately with tortilla chips or crudites or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The salsa keeps, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to a week.