Thursday, April 9, 2009

Egg Salad Sandwiches, Pixie Crinkles, Chipotle Ketchup, Mango

We like egg salad sandwiches, so here's my first repeat. However, we mixed it up a bit from last time. We had fries & fruit instead of chips and pickles. Also, I had mine on a hamburger bun, reprising my favorite egg salad sandwich from my youth at the A&W Drive-In. The chipotle ketchup is addicting. This is dinner from Tuesday night this week.

Egg Salad Sandwiches (see March 27th posting)
Pixie Crinkles (frozen Ore-Ida crinkle-cut fries)
Chipotle Ketchup
Fresh Mango

Pixie Crinkles & Chipotle Ketchup
(serves 4)
1 bag fozen Pixie Crinkles (prepared per package instructions, cooked until a little crispy)
popcorn salt (plain, not flavored)
1/4 c. ketchup
1 T pureed chipotles in adobo sauce (see "A note on chipotles" from my April 7th posting)

Bake the fries. Immediately after cooking, sprinkle with popcorn salt. As I do with my homemade tortilla chips, I use popcorn salt on fries. The extra-fine texture seems to "melt" onto the fries and gives them a pleasant saltiness.

Stir the chipotle puree into the ketchup and divide into individual ramekins for serving. Adjust the amount of pepper puree based on heat tolerance. I like it pretty hot.

Fresh Mango
1 large mango, peeled and cut into 1/2" chunks

We love fresh mango, but it can be tricky to get a ripe one. Don't go by color - green mangoes are sometimes deliciously ripe, and red ones sometimes hard and starchy. As mangoes ripen they pass from green, firm, starchy flesh to pale-yellow, sweet-tart al dente flesh to bright-golden, super-sweet, soft flesh. There are wonderful uses at each stage. Typically, I go for the late-middle stage for this kind of eating - I like them when they still have some tartness to them. This is a matter of preference.

The smaller yellow mangoes often sold in Asian grocery stores are usually delicious - get two or three instead of one because they're smaller. Also, this variety of mango tends to be more tart, even when well-ripened. Again, I love's all what your preferences are.

When shopping, pick a mango that is slightly soft when gently squeezed, but be sure to check for bruises - sometimes mangoes have soft spots because of bruises suffered in shipping. Also, smell near the stem. It should have a pleasant mango aroma. If it has no smell at all, don't buy probably won't ripen for you. Let them ripen in a cool place at home for 3-5 days, if needed. Even with all of this planning, they can be hit-or-miss. I probably get 1 mediocre, 2 decent, and 1 delicious mango for every 4 I buy, but I still think they're worth the effort.

If the mango is really soft, peel it first, then cut the yellow flesh away from the hard pit inside. (I do this because it seems to be gentler on the tender flesh of a really ripe mango.) Use a sharp knife, and be very careful - the mango will be slippery. I peel them by first cutting off a chunk of the skin at the stem, which gives you a flat end you can stand on a cutting board. I then cut off the skin at the "top", stand it up, and working around the mango cut the remaining skin away in strips. For really juice mangoes, I chew on the pit after slicing away the flesh, to nibble away any remaining fruit. This is my treat for being the cook :-).

If the mango is more firm, I cut the flesh and skin away from the pit first, then remove the flesh from the skin and cut into pieces. The pit of a mango is flat and wide, like an oblong disk, not round like a peach pit. You'll get larger pieces of fruit if you slice parallel with the flat side of the pit first. You can tell how the pit is oriented by the shape of the mango - they are all slightly wider than they are thick. The edges of the pit are oriented towards the widest part of the mango, and the flat sides of the pit are oriented toward the narrowest part. This takes a little practice, but you'll soon get the feel of it.

I put the eggs on, then preheat the oven (450). By the time the eggs are cooked, the oven is hot. I then peel and dice the eggs while the fries are cooking. You'll have to work out when to cut up the mango based on your comfort takes me about 2 minutes to peel and dice a mango, so I squeeze it in right before serving.

In my March 27th posting I describe my technique for the perfect hard-boiled egg. Today we talked about buying, ripening and peeling mangoes.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Chuck! I'm not a huge egg salad guy (still holding out for your tomato sauce recipe, even if it takes a lifetime), but your chipotle ketchup is a slam dunk. A few years back, Heinz marketed this (I bought it, obviously), but it was nowhere near as good as the promise. I will try your recipe. Thanks.