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Carla Veliz’s Mango Mint Salad


Carla Veliz’s Mango Mint Salad

San Antonio artist Carla Veliz sees a connection between her art and food.

“My art, like a crisp, flavorful salad, combines color, texture and visual delights to create a sensory experience,” she writes in “The Art Lovers’ Cookbook: San Antonio” (SRC Publishing, $24.95). “The vibrant hues presented in delicate swirls awaken the visual senses in much the same way that a refreshing, multi-textured salad arouses the palate.”

And so, this refreshing, multi-textured Mango Mint Salad is a sweet-savory reflection of her work.

Carla Veliz’s Mango Mint Salad

3 ripe mangoes
Juice of 2 limes
1 clove garlic, diced
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup shredded mint leaves

Peel and slice mangoes lengthwise.

Serve individually; plate 1/2 mango per guest.

Whisk lime juice, garlic and agave nectar in a bowl, drizzle over mango and sprinkle with shredded mist.

Makes 6 servings.

From Carla Veliz/”The Art Lovers’ Cookbook: San Antonio”

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Give Your Breakfast Some BAM!


Bacon-Avocado-Mango Breakfast Sandwich

Every time someone uses the word “bam” near a kitchen, Emeril Lagasse comes to mind. The celebrity chef, who told us all that “pork rules,” would probably love this version of BAM, a breakfast sandwich made with bacon, avocado and mango.

The silky smooth textures of the mango and avocado are a nice contrast with the crisp bacon and the hot buttered bread. If you want to make this more like a Mexican torta, use crema instead of butter.

It’s a great way to get two fruit servings with breakfast, so you can start the day right.

Bacon-Avocado-Mango Breakfast Sandwich

4 thick-cut slices bacon or 6 regular slices bacon
2 bolillos, toasted, or 4 slices Texas toast
Butter or crema (optional)
1 Ataulfo mango
1 large avocado
Salt, to taste (optional)

Over low-heat, fry the bacon, turning frequently, until you reach the desired crispness. Using a paper towel, remove any excess grease.

Meanwhile, cut the bolillos in half and toast. Spread butter or crema, if using.

Peel and slice the mango. Halve the avocado, remove the pit and cut out slices, removing them from the peel.

To assemble: Place one side of the bread down on a plate. Top with bacon, mango and avocado. Sprinkle a little salt on, if desired. Top with other half of bolillo or toast.

Makes 2 sandwiches.

From John Griffin

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Mango, Tomato, Avocado Chop Bowl


Mango, Tomato, Avocado Chop Bowl

Nomi Shannon, aka the Raw Gourmet, created this easy yet bold salad using ingredients you’re like to have around your kitchen. Don’t have something? Try a variation. As Shannon says, “This is just wicked simple — and there’s pretty much endless variations of the chop bowl.”

You could add celery or any color bell pepper for crunch. Use peaches or nectarines instead of mango. Spritz some lime juice on instead of the vinegar. Add serrano pepper for heat.

Mango, Tomato, Avocado Chop Bowl

1 medium ripe tomato, chopped into ½-inch cubes
1 medium Ataulfo mango, chopped into ½-inch cubes
1 medium avocado, chopped into ½-inch cubes
6-10 fresh mint leaves, torn up
Pinch of sea salt
¼- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar, optional

Gently stir together tomato, mango, avocado, mint, salt, cinnamon and vinegar, if using. Allow flavors to mingle for 15-30 minutes.

Makes 4 side dish servings or 1 main course serving.

From Nomi Shannon, the Raw Gourmet

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Mango and Brie Quesadillas


Mango and Brie Quesadillas (front) with Baked Brie.

Place the brie in the freezer before peeling and the rind will come off quicker, says Emily Carlos of the Central Market Cooking School. It will also make the brie easier to slice.

Mango and Brie Quesadillas

8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1 pound firm brie cheese, rind removed, cut into very thin wedges
2 medium mangoes, peeled and cut into 32 thin slices
1 large avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into thin slices
4 green onions and tops, sliced thin (optional)

Lay the flour tortillas on work surface. Divide cheese wedges into 8 equal portions (about 2 ounces each). Arrange a portion of the cheese wedges on the lower half of each tortilla. Place 4 mango slices on top of the cheese wedges. Top with several slices of avocado. Scatter an equal portion of the green onions, if using,  over the mango and avocado slices. Fold the top half of each tortilla over the filling and press down firmly. Place the quesadillas on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Heat a flat-top griddle to medium high. Place the quesadillas on the grilled, cheese side down, and grill until cheese begins to melt, about 2 1/2 minutes. Carefully turn them over and grill on the other side until filling is warm and quesadillas are sealed together by the melted cheese, another 2 1/2 minutes. Remove  from grill and slice each quesadilla into three wedges. Return to baking sheet and keep warm in an oven on a low temperature. When ready to serve, arrange on a platter.

Makes 24 wedges.

From “Don Strange of Texas” by Frances Strange and Terry Thompson-Anderson

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An Embarrassment of Mangoes? Is There Such a Thing?


Mangoes come in a variety of styles and colors.

Mangoes are in season now, and their lush, voluptuous flavor and texture make them appealing to all ages.

But many don’t know how to pick a ripe mango or know when the fruit is ready to eat. It’s easy: Smell the stem end. If you detect a fruity aroma, then the mango is ready. If you want to hasten ripening, place it in a paper bag overnight.

There are numerous varieties of mangoes on the market in various sizes and colors. Experiment with a variety to discover the range of flavors available.

Cutting the mango is easy. You just peel it (the peel is inedible). You can do this several ways, one is to cut the peel away from the flesh. Another is to cut close to the stone, so you can invert the peel and cut the flesh away from it; you can do this in a crisscross method if you want cubes for a salsa or salad.

Oxo has a mango splitter that’s really easy to use. You place on top of the mango and press down. In seconds, the flesh is removed from the pit and you’re ready to eat. Click here for more information.

For a relaxed bit of summertime reading, check out Ann Vanderhoof’s “An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude.” The book comes with recipes for mangoes, rum and more.

The following is a quick and delicious way to add variety to your smoothie schedule. It’s a variation on an Indian favorite that uses coconut milk.

Mango Lassi

2 cups organic coconut milk
1 ripe mango, cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons coconut cream concentrate (optional)
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Combine the coconut milk, mango, coconut cream concentrate, if using, and yogurt in a blender.

Process until smooth.

Pour into a glass and enjoy. This is best enjoyed cold.

Makes 2 (8-ounce) servings.

Source: “The Harvest Eating Cookbook” by Keith Snow

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Cool Off With Quick Mango Sorbet


Mangoes are plentiful now.

Mangoes are in the market now, and this is an easy recipe to put together that’s low in fat yet high in flavor. If you don’t have a mango peeler, then quarter the skin, peel each piece off and then scrape the flesh off the pit. Do this over your food processor, so you retain all the juice. And since it all gets processed, it doesn’t matter how pretty the flesh is once you’ve removed it from the pit.

Mango Sorbet

2 large ripe mangoes or 3 medium ripe mangoes
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) light corn syrup

Peel the mangoes and remove the flesh from the pit. Place in a food processor fitted with the metal blade or in a blender, purée until smooth. Measure the purée. You should have 1 2/3 cups. Return the purée to the food processor or blender. Add sugar and corn syrup and process to mix well. Pour the purée into a bowl and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.

Transfer the sorbet mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the sorbet to a container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours, or for up to 3 days.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups for 3 to 4 servings.

Adapted from “Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library: Ice Creams & Sorbets”

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Mango-Jícama Chopped Salad


“The succulent essence of mango was once used as a topical application to the genitals in Hindu erotica to stimulate desire,” Diane Brown writes in “The Seduction Cookbook.” “Match that reputation with the nutty crunch of jícama, which like all roots is rumored to restore virility. Top all that lascivious action with the potent pumpkin seed, and you’ll be climbing the walls.”

Mango-Jícama Chopped Salad

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup peeled, chopped jícama
1/2 fresh mango, pitted, peeled and cut into cubes
1/2 small seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups romaine lettuce, cleaned and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons toasted and salted pumpkin seeds

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With a wire whisk, combine lime juice, honey and vinegar. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss together jícama, mango, cucumber and romaine lettuce with dressing. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of salad. Serve.

Makes 2 servings.

From “The Seduction Cookbook: Culinary Creations for Lovers” by Diane Brown

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Seduce Your Partner With a Super Supper


Recipe: Steak au Poivre With Pink Peppercorns

Are you planning an intimate dinner for two this Valentine’s Day? Then SavorSA has a few ideas for you.

We’ve assembled a menu that includes a number of aphrodisiacs to help you set the scene for some fun to continue after the meal.

Do aphrodisiacs work? There’s little in science to verify this, but the mind works in mysterious ways. You don’t need a degree to realize that people can react strongly to the swirl of aromas coming from a dish of pears poached in a syrup the mingles cardamon and honey in white wine.

People are also stimulated by the shapes of foods, which is why foods such as mushrooms, asparagus and, again, pears are considered in this category.

Long before Casanova, who reportedly ate 50 oysters a day to boost his libido, stars of the sea have been considered sources of potency. Think of Venus rising from the sea on her shell.

So, we suggest starting your meal with a crab cake or oysters on the half shell (make sure your fishmonger is reliable,  if you’re worried about the latter).

Steak by itself may not carry any aphrodisiacal  food, but it is a favorite. Dress it up with pink peppercorns in a sauce that’s guaranteed to make him or her swoon. Serve a mango-jícama salad on the side and your choice of vegetables.

For dessert, a poached pear earns points for its sensual texture as well as its aroma and visual appeal.

All of these dishes are easy to prepare, which is also a plus, because your mind is likely to be on other matters.

Enjoy your evening.

Recipe: Classic Crab Cakes

Recipe: Mango-Jícama Chopped Salad

Recipe: Poached Pears in Cardamon Syrup

Jansen, Svend wrote:

Hey John. Thanks for getting back to me. Hope all is well. I wanted to let you know about the Science Behind the Cocktail event coming to San Antonio in March. It's a very fun, entertaining event hosted at the McNay Art Museum. The press release is below. If you are interested in speaking to Tim Laird, our Chief Entertaining Officer and Steve Hughes, Master Blender/Spirits Scientist, I'd be glad to set that up for you. I have attached their bios along with an image of them. Or if you'd like to come out and do a story about the event and tour, I'd be glad to get you a few tickets. Just let me know. Look forward to hearing from you. -Svend

Thursday, February 11, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Svend Jansen
(502) 774-7825
svend_jansen@b-f.com

MISTOLOGY: THE ART AND SCIENCE BEHIND THE COCKTAIL COMING TO SAN ANTONIO
After-hours event at McNay Art Museum features hands-on demos, food and drink

WHAT:
Ever wonder if shaken or stirred is the best way to make a drink? Why bartenders always pour the alcohol in first and then the mixer? Does a garnish really influence the taste of your cocktail?

Mistology: The Science Behind the Cocktail, an after hours event hosted at McNay Art Museum, will explore the entertaining and educational side of cocktail creation.  The event, brought to you by Canadian Mist Whisky, begins at 6 p.m. with an interactive presentation from Canadian Mist's Chief Entertaining Officer (CEO) Tim Laird and Spirits Scientist Steve Hughes. 

Tim is the master at mixing cocktails while Steve, a member of Mist's Research and Development team, spends his day dissecting cocktails in a lab. Together, they will answer any and all of your bartending and science related questions. Not only the how, but also the why. 

After the presentation, attendees can apply what they learned with hands-on demos. If you prefer to kick back and let others do the work, there will be a bar staff on-site and plenty of appetizers to enjoy. The event is open to anyone 21 years of age and older with admission $8 per person for museum members and $10 per person for non-members. All proceeds will benefit McNay Art Museum.

WHO:
Tim Laird - Chief Entertaining Officer (CEO) for Brown-Forman Corp., a global marketer and producer of wine and spirits, including Canadian Mist. Tim is known for his making entertaining easy and has appeared on hundreds of television and radio interviews across the U.S.

Steve Hughes - Spirits Scientist for Brown-Forman Corp. Steve has been behind the development of several of Brown-Forman's award winning whiskies, including Canadian Mist, a Gold-Medal winning whisky made in Collingwood, Ontario.

WHEN:
Thursday, March 11, 2010
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

WHERE:
McNay Art Museum
6000 North New Braunfels
San Antonio, TX 78209

COST:
Tickets for the event are $8 for McNay Art Museum members and $10 for non-members. It is open to anyone 21 years of age and older.

RSVP:
Space is limited. RSVP by calling (210) 805-1763 or email reservations@mcnayart.org. 

For more information about the event, visit www.sciencebehindthecocktail.com. 

About Canadian Mist
Canadian Mist is an award-winning whisky distilled in Collingwood, Ontario with water from the pure Georgian Bay. Brown-Forman Corporation is a diversified producer and marketer of fine quality consumer products, including Jack Daniel's, Woodford Reserve, Canadian Mist, Southern Comfort, Old Forester, Early Times, Finlandia Vodka, Fetzer Wines and Korbel California Champagnes.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Enjoy Life. Drink Mist Responsibly.
Imported and Bottled by Brown-Forman Beverages, Canadian Whisky, A Blend, 40% Alc. by Volume, Louisville, KY
(c)2010 CANADIAN MIST is a registered trademark.

Svend Jansen
PR Manager - Woodford Reserve, Canadian Mist, Early Times & Old Forester
Brown-Forman
850 Dixie Highway
Louisville, KY 40210
Office, (502) 774-7825
Mobile, (502) 744-0462
svend_jansen@b-f.com

-----Original Message-----
From: John Griffin [mailto:griffin@savorsa.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2010 10:58 PM
To: Jansen, Svend
Subject: Good to hear from you

My e-mail is griffin@savorsa.com. Looking forward to hearing what you're
bringing to San Antonio.

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Mango and Avocado Salad: Not for Vegetarians Only


MangoAvacadoSaladMango and Avocado Salad

I have been making this lovely green and orange-gold salad for lunch and dinner at home, or to take to special events.  The method is simple, although the technique for slicing wedges of mangoes takes a little practice. You might have your own swift way of doing this.  I simply make sure to pick up a tender (but not squishy) mango, peel it, then make vertical slices as deep as I can, to cut off large, meaty pieces, then slice each piece vertically into wedges. (The photo of this salad makes it pretty easy to figure out.)

I’ve served this dish on a taco bar, where it added color and made a sweet, cool complement to the spicy foods.  Or, you can serve it with a more substantial meal, such as roast pork, steaks or barbecue.  Just a squeeze of lime juice, and a little chopped mint, is the only dressing needed.

2 large mangoes, ripe, but still a little firm to the touch
2 large avocados, not overly ripe
Field greens or lettuce leaves to line serving plate
Juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons fresh mint, finely diced, for garnish

Peel the mangoes, then slice into wedges, about 3/4 inch wide.  Discard pits. Peel avocados, cut in half and discard pits. Slice each half by putting it cut side down on a cutting board and making vertical slices about 3/4 inch wide.

On a serving platter, put down a layer of fresh field greens, arugula or sliced (very crisp) iceberg lettuce.  Arrange the slices alternately, so the orange and green colors are contrasted. When you are through, squeeze the lime juice over the fruit, then sprinkle with mint. Serve immediately.

Makes 6-8 servings.

From Bonnie Walker

This article is part of the series:  World Vegetarian Day Brings Some Meat-free Surprises

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Beto’s Comida Latina: Reel in the Fish Tacos


betos5

Food: 3.5
Service: 3
Value: 3.5

Rating scale:
5: Extraordinary
4: Excellent
3: Good
2: Fair
1: Poor

Where to have lunch? The car knew the moment it turned onto Broadway: Beto’s Comida Latina.

The fish tacos, the empanadas, the quesadillas – all seemed to be calling me. So, a friend and I turned into the parking lot and turned on to the best meal I have had there in ages.

I have always enjoyed going to Beto’s. The casual atmosphere of the dining room, a few longnecks and the patio out back (too hot for our current heat, but great in the fall), the Latin fare that goes beyond Tex-Mex to embrace Central and South American cuisines. But my last couple of visits were average, nothing to get worked up about.

I’m glad to see that has changed. Most everything we had at that lunch was marked by a welcome vibrancy, from the fresh ingredients to the steaming hot nature of the food itself, that was nearly irresistible.

betos1The fish tacos were the special that day, with a pair and a salad arriving for $5.99. Don’t pass this by if you can. Our version flirted with perfection. The cilantro coleslaw on top was fresh and crunchy, the poblano sauce creamy with just the right amount of bite, and the grilled fish juicy and plentiful. There was a slight bit of water coming from the tacos, but it didn’t affect the flavor.

It also didn’t affect the hold that great fish tacos have. For some reason, this dish has never caught on in San Antonio as well as it should. So, we should be extra thankful that Beto’s, among other places, has cultivated a devoted following for them. For those of us who love them, their hold is as gripping as the latest John Lescroart or Michael Connelly mystery.

The accompanying salad was topped with pickled red onions and slices of jícama, which added two contrasting yet complementary textures to the crisp romaine.

A spinach and mushroom quesadilla bore no trace of the promised chipotle, and it didn’t really need it. Who needs more when you have soft spinach leaves and mushrooms melting into one with the corn tortilla thanks to a judicious amount of cheese.

betos4A sauté of fresh vegetables, ranging from squashes and tomatoes to eggplant and sweet potato, with a sprinkling of queso fresco on top, made a substantial side dish and a nice balance to the carbohydrates from the tortillas. (Beto’s, ever attentive to people’s dietary needs, offers low-carb options as well as gluten-free dishes. Ask your server.)

But you can’t go low-carb and enjoy Beto’s signature dish, its flaky empanadas, made with puff pastry. From a choice list of savory fillings, including chicken poblano and beef and red chile, the calabacita con puerco called, and it proved an excellent choice with its stew of squash and pork with a touch of sweet corn.

I heeded the call once again when the waiter mentioned mango-rhubarb among the dessert options. The luscious sweet-tart nature of the fruit a good foil for the buttery pastry.

Give in to such calls every once in a while. You could be as amply rewarded as we were at Beto’s.

betos3betos2

Beto’s Comida Latina
8142 Broadway
(210) 930-9393
Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday
$-$$

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