Mango Madness or A Sort of Saucy Mango Chutney

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As luck would have it, Kitchenclown scored yesterday, while flipping through the pages of the latest SPA cookbook. Fine members of the San Miguel de Allende community contributed some of their favorite recipes, as well as photographs of their beloved animals, to this cookbook,  with the proceeds from it’s sale going to the SPA, or Sociedad Protectora de Animales (humane society). This recipe was donated by Henry Vermillion, a gifted artist and gallery owner.Besides knowing his way around a canvas, Henry also knows his way around the kitchen, and this here chutney goes to prove it! KC had the pleasure of working for Henry in his gallery a few years ago, and Henry always whipped this up for openings. Dang…we were all thrilled with his efforts, as you will be, if you decide to give it a go, Poured over cream cheese and served with crackers,  it’ll make your party, as well as your tastebuds zing!


2 ripe mangoes

1 cup raisins

1 small jar peach, or apricot preserves

1 teaspoon chipotle powder

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon dry mustard

2 packages cream cheese

crackers for serving


Peel the mangoes.Remove the pits and place the mangoes into the bowl of of a food processor or blender. Add everything, except the raisins, and process to a fairly smooth sauce. Pour into a bowl, and stir in the raisins. To serve, place a block of cream cheese on a plate, and pour half the sauce over it. Repeat with the other block of cream cheese. Serve with plenty of good crackers.

Yield: 3 cups


Bang Bang Shrimp

While cruising the internet for mouthwatering possibilities, Kitchenclown came across this one for Bang Bang Shrimp.  KC decided to give it a go, and is very happy she did! Crunchy panko and seasoned flour coat these little yumsters, which are then tossed with a slightly fiery sauce. What a delicious appetizer it made for one, (actually dinner), as only one was going to be involved in the consumption of it.Next time,( and there will surely be a next time), I’ll invite a friend to devour the scrumptiousness as well! Drop down a bit to view the devourability factor,(you’ll be glad you did), as the clown had a glitch in the photo upload!


1 lb.Shrimp, peeled and deveined

Spicy sauce:

!/2 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise

4 to 5 teaspoons chili garlic sauce, such as Sriracha

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar

For the egg mixture:

1 egg, beaten

1 cup milk

For the breading mixture:

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1 cup of vegetable oil for frying

1 scallion, green parts only, sliced diagonally for garnish

handfull of julienned lettuce to place the shrimp on.

Instructions: Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings. Mix the flour, panko, and seasonings together in another bowl. Beat the egg into the milk in another small bowl.  Dip the shrimp first into the beaten egg-milk mixture, then into the panko-flour mixture. Then dip again, into the egg mixture and once more into the panko-flour mixture. Put the coated shrimp,side by side, on a plate, and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes, which will help keep the coating adhered. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan,until hot.Add the shrimp and fry till golden, about 30 seconds on one side.Flip and fry 30 seconds on the other.Drain on paper towels. Toss gently with the sauce. Place the shrimp atop the shredded lettuce, and garnish with the slivered scallions. Bliss I tell You…unadulterated bliss!

Yield 2 to 4 appetizer portions

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Korean Pancakes

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These Asian pancakes are ridiculously easy to whip up, and make a great snack, lunch, or light dinner. Throw whatever you’ve got a hankerin’ for into the batter. I threw mushrooms in mine, because that’s what I had on hand, but feel free to experiment with other vegetables, or cooked chicken, pork or shrimp. Use your imagination, but whatever you do, don’t skip the scallions! Invite a friend over. Pour the sake. Whip these up. Your friend will think you’re brilliant!


1/2 cup water

1/2 cup flour

4 scallions, finely sliced

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sliced mushrooms ( I used cremini and oyster)

1 to 2 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

For the sauce:

1/8 cup soy sauce

1/8 cup seasoned rice vinegar

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Directions: Make the sauce first, by putting the vinegar, soy sauce, grated ginger and sesame oil into a small dipping bowl. Set aside. To make the pancake batter pour the water into a small bowl. Add the flour and mix well, until you have a batter-like consistency. Mix in the beaten egg, along with the salt, the teaspoon of soy sauce, scallions, and mushrooms. Mix well.  Heat the canola oil, over medium heat, in an eight inch non stick skillet. When the oil is hot pour half the batter into the oil. Cook about two to three minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown. Carefully flip the pancake over and cook the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter. Remove the pancakes, when cooked, to a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve along with the dipping sauce.

Yield: 2  8 inch pancakes

Devilishly Decadent Cranberry Cream Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos

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Kitchenclown has a weakness for all things stuffed, and these little devils just may top the list. They have all the elements for maximum devourability. Sweetness, from the cranberries… saltiness, from the bacon… crunch, from the nuts…and just the right amount of spicy heat, from the peppers. I was fortunate enough, to be introduced to these, by a delightful couple, Kathy and Martin, who served them at a fiesta, while visiting San Miguel de Allende. Bowled completely over by the perfect combination of flavors and textures, I’ve been serving them to delighted guests ever since. Mil gracias to the Koppers! Way up there with the Wow factor!


10 fresh jalapeno peppers

1  8 oz. block cream cheese, softened in the microwave, in a small bowl

1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped

1/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, chopped

10 slices bacon, cut in half


Cut the  stems off the jalapenos, Slice each in half lenghtwise, and remove the seeds and veins. ( Removing the seeds and veins eliminates the really fiery parts of the peppers, and ensures that they won’t be too incendiary! Using a serrated grapefruit spoon makes the task a snap.)

Add the chopped, dried cranberries, along with the chopped toasted nuts to the softened cream cheese, and mix well

Fill each jalapeno half with a teaspoon, or so of the cream cheese mixture, being careful not to overstuff.

Wrap each half with half a piece of bacon, and secure with a toothpick. Turn the  oven on broil, or you may use a toaster oven.

Place each wrapped jalapeno on a broiler pan, and put into the oven. Broil 10 minutes, on one side,or until the bacon is toasty brown, and cooked through. Turn each one over and repeat, keeping a close watch to prevent burning. Remove from oven, and drain them on paper towels, to remove any excess fat. Remove toothpicks and serve immediately.
Note: Whenever handling jalapenos, take extra precaution and wash hands thoroughly afterwards. Do not rub your eyes, mouth, or nose. Even after careful hand washing, the oils from these little monsters can permeate the skin, and it can take repeated hand washing to remove all remnants.

Yield: 20

Roasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes with Romesco Sauce

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These roasted potatoes with Romesco sauce will surely rock your world! Need something for a tapas party?  These will fit the bill. This spanish sauce is also terrific when paired with seafood, vegetables ,or chicken..


2 large potatoes

3 large cloves garlic, finely minced

1 Tablespoon fresh, or dried rosemary leaves

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Directions: Cut the potatoes into 1 inch cubes and place in a  pot of water. Boil until almost fork tender. Drain and put in a roasting pan, along with the olive oil, garlic, rosemary,sea salt, pepper, and paprika. Roast 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees, or until crispy, and golden brown. Serve with the romesco sauce.

Ingredients for Romesco sauce:

2 Dried ancho chiles

1/3 cup olive oil, plus 2 Tablespoons

1/2 cup blanched almonds

6 large cloves garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 roasted, peeled red peppers, stems and seeds removed

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 large tomatoes

1 slice stale bread

1 cup roasted tomato sauce. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet , along with 2 cloves of garlic.Drizzle with the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven, and roast for 20 minutes.Remove from oven and slip off the skins. Whirl in blender, until you have a sauce consistency.

For the Romesco sauce:

Cut the stems off the ancho chiles and remove the seeds. Place the chiles in a skillet , over medium heat, and press down with a spatula. Cook for a few minutes, just until they start to smoke a little. Remove from heat. Heat the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, in the same skillet, and add the garlic, blanched almonds, and torn up bread.  Cook, stirring often, until the almonds are golden brown. Remove from heat and place in a food processor or blender, along with any remaining oil. Add the toasted chiles, roasted red peppers, sea salt, hot pepper flakes, black pepper red wine vinegar,  tomato sauce and blend to a saucy consistency. Add a little water, if needed. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed. Pour into a bowl and serve with the potatoes. Yields 2 cups sauce. You will probably have extra sauce, so use it to dress up some pasta or  fish, or chicken, or whatever floats your boat!

Yields: 4 servings

Vietnamese Caramelized Chicken Wings

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These chicken wings, from  Nicole Routhier’s cookbook “The Foods of Vietnam”, are glazed in a glorious caramel sauce, with fresh ginger and shallots, and will stop you in your tracks! The first time I made them, I was stunned by their sheer deliciousness. Great for a party, easy, and addictive, your guests will be pleading for more., Note: KC would recommend doubling the sauce…if you want to cover other things…perhaps, Jasmine rice, for a full meal.


2 pounds chicken wings

1 Tablespoon finely shredded fresh gingerroot

For the caramel sauce:

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup Vietnamese fish sauce

4 shallots

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Cook the sugar in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, swirling constantly, until brown. It will smoke slightly. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir  the fish sauce into the caramel, being careful to guard against splattering.The mixture will bubble vigorously.

Return the mixture to low heat, and gently boil, swirling the pan, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the shallots and black pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Note: Cool the sauce thoroughly before using. If cold food is added to a caramel sauce that is hot, the sugar will harden instantly, and you will end up with a dish full of candy chips.Yields 1/3 cup

Cut the wings into three pieces: the main wing joint, the second joint, and the wing tip. Discard the tips. In a 3 qt. saucepan, add the chicken wing pieces and shredded ginger to the cooled caramel sauce. Stir to combine. Set over high heat and bring the mixture to a rapid boil.Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is tender. Skim off any fat. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with black pepper.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Roasted Toasted Garbanzo Bean Snackers

If your not a lover of garbanzo beans, these toasty little morsels just might turn you into one.


2 cups cooked garbanzo beans

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press

1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked, or regular paprika

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place all the ingredients, garbanzos through paprika, into a large roasting pan. Mix well, to coat them all thoroughly. Place the beans in oven and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, or until crunchy. Remove from oven and pour into a bowl. Snack away.

Yield: 2 cups