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!

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

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Greek Chicken Souvlaki with Tzaziki Sauce

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In the mood for some delectable Greek street food? Then you’ve come to the right place! Strips of chicken breast are marinated in a lemony, yoghurt marinade with garlic and oregano, then grilled to mouthwatering perfection. Serve it with tzaziki,( a refreshing cucumber yoghurt sauce), roasted red peppers, red onions, tomatoes, and garlic slathered homemade naan, or pita bread and you’ll have a deliciously memorable feast.

Ingredients for the chicken:

1 large chicken breast

1/4 Spanish onion, grated

4 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 Tablespoons plain yoghurt

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus 1/8 teaspoon

1 Tablespoon dried oregano

2  tomatoes, cut into wedges

1/2 red onion, cut in thick slices

1 red pepper

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

home made naan or pita bread

wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes before using

Directions:

Cut the chicken into chunks or strips and place them into a small bowl. Add the lemon juice, garlic, 1 Tablespoon olive oil,.1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, oregano, yoghurt, and grated onion. Mix it all together, cover and refrigerate 2 hours. While the chicken is marinating, roast the red pepper and make the tzaziki sauce. Place the pepper over a gas flame, turning frequently with tongs, until the skin is black and blistered. You may also put the pepper under a broiler to blacken it. Let cool, remove the skin, stem and seeds. Cut into strips and set aside in a small bowl. Place the red onion slices and tomato wedges into a roasting pan. Toss them together with the remaining tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them into a preheated 350 degree oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade and skewer it. Reserve the marinade, and use for basting the chicken. Grill the chicken on a grillpan, or outdoor barbeque for about 8 minutes, turning frequently, or until cooked through. Serve with the roasted pepper, tomatoes, onion, tzaziki ,feta and warm naan or pita bread.

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients for the tzaziki sauce:

1 English cucumber

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 clove garlic, pressed through a garlic press

pinch of cayenne

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

2 teaspoons fresh mint leaves, minced

salt to taste

Directions: Peel the cucumber. Cut it in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds. Grate it on to a clean kitchen towel and use the towel to wring out all the juice. Place it into a small bowl, and add the garlic, dill ,mint, cayenne and yoghurt. Mix well and serve over the souvlaki.

Yield: 3/4 cup

Pasta Carbonara

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This pasta dish, made with bacon and eggs, is one I yearn for in my dreams! The heat of the pasta cooks the eggs, yielding a rich, wonderful sauce. If you’ve never had it, or tried making it, RUN, don’t walk, into your kitchen, and do so this very minute. It’s comforting! It’s cheap! It’s scrumptious! So get in there and give it a go! You’ll end up a happier person…trust me on this. Kitchenclown never lies!!!!

Ingredients:

8 oz. bacon, or pancetta cut into small pieces

1 lb. pasta…spaghetti, linguini, or fettucine all work.

2 Tablespoons butter

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 small white onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 cup dry white wine

2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese, or a mixture of both.

Freshly ground black pepper

salt, to taste

Directions: In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk  the cheese into the eggs and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is warming, fry the bacon in a medium sized skillet. Drain on paper towels and add to the bowl with eggs and cheese. Pour off the bacon grease, and add the butter and olive oil to the same pan. Add the onions , garlic and hot pepper flakes to the the oil, and cook over medium heat, just until the onions are translucent, stirring often. Add the wine, and continue cooking until it has reduced by half. Cook the pasta, until just done. Drain and immediately add it to the eggs, bacon, and cheese. Toss well and add the onions and garlic. Toss again and add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Serve immediately .Go on…I dare ya!

Yield: 4 servings

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..

Ingredients:

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.

Ingredients:

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