Spicy champagne mango ice cream

Spicy champagne mango ice cream

Spicy champagne mango ice cream

Hey! It’s a funny word, isn’t it? On its own it doesn’t mean anything–it’s not much of a word, really. Given the right inflection, it can speak volumes. Are you getting someone’s attention? Challenging them to a fight? Trying to pick them up? At a loss for the right word to express the intensity of your emotions? Hey, baby, you’re not the only one. I’m a big fan of non-verbal and barely verbal communication. Sighs, gestures, expressions, ums, ahs, shrugs. I find it fascinating that they can be universal, but they have their own sort of dialect, as well, within each language and part of the world. I think of “Hey!” as being very American: brash, overeager, a bit rude, very immediate–it almost comes with an exclamation point built in! But it can be gentle as well, and poignant. As Big Bill Broonzy says

    With my arms all around you, baby,
    you know, that’s all I can say is hey

So today’s interactive playlist is HEY songs. My readers recommender friends will recognize that I’m plagiarizing my own ‘Spill post from some years ago, but, hey, it’s a good topic, and I wanted it in my collection of playlists here on The Ordinary. I’ve added some ‘Spillers suggestions from that time. My non reader recommender friends will have no idea what I’m talking about. ‘Spill? What’s this ‘Spill?

I love champagne mangoes, so smooth and sweet and almost piney. I bought one a while back, and I kept waiting for just the right moment to eat it, and as so often happens, I waited so long that the moment passed, and it was too ripe. So I made it into ice cream. I made a spicy ice cream, with cayenne and ginger and cardamom, because I love the contrast of spicy and creamy-cool. I cooked the mango with the milk, which made it taste almost like bananas somehow. I think you could probably just puree it and add it raw. I’ll try it sometime, and let you know how it goes.

Here’s your link to our interactive HEY! playlist. Add what you like, or leave a comment and I’ll try to add it when I have time.

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Champagne mango tart (with cardamom pastry cream and ginger-shortbread)

Champagne mango tart

The Guardian recently had an article about alphonso mangoes. They sound magically delicious! They also sound like champagne mangoes, and I thought they might be the same thing. When I did a little research I learned that they’re closely related, but not the same. Alphonso mangoes come from India. Champagne mangoes come from Mexico, and they’re also called Adolpho mangoes. I love that! I love that they have people names, and that they’re close relatives. Can’t you just imagine a family reunion of mangoes from all over the world? If mangoes were people they’d be bright and sweet and pleasant, with just enough of a piquant edge to keep them interesting.

Champagne mangoes are ripe and cheap around here at the moment. They’re also irresistible. They have a mild, sweet taste (you can see why they’re also called “honey mangoes.”) They have small pits and pretty, velvety flesh, not at all stringy. I wanted to make a fresh little tart that would show them off nicely without overwhelming them. So I made a ginger-shortbread shell (which would taste good on its own as a cookie, as it happens!) And I made a pastry cream flavored with vanilla and cardamom. Pastry cream is my kind of custard. It has a little bit of flour in it, which means that you don’t have to worry too much about letting it curdle. And if it does curdle, you can process it till it’s smooth again. And – you know when it’s thick. There’s no doubtful “Is that coating the back of the spoon? What does that even look like? Should I be using a metal spoon or a wooden spoon? Will it get thicker, or will it just get RUINED?!?!” (I’m a nervous custard maker.) When pastry cream is thick, it’s thick.

Everybody liked the tart, even the littlest food critic, Isaac. And, you know, it’s just fruit and milk! Right?

Here’s Mango Meat by Mandrill. I love this one!!
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Cardamom rabadi with champagne mango & salted pistachios

rabadi

I find it fascinating that different cultures have similar recipes, especially when they involve not-so-simple techniques. The other day, Isaac and I made paneer, which, it turns out, is a lot like making ricotta. Did they teach each other? Did somebody in each country accidentally drop lemon juice in their boiling milk and say, “hey….”? I’ve been reading my Indian cookbooks (those by Julie Sahni and Madhur Jaffrey), and I was excited to come across recipes for rabadi. This is milk, boiled and then simmered for quite some time, until it becomes a lovely, slightly sweet pudding-like consistency. It’s thick and creamy and tawny. It’s very delicious! And the method of making it is quite similar to dulce de leche, except that you don’t add sugar, so it’s not as caramel-y. How did people discover these things? That if you whip egg whites they become stiff, or that if you cook milk for hours it becomes a comforting pudding? I like the simplicity of this dessert. It’s really just milk! I added a tiny bit of cardamom, and a few spoonfuls of sugar, and that was it – it was delicious by itself, but it was even nicer with some perfectly ripe champagne mangos, some pretty strawberries, and a handful of roughly chopped salted pistachios. This is a nice dessert for summer time, because you serve the rabadi chilled, and it’s perfect with whatever fruit is ripe. The next day I blended the leftover rabadi with the leftover mangoes and pistachios, to make a delicious thick frothy drink.

rabadi

And here’s the perfect song for this! Hot Milk, by Jackie Mittoo. He’s the best!
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