Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mango and Coconut Milk Risotto

Mango and Coconut Milk Risotto
Did you walk by a mango today?  Did you look at a mango and think it looked interesting, but just didn't have the energy to think about what to do with it?  This Mango and Coconut Milk Risotto could cause you to never walk by a mango, again.
Believe me, sometimes I literally slow-run through the grocery store or even the Farmer's Market just because of time.  I put my head down, ignore the ideas and the seasonal colors, and just get the essentials for the next few days.  That's when I grab a few apples, a couple oranges, maybe a bunch of bananas and try not to knock down the displays turning the corner on two wheels. Now, mangos have made it even to my "quick grabs".

I was fortunate to have a weekend recently at CampBlogAway for food bloggers and one of the sponsors was the National Mango Board (yeah, who knew there was one of those, right?)  When I returned home, a few days later, I received a box of gorgeous mangos just to enjoy.  Hopefully, my getting these mangos literally dropped at my doorstep will benefit you, too. 

I'm not going to let food go to waste, no way no how, so I began experimenting with recipes.  I'll post a few as it goes along, but I must say this one I just couldn't wait to show you.
First, let me tell you a couple things I learned about mangos, and maybe that will make you feel very at home with this fruit, too.

1)  Mangos can be eaten when they're almost ripe (ie. a salsa), ripe (ie. this risotto) and very ripe (ie. caramelized and on top of ice cream), depending on how you fix them.

2)  Mangos will continue to get ripe if you leave them at room temperature, or you can stop them from getting any riper by putting them in the refrigerator where they will keep for several days.

3)  Mangos come in a variety of colors and that's not the way to judge their ripeness.  A ripe mango will have a light "give" and be a little soft to the touch.
The easiest way to cut a mango is to stand it up on a cutting board, stem end down and hold.  Place your knife about 1/4 inch from the widest center line and cut down through the mango.  Flip the mango around and repeat the cut on the other side.  The two ovals are the "cheeks" of the mango.

Cut parallel slices into the mango flesh, being careful not to cut through the skin.  Scoop the mango slices out of the mango skin with a spoon.

For this recipe, I also experimented with my little Mango slicer, which worked great (but a knife works well, too.)

Also, after cutting the parallels, I added a cut across before scooping, so I had little cubes of mango.



Then I just scooped them out and held them nearby until the Risotto was almost done.
Adding the cubed mango near the end allows the fruit to stay in nice firm little bites, while still blending with the creamy risotto.
Recipe:  Mango and Coconut Milk Risotto

1 Mango (without skin, cubed) *See Above for easy cutting*
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Minced Shallot
1 Cup Arborio Rice
1/4 Cup White Wine (or use water or white grape juice)
1 Can Coconut Milk (13.5 ounces), plus a Can of water
Dash of grated Nutmeg
Salt/Pepper
* optional Rocket Arugula *

1)  In a large skillet, heat the oil and shallot (and a pinch of salt) on Low/Medium -just til tender (about 5 minutes.)

2)  Add the rice and stir often, heating until the rice turns opaque - (about 10 minutes.)

3)  Add the wine and stir to incorporate all the flavors formed in the skillet.  Continue heating and stirring until almost all of the liquid has been used up.

4)  Add the Coconut Milk in increments (about 1/2 cup at a time), stirring frequently to allow the rice to absorb the liquid each time.  Season along the way with the salt/pepper and nutmeg.  When all the Coconut Milk is used, fill the empty can with water and continue until that is used up also. 

***It is important to cook, stirring until the liquid has been absorbed before adding more liquid.  This will take about 20 - 30 minutes, but will give you a creamy Risotto with just the right amount of al-dente bite.***

5)  Just as the last amount of liquid has been used up, add in the cubed mango and fold gently.  (If you want to add Arugula, do this now also.)  Taste and season.

6)  Serve.  If you have leftovers to keep, reheat with a bit of liquid (more Coconut Milk, water or juice to taste.)
Enjoy and watch for more Mango recipes, including checking out their very fun website: Mango.Org

Now, go walk up to a mango and grab it!

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