Thursday, July 3, 2008

Grilled Mango with Ice Cream

This is barely a recipe.  It seems so basic, but when I made it, everyone was amazed, so here it is.  A good summer dessert.

You can use a grill pan or the outdoor kind.  Your choice.

Grilled Mango with Vanilla Ice Cream

4 servings

2 ripe mangos
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 tbsp butter

If you've never cut a mango before, realize that a mango has a very large, flat seed inside.  You can't just cut it in half.  If you look closely, you'll see the mango has is not round, but slightly flattened on two sides.  These sides are parallel to the seed.

You'll need a sharp knife. Lay the mango on a cutting board so that you can cut down along where you imagine the seed is.  You will cut all the way through, on either side of the seed, basically cutting off the two "cheeks" of each mango.  Set the seed and inner section of mango aside for later.  It's too valuable to waste! Repeat with mango #2.

Take one mango cheek and carefully cut a cross-hatch pattern through the mango fruit, right down to the inside of the skin. Careful not to cut through the skin. You want the skin to stay whole to hold your mango together, since the mango flesh will be just a bunch of squares or diamonds at this point. Repeat with the other three mango cheeks.

Butter the cut side of each mango, then place them, butter side down, on a hot grill or grill pan.  Resist the urge to turn them, but after a few minutes, gently lift them to see if they are getting some good grill marks.

You don't have to actually cook the mango, the grilling caramelizes them a bit, and adds some serious flavor.  When they have some good grill marks and look pretty hot on the cut side, remove them to a plate or bowl.

At this point, you have a choice.  You can turn each mango cheek inside out, and cut off the cubes of fruit, then top the scoop of ice cream with the caramelized mango OR leave them whole and lay them in a bowl or dessert plate next to the scoop of ice cream.  The latter way looks pretty, but it makes for some work for your guests, as they scoop the cubes from the mango and each with the ice cream.  That's my vote, but they're your guests...

Oh, what to do with the mango covered seeds?  I gently trim the strip of skin off with a paring knife and suck and chew them down to the seed, but in case you want something more dignified, you can also toss it in a big pitcher of ice tea or even a pitcher of water -- very refreshing.  Or put it in a mason jar, fill 'er up with vodka, put in the fridge for a week, then invite some chick over for a girly drink.  Like a mango mojito?  Maybe...

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