Our Cooking Matters class graduated last week. As the chefs hustled through the Mango Salsa demonstration, and the nutritionist gave suggestions for healthy snacking, one of the students (through the Spanish interpreter) told us a story of how her grandmother would prepare mangoes for the family, then sneak into the kitchen to eat the tender meat off the flesh of the pit. The student smiled as she recalled for us sharing those juicy mangoes with her grandmother, the two of them hiding in the kitchen together and laughing at their sticky faces and fingers.
It was decided that there are two approaches to preparing a mango. One of our chefs peels her mangoes before slicing the meat off, then chopping it into uniform pieces. I prefer the unpeeled method (link here).
I made my own version of our Mango Salsa, adding black beans for protein, and lots of peppers for flavor and color. Slicing into the fresh and vibrant mango, I thought about the students from Cooking Matters that I will miss. Six weeks is long enough to bond even when we don't all speak the same language. Food connects all cultures.
15 ounce can black beans, drained
2 red chili peppers
1/2 Poblano pepper
1/4 sweet red pepper
7 to 8 green onions
1 cucumber, seeded and peeled
1/2 cup cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
salt, pepper, garlic to taste
Pinch each of cayenne, chili powder, and cumin
Dice fine all peppers and fruit; chop cilantro; combine all ingredients and toss well. Serve with tortilla strips.