After taking a gentle hint from fellow blogger Maybelle’s Mom of Feeding Maybelle, I’ve entered this photo of edible yellow-ness into A Taste of Yellow. A Taste of Yellow is a photo event hosted by the blog Winos and Foodies, designed as a creative means to raise awareness and support of LiveSTRONG Day within the food and wine blogging community. You can read more about A Taste of Yellow by copying and pasting the following link: http://winosandfoodies.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/02/post.html
A Taste of Yellow is an official LiveSTRONG Day event.
I’m certain that the manner in which my father carved and peeled a mango was not a far stretch from the way he performed as a surgeon in the O.R. Deliberate precision delivered with the utmost tender care and respect for the patient, um, I mean the fruit. As I stood there hungry for mango, the task seemed interminable. Worth the wait? Absolutely. When my father took on mango detail the result was absolute perfection. No mess, no waste, just lusciously juicy, yet miraculously tidy golden fillets laid out for grabs on one of our stoneware plates.
Spring has brought a bumper crop of Mexican Ataulfo, or Champagne mangoes to my local markets. One of my favorite of mango varieties, the Ataulfo can go ripe and beyond without developing any fiber, which means what you are left with under the skin is purely tender flesh, with just a thin slip of a pit. Honey-sweet and a little bit spicy, I’ve been making short work of these sassy little numbers for the last couple of weeks.
This recipe is a riff on an amuse I created to serve at a dinner party we catered last weekend. Since it was presented as a little sipping shooter, the coconut noodles were not included. But served as a properly spooned soup course, I want this to have some texture and use of the soft, pliable flesh of young Thai coconut is perfect.
Cashew cream lends richness without the heaviness of dairy, and harmonizes with all of the tropical elements beautifully. If you don’t feel like tinkering with the young coconut, feel free to use filtered water in lieu of the coconut water, and a spoonful of tapioca pearls could make an appealing stand-in for the noodles.
Chilled Mango Soup with Lime Cashew Cream and Coconut Noodles
Yield: Four pre-entree servings
Bracing, racy, lush but not heavy, this soup is a perfect palate-readying opening course.
Flesh from two ripe Ataulfo/Champagne mangoes
1 cup water from young Thai coconut (I’ve never opened one that didn’t have at least one cup of liquid inside)
1 tsp. minced lemongrass, from tender inner leaves
1 tsp. peeled, minced fresh ginger
1 tbs. fresh lime juice
1 tbs. agave nectar
Seeds scraped from half of a vanilla bean
Pinch ancho chile powder or cayenne
Pinch sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed or other blender container. Blend until smooth. Chill.
Flesh removed from one young Thai coconut, cut into julienne strips.
Lime cashew cream:
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup water, plus more if necessary
Zest of one lime
1-2 tsp. fresh lime juice
Little pinch of sea salt
Place all ingredients in a high-speed or other blender. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding more water to thin if necessary.
Place a portion of the coconut noodles in the bottom of each bowl. Top off with chilled mango soup. Swirl or dollop with the cashew cream.
Note: I can imagine that a spoonful of the soup base placed in a glass flute topped off with a crisp, dry champagne or another sparkler would make a *WOW* unbelievable take on the Bellini cocktail. Champagne mangoes and champagne, anyone?