Monday, April 30, 2012

Broiled Ahi Tuna Provencal

Ahi tuna is a great dish for dinner.  It is packed with 133 mg of Omega 3 and only 61 calories.  Of course this just cooked with no sauce etc.  This recipe came from one of my seafood cookbooks.  Sometimes it is really hard to figure out just what you want to do with an ingredient, so this is when I rely on a cookbook for inspiration.

Broiled Tuna
2 tuna steaks, about 1 inch thick
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
Prepare Provencal Sauce and keep warm.  Combine olive oil and lemon juice.  Place steaks on a greased broiler rack and brush them with oil mixture.  Lightly salt and pepper.
Place steaks about 6 inches from heat source and broil until top side is tender about 8 minutes.  Turn and repeat until done, about 6 minutes.  Serve with sauce.
**NOTE:  I found that cooking the fish under the broiler for this amount of time cooks the tuna on a more well done side.  If you are like us we like our tuna cooked on the rare side.  My suggestion would be to reduce the amount of time the fish is cooked on both sides.

Provencal Sauce 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon pressed garlic
1 large tomato, cut up
1 teaspoon fresh basil
1 teaspoon fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
In a small saucepan, heat oil.  Add garlic and saute until tender.  Add tomatoes and basil.  Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Add parsley.  Spoon over hot fish.

The meal was served with couscous and a small Caesar salad.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Eggs Benedict with Asparagus

Sometimes trying to figure out what to have for dinner can be really hard.  My husband suggested, why don't we do breakfast?  I thought sure why not, simple and easy but I just didn't want simple eggs and bacon. I figured lets do something a little different which is how I came to do this for dinner.

Here is what I did:
2 Sourdough English Muffins, fork split and toasted
4 pieces of Canadian Bacon, heated
Several stems of asparagus, depending on how many you want on each muffin, steamed
4 poached eggs (*recipe below)
hollandaise Sauce (**recipe below)
Place bacon on top of each muffin half, add poached egg (one to each muffin side), place asparagus over top egg then add hollandaise sauce.

Poached Eggs by Julia Child
To poach up to 6 eggs, bring 1-1/2 quarts of water and 1/4 cup white vinegar to a simmer in a saucepan 8 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep.  Have a kitchen timer and slotted spoon at hand.  One by one, starting near the pan handle and moving clockwise, hold the egg as close to the surface as possible, and break it into the water. (I break my eggs into small dishes first, it makes it easier plus you don't have to worry about the egg breaking, etc).  Rapidly continue with the rest.  Maintain the water at a simmer and poach exactly 4 minutes - the white should be softly set and the yolk liquid.  Clockwise from the handle of the pan, remove the eggs one by one with the perforated spoon, and drop into a basin of cold water to wash off the vinegar. (if you don't mind the taste of vinegar or the vinegar taste isn't strong you can skip this step).

Hollandaise Sauce by Julia Child
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and hot
More salt, freshly ground white pepper to taste
Beat the egg yolks with a wire whisk in a stainless-steel saucepan for a minute or two, until they thicken slightly and turn lemon-colored.  Whisk in a pinch of salt, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon cold butter.  Set over moderately low heat and whisk continuously at moderate speed, removing pan from the heat now and then to make sure the yolks aren't cooking too fast.  When they cling to the wires of the whisk and you can see the bottom of the pan between strokes, remove from hear and stir in second tablespoon of cold butter.  Start by beating in the melted butter by little dribbles at first, until a good 1/2 cup of the sauce has thickened, then add it a little more quickly as the sauce thickens into a heavy cream. (I continue to use my whisk as this seems to be the easiest thing to incorporate the ingredients) Taste and correct seasoning.

I love using Julia Child recipes, they are proven recipes and she makes them easy to understand.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

I decided to make these because I have a friend who owns a company in our town called Southern Flavoring.  The company makes many different types of flavorings and extracts, food dyes, spices, etc.  He approached me on Tuesday (knowing that I have a blog and love to cook) and asked me if I have ever used Vanilla Bean Paste.  To be honest not only had I never used it but never really heard about it before.  Well his company was in the process of making a Vanilla Bean Paste and wanted my opinion about it.  My kitchen sort of became a test kitchen.  I was given a popular brand of Vanilla Bean Paste and a bottle of the paste that they are developing.  I needed to make something that I could test out each and give a review of each.

When I got home I started to do some research on the Internet about Vanilla Bean Paste.  I found that a lot of people prefer it over Vanilla Extract.  Whatever the recipe calls for in extract you would use the same amount of paste.  The paste actually contains the vanilla bean seeds (the inside of a vanilla bean).  So you would only want to use the paste in instances where you don't mind seeing the brown flakes/seeds.

While I was digging I found a recipe for cupcakes with frosting.  To test both types of the paste I had to make 2 batches of cupcakes and frosting so that it could be a fair test. I will post the reviews at the bottom under the recipe.

I found this recipe on the blog The Sisters Cafe who found the frosting at Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons Vanilla Bean Paste
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for light aluminum or silicone muffin pans or 325 degrees Fahrenheit for dark, nonstick muffin pans.  Line about 16 - 24 muffin cups and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  In a large bowl, bear butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Mix in eggs and egg yolk one at a time and then mix in the vanilla.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients.  Combine, add 1/2 of the buttermilk.  Mix.  Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients.  Mix. Add the final 1/2 of the buttermilk.  Mix and then add the final 1/3 of flour mixture.  Mix until combined and the batter is smooth.  Spoon out batter into lined cupcakes pan, filling only half way or just barley over half way.
Bake for about 15-18 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven based on the type of muffin pan you have), until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out with moist crumbs.  Don't overbake!
Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Bean Frosting
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons of cornstarch (I use Arrowroot instead of cornstarch - it does the same thing but better)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons Vanilla Bean Paste
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, cut into 24 pieces and softened at room temperature
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt.  Slowly whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth.  Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium saucepan and pour the milk mixture thoroughly the strainer into the saucepan.  Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and is thick enough to become difficult to easily whisk.  This could take anywhere between 5-10 minutes, depending on your stove, heat, etc. It should bubble quit a bit at the end (be careful of the splatters) and thicken considerably.
Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cool to room temperature (this is extremely important!).
Once hte frosting is completely cooled to room temperature beat the mixture with the vanilla on low speed until it is well combined, about 30 seconds.  Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat the frosting until all the butter has been incorporated fully, about 2 minutes.  Increase the speed to medium/high and let the mixer work its magic.  Beat the frosting for 5 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.  Let the frosting sit at room temperature until it is a bit more stiff, about 1 hour.  Chill 30 to 60 minutes before pipping.

Now for the review part:
Just looking at the difference between the 2 products I found that the popular brand (I will call it subject A) was thicker (more paste like) than the test brand (I will call it subject B), which was more like a syrup.  Subject A being thicker had the seeds almost suspended in the paste.
Subject B being more like a syrup than a paste and did not suspend the seeds as much.
Upon baking with each I found that Subject A the vanilla seeds were well incorporated into the mixture and was easy to distribute.  Subject B the vanilla seeds stuck together (even after shaking the bottle) and was harder to get incorporated into the mixture.
Subject A had a slightly sweeter taste.  Subject B had a sweet taste but I found that it left an aftertaste.
My tasters comments:
Myself:  I found that Subject A had more of a vanilla taste than Subject B.  The texture of the cupcake was also slightly different.  I attribute this to the fact that Subject B made the batter slightly more fluid.
Tester 1: Subject A had a more distinct vanilla flavor, the texture of the cupcake was better then Subject B.
Tester 2: Seemed to like both cupcakes equally and couldn't really tell a difference but had a preference to Subject B.
Tester 3: Liked Subject A much better due to a stronger vanilla flavor.  Did not like Subject B as much because a notice of a slight aftertaste.
Testers 4 and 5: Both favored Subject A better because it seemed slightly sweeter and the icing flavor seemed more defined (almost a slight lemon zestiness to it).  Could not tell any difference in the cake part.
Based on these comments I think it might be back to the drawing board.  I will let you know what he says.

Subject A

Subject B

Monday, April 23, 2012

Chorizo Sausage Soup

I first want to start off by apologizing for not posting anything for the last several days.  I am a member of GFWC (General Federation of Women's Clubs) and we had our annual Virginia convention.  It was a crazy week leading up to the weekend and being gone over the weekend, I wasn't in my kitchen.  My husband pulled some chorizo sausage from the freezer yesterday for us to have, or for me to do something with, for dinner tonight.  The weather has turned very cool in Virginia, almost winter like instead of spring like.  I thought since it was a rainy cold damp day that soup was in order.  I did a little digging around on the Internet to find a recipe that I felt like I wanted to make.  Since I couldn't make up my mind on any one recipe I decided to use a little bit from all the different recipes I found.

Chorizo Sausage Soup
1 package of chorizo sausage (about 3/4 pound), removed from casing
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups of chicken broth
1 - 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 can each of chickpeas and kidney beans, drained and rinsed, mix together
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1-1/2 cups pasta (I used chiocciole shaped pasta - looks like a large macaroni)
1 - 6 ounce bag baby spinach
Parmesan Cheese

Remove meat from casing of sausage. Make a slit down the center of each link, open the casing up and scrape the meat out of the casing into a heated (medium heat) 6 quart dutch oven that has the olive oil added.  Cook, stirring often breaking sausage into bite sized chunks (don't make them too small, you want to get those bites of sausage as you eat the soup.  Cook until brown.  It there is a lot of fat, spoon some of it out.  Add carrots, onion, and garlic.  Cook until onion is tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Add herbs and stir until fragrant.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes (with juice), add about 3/4 of the bean mixture and bring to a boil (you can add more of the beans but you want to make sure that you have enough liquid to cook the pasta in).  Bring soup to a boil, add pasta, cover and cook for 10 minutes until pasta is tender.  Stir in spinach (a little at a time) until wilted.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

This post was shared on Easy Natural Food Sunday Night Soup Night 4/29/2012 and on
The Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania 4/30/2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ravioli with Homemade Sauce

I didn't pull a thing out of the freezer for dinner tonight, I thought about it but never got around to doing it.  So I whipped up a quick dinner.  We bought some ravioli from our local food co-op that we were keeping in the refrigerator.  They are a Porcini Mushroom and Truffle made by Bertagni (product of Italy).  Just cook those according to the package.

For the Sauce:
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
fresh ground pepper
You can add more or less of the spices to suit your taste.  The measurements above are approximate.  Cook on stove until heated thoroughly.  Serve sauce over cooked pasta.  Top with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Serve meal with a Caesar salad with homemade Caesar dressing.
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
2 pressed garlic cloves
1/4 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 cup vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
Mix together. 
Add just enough dressing to coat romaine lettuce but not too much.  Sprinkle each salad with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chicken Drumsticks on the Grill

We bought some drumsticks from one of our local farms that raise their chickens naturally (on pasture, no antibiotic feed).  Thought it would be something a little different than having a whole chicken.

I use a barbeque spice rub recipe that I got out of the Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook.
Barbeque Spice Rub
1/2 cup chili powder
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons paprika
This will make more than you need at one time.  Just place all the ingredients into a dish that you can place a lid on to seal.  Don't store this in plastic as it will take on the flavor of the spices.

Rub the drumsticks with the spice rub.  Place the drumsticks on a high heat grill and grill for 5 minutes and then turn every 5 minutes until done.

Grilled Asparagus
Snap asparagus (hold a piece of asparagus in both hands and bend the asparagus, the asparagus will break at the tender spot of the asparagus).  Don't throw away the tough end (the part you don't want to eat), save those (stick them in the freezer) to make vegetable broth or asparagus soup with at a later date.  Place the asparagus on foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper.  Place the asparagus on the grill, direct heat and cook for 5 minutes and then move to warming rack. 

Fresh Pineapple, Blueberry and Mint Salad
Cut a fresh pineapple.  I use a pineapple cutter made by Pampered Chef, it makes cutting a pineapple effortless and very simple.  Take each section of pineapple and cut into lengthwise sections and then slice again to create small pieces.  I had some organically grown local blueberries that I froze from last year.  Just take the frozen blueberries and place in a bowl.  Add chopped pineapple, mix.  Take some fresh mint and pull the leaves off.  Dice the mint and place in bowl with pineapple and blueberries.  Mix together and let stand at room temperature until ready to eat.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Smoked Ham, Provolone Cheese Raisin Cinnamon English Muffin Grilled Cheese

I came home from running errands today and checked my email.  I follow this blog called Foodie Crush.  Today in my inbox was the most delightful looking sandwich, grilled cheese no less, that I have seen in a while.  The picture immediately made my mouth water.  Since I hadn't eaten lunch yet I got to thinking this would be great for my lunch today and I knew that I had several of the same ingredients.  In the original recipe it using a fig spread.  Since I didn't have any on hand I chose to use strawberry jam instead.

Here is what I did:
1 tablespoon butter
1 sourdough cinnamon raisin english muffin, split in half 
1 tablespoon strawberry jam 
A couple of slices of smoked ham 3 slices of provolone cheese

Heat a skillet on medium. Butter one side of the muffin. On unbuttered side spread on strawberry jam, add cheese slices (you may need to break the cheese since the muffin is smaller than the slice of cheese) then add ham.  Place other side of muffin on top, buttered side up, and grill in skillet until bread becomes golden. Flip sandwich once and cook until cheese melts and bread becomes golden. Cut in half and serve hot.  Since I used an english muffin you may need to push down on it while it is in the skillet to get everything to melt and heat up.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough English Muffins

In my post the other day where I made regular english muffins I mentioned that the next time I made them I would make cinnamon raisin muffins, and so I did.  The kitchen smells like cinnamon which is so nice.  My husband says that the cinnamon smell reminds him of his childhood when he was in the kitchen with his grandmother and she would make him cinnamon toast.  I like that kind of memory.  I could tell when he was talking about it he remembers her fondly.

Raisin Cinnamon Sourdough English Muffins
In a large bowl combine 1/2 cup fresh starter**, 1-1/4 cups warm non-chlorinated water and 1-1/2 cups flour.  Set in a warm place until bubbly, (several hours).Combine these next ingredients together in a separate bowl:1 cup flour (any flour can be used)1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon baking soda
RaisinsStir the flour mixture into the bubbly sourdough batter, add enough cinnamon and raisins to incorporate into the dough.  You may want to add a little cinnamon to your board that you knead the dough on.  You want enough cinnamon and raisins to know that it is a cinnamon raisin muffin. Stir in enough extra flour to make a tough, plastic like dough, 1/4 to 1/2 cup more.  Knead 3-5 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky.  Roll on a lightly floured board to 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into 3 inch rounds with a wide mouth canning jar ring.  Sprinkle a place with cornmeal.  Moisten both sides of the dough rounds with non-chlorinated water and flop them on the cornmeal.  Place each on waxed paper, leaving enough space so that they do not touch and can rise.  Let rise until double in thickness (about 1 hour).  Very lightly grease a skillet or electric fry pan*, heating to low, 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook them about 10 minutes on each side until browned and puffed up.  Cool. Split with a fork and toast. 
*I used an electric fry pan so that I could regulate the temperature easier.
**Fresh Starter - In a bowl with 1/2 cup of sourdough starter add:1-1/2 cups flour1-1/4 cup warm, non-chlorinated, waterStir thoroughly, and set in a warm place as before until it is actively bubbling.  (About 6-1/2 hours) When starter is bubbly and light, stir gently, then set aside the 1/2 cup of start and put in the refrigerator until next time.  Now you can proceed with your favorite recipes with the fresh starter.  The sourdough is fresh when you start the recipe so it should be less time to see the active (bubbly) stage again depending on the temperature it is placed in.

Cinnamon Raisin Muffins on Left, Regular Muffins on Right

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bratwurst, Onions and Beer on the Grill

I decided to thaw out some bratwurst that we get from our local farmer.  The bratwurst is made purely of pork, not your typical German Bratwurst.  I wanted to cook the brats on the grill along with some beer.

Bratwurst, Onions and Beer on the Grill
Slice thinly 2 onions
1 bottle of beer (your choice).  I used a pint of a local beer called Roanoke Railhouse - Track 1 Amber Lager
Add butter to a cast iron pan (deep enough to add beer), melt butter, add onions and cook until soft.  Add beer, cover and continue to cook.  Don't let it boil too much.  Place brats on grill and cook until done.  Add brats to beer and onion mixture.  Let simmer in pan until you are ready to eat.  Add a brat to a hoagie style roll adding onions and a little juice.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Sugar
Take 1 Japanese sweet potato (Japanese Sweet Potatoes are purple on the outside and white on the inside.  They are not the orange color you associate with American sweet potatoes), slice super thin (I used a mandolin, no not the musical instrument, but one of those slicers that you can slice stuff really thin).  Place slices onto a piece of foil, overlap the slices slightly.  Add a couple of slices of butter; place the slices throughout the top of the sweet potato slices.  Sprinkle the top with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar (I used regular white sugar).  Place another piece of foil on top and turn up the ends so that you are sealing the potatoes into a foil packet.  Place the packet onto the grill over high heat, cook for 5 minutes, turn packet over and cook for another 5 minutes.  Removing to warming rack for 10 minutes.  (Once you remove the packet to the rack, place salmon onto the grill.  Remove from heat. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Salmon Cooked on a Himalayan Sea Salt Plank

When I did a order last week for seafood through SeaBear I saw this really cool cooking tool called a Himalayan Sea Salt Plank.  I was intrigued by how you cooked using this huge chunk of salt.  So I bought one and tried it for the first time tonight.

Here is what I did:
While leaving the skin on, cut salmon fillet into strips approximately ½” wide. Set aside on a cold platter for cooking later.   Brush each side of the salmon with olive oil.
Properly heating your salt plank will take approximately an hour or so.  Place your dry salt slab into a cold oven and turn the heat to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. When the oven has reached 250 degrees, carefully remove the salt slab and let cool for about 30 minutes on a stove top, or other safe area. Then return it to the oven and set the temperature for 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit  for 30-35 minutes. The heat will distribute slowly and evenly throughout.  Remove plank from oven, place on a safe surface.  Place salmon strip onto plank.  It will take only a couple of minutes each side for the salmon to cook.  Here is a cool video so that you can see how the salmon is cooked.  

I made a herb aioli to go along with the cooked salmon.  I didn't have any fresh herbs available so I used dried.  You only want to use a little bit of each and make it to taste.
It consisted of homemade mayonnaise, dill weed, parsley, thyme, tarragon, cilantro, fresh ground pepper,  little bit of lemon juice and a splash of Tabasco sauce.

Along with this we served couscous and a small side salad.  This kept the meal nice and light.
Salmon while on the sea salt plank beginning to cook

Homemade Mayonnaise

This is so super simple and the mayonnaise is so good.  Please make sure that you use farm fresh eggs from a reliable source.

Here is all you do:
In a blender break 1 whole egg into the container, add 2 egg yolks, and process for 30 to 45 seconds, or until thick and lemon colored.  With the machine running, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of white pepper (it is okay to use regular black pepper you will see the flakes if you do).  Still with the machine running, and by very small dribbles at first, start adding up to 2 cups of olive oil (if you use extra virgin olive oil the mayo will have a distinct flavor) or vegetable oil.  After about 1/2 cup has gone in, add the oil a little faster until you have thick mayonnaise.   Refrigerate in a covered container.

I used this mayonnaise for the Salmon Cooked on a Himalayan Sea Salt Plank.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Does anyone have a recipe or dish they would like to see me make and post all about it here on my blog?  I would love to have your comments and suggestions.

Do you have a recipe that you grew up with?  A certain type of dish from the country in which you live or where you or your ancestors are from?  Maybe something that was passed down from generation to generation?  Share it here.  

Can't wait to see all the comments!  

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lemon Butter Black Cod

Fish makes such a great meal and so good for you.  Black cod is high in Omega 3's.   Here is what we had for dinner.

Black Cod with Lemon Butter
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.   Place a piece of foil onto a baking sheet (this will make clean up easier) and create an edge so that the lemon butter mixture you pour over the fish won't run off.  Place about 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a pan on the stove, add the juice of 1 lemon, stir while melting butter.   Add some fresh ground pepper and some salt to the butter mixture, stir and remove from heat.  Pour over fish.  Place fish in oven and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes until fish flakes with fork.  About half-way through baking baste the fish.

Place a pot of water onto stove and bring to a boil.  Snap asparagus (hold a piece of asparagus in both hands and bend the asparagus, the asparagus will break at the tender spot of the asparagus).  Don't throw away the tough end (the part you don't want to eat), save those (stick them in the freezer) to make vegetable broth with at a later date.  Add asparagus to the boiling water, reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes.  I cooked these longer than what I would normally do because the stalks of the asparagus were much larger.  Remove from pan when done, place on a platter.  I drizzled these with a little bit of a lemon pepper oil.  (It is an oil that I picked up somewhere and is excellent over fresh cooked vegetables). A helpful tip for your summer garden is to save the water your vegetables are cooked with, let water cool and use that to water your garden.  Not only will you be saving water but your plants will benefit from the nutrients left over in the water.  

Sliced Mango and Strawberries
A long time ago you couldn't get fresh fruits like mango's in the grocery store but now you can and to have these fruits fresh are so much better.  If you have never had fresh mango I recommend that you try one, they are so sweet and delicious.  Mango's are rich in pre-biotic fiber, vitamins, minerals, poly-phenolic flavonoid (helps to fight against certain types of cancers) antioxidant compounds plus a great source of vitamin A just to name a few.  Here is a video that will help you to learn to cut a mango, it is really easy.

Side Salad with Italian Dressing
A side salad was a nice accompaniment with this meal.  It consisted of romaine lettuce, tomato and a little bit of grated Parmesan cheese.  Here is the recipe for the homemade Italian dressing:
Place all ingredients into a jar.
1/2 cup white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar (I used balsamic this time)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 pressed garlic cloves
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup olive oil
Shake until mixed.  Pour over salad.