Monday, March 26, 2012

Spicy Mango

I just love a good spicy meal. This weekend I ventured to the huge Asian market looking for some good foods to try. I walked into the chili sauce aisle and was in heaven. There must have been about twenty different ones to choose from. I settled on chile habanero. I also picked up some mature coconuts, researched how to crack them open and went to work. This was fun and I shredded the meat in my food processor to try making coconut butter but this did not work. It's bugging me I can't figure out why. 

While I was out shopping I had yogurt working in the warm oven. I was so pleased when I got home and it had worked! Tastes great too!

Homemade Yogurt

1/2 gallon of organic milk
1/4 C organic plain Greek yogurt

1. Heat the milk slowly in a large heavy saucepan to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. 
2. Remove from heat and cool to 100-110 F.
3. In a seperate bowl, thin the yogurt with some of the warm milk.
4. Pour thinned yogurt into the milk and whisk to combine thoroughly.
5. Transfer this mixture to a contianer, cover and wrap in a towel to insulate. 
6. Place in a warm over set to about 110-115 F so that the fermenting yogurt can maintain a temperature of about 100-110 F. 
7. Have a thermometer hanging in the oven so you can periodically check the temperature. Leave alone for 8 hours.*
8. Remove from oven and refrigerate!**

*I read that if you jiggle or disturb the yogurt while it's fermenting, it won't allow the bacteria to grow and turn the milk into yogurt.

**You have the option of straining the whey (liquid) from the solid yogurt portion through cheesecloth if you want a thicker consistency. 

Also at the store I picked up my first mango since last summer. Mango is my FAVorite fruit! For dinner I decided to make a mango salsa to put on my chicken tacos. 

Mango Salsa

1 mango, cubed
Tomato, chopped
garlic clove, minced
shot of chile habanero sauce
lime juice
s + p

Combine all and let mingle for 20 minutes before serving!

I layered two corn tortillas, refried beans, pulled chicken breast and topped it with the salsa. Simple and delicious dinner that was so quick!

A little something I learned-- 
At first these last two pictures look the same. If you look more closely, at the cilantro leaves in particular, the top ones are much lighter and have less shadowing. This is because I used something called a light bounce to reflect the light coming from the window, back onto the food. In this picture, sunlight is coming from the right side, and the light bounce (just a white foam board) was placed on the left to reflect the light back. Pretty neat, huh??


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