Refreshing Mango Mint Lassi

Did you know that mangoes are grown in Texas’ lower Rio Grande Valley?

The English word “mango” probably originated from Tamil mangai or Malayalam manga via Portuguese (also manga).  The word’s first recorded attestation in a European language was a text by Ludovico di Varthema in Italian in 1510, as manga; the first recorded occurrences in languages such as French and post-classical Latin appear to be translations from this Italian text.  The origin of the “-o” ending in English is unclear.

When mangoes were first imported to the American colonies in the 17th century, they had to be pickled due to lack of refrigeration.  Other fruits were also pickled and came to be called “mangoes” (especially bell peppers), and by the 18th century, the word “mango” became a verb meaning “to pickle”.  –Wikipedia

Refreshing Mango Mint Lassi

flesh of 1 large, fresh mango
1/3 cup farm-fresh milk
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons raw, organic palm sugar
pinch of sea salt
4 ice cubes

Toss it all in the blender and give it a few whirls..

The "hedgehog" style is a common way of eating mangoes (left). A cross section of a mango can be seen on the right, not quite fully halving the fruit as the large stone is not visible

If I had a deli,

I would serve European-style smoked salmon on a toasted, by-God real New York bagel with locally-made triple-cream mascarpone, fresh dill, home-made preserved lemon, seasonal heirloom tomato, Sicilian capers, red onion, sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper..

Classic Smoked Salmon on a Toasted Bagel

Contrary to common legend, the bagel was not created in the shape of a stirrup to commemorate the victory of Poland’s King Jan Sobieski over the Ottoman Turks in 1683.  It was actually invented much earlier in Kraków, Poland, as a competitor to the bublik, a lean bread of wheat flour designed for Lent. In the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, the bajgiel became a staple of the Polish national diet.

There was a tradition among many observant Jewish families to make bagels on Saturday evenings at the conclusion of the Sabbath.  Due to Jewish Sabbath restrictions, they were not permitted to cook during the period of the Sabbath and, compared with other types of bread, bagels could be baked very quickly as soon as it ended.

That the name originated from beugal (old spelling of Bügel, meaning bail/bow or bale) is considered plausible by many, both from the similarities of the word and because traditional handmade bagels are not perfectly circular but rather slightly stirrup-shaped  (this, however, may be due to the way the boiled bagels are pressed together on the baking sheet before baking).  Also, variants of the word beugal are used in Yiddish and Austrian German to refer to a round loaf of bread (see Gugelhupf for an Austrian cake with a similar ring shape), or in southern German dialects (where beuge refers to a pile, e.g., holzbeuge, or woodpile)…

Bagels were brought to the United States by immigrant Jews, with a thriving business developing in New York City that was controlled for decades by Bagel Bakers Local 338, which had contracts with nearly all bagel bakeries in and around the city for its workers, who prepared all the bagels by hand.  The bagel came into more general use throughout North America in the last quarter of the 20th century, at least partly due to the efforts of bagel baker Harry Lender and Florence Sender, who pioneered automated production and distribution of frozen bagels in the 1960s. -Wikipedia

Roasted Broccoli, Potato and Vintage Cheddar Cheese Soup

Fresh broccoli, heirloom garlic and Yukon gold potatoes are lightly buttered, seasoned with sea salt and cracked black pepper and roasted until golden brown.  The vegetables are then simmered in a rich base of homemade vegetable stock with vintage yellow and Jasper Hill clothbound cheddar cheeses (in Austin, try Antonelli’s Cheese Shop in the Hyde Park neighborhood).  Seasoned with Piment d’Espelette and just a few red chili pepper flakes..

Roasted Broccoli, Potato and Vintage Cheddar Cheese Soup

The Espelette pepper (French: Piment d’Espelette; Basque: Ezpeletako biperra) is a variety of chili pepper that is cultivated in the French commune of Espelette, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, traditionally the northern territory of the Basque people.

Originally from Mexico and to a lesser extent South America, Piment d’Espelette was introduced into France from the New World during the 16th century.  After first being used medicinally, it subsequently became popular for preparing condiments and for the conservation of meat and ham.

Espelette peppers are harvested in the late summer, with characteristic festoons of peppers are hung to dry on balconies and house walls throughout the communes. –Wikipedia

This post is part of Meatless Monday, a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns
in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Rustic Lobster Bisque

Butter-poached North Atlantic lobster in homemade shell stock,  teeming with fresh thyme, celery, onions, plum tomatoes, heavy cream and aged sherry.  Cracked pepper, crunchy sea salt and a few drizzles of chili oil..

Rustic Lobster Bisque

“Bisque is a method of extracting every bit of flavor from imperfect crustaceans not good enough to send to market. In an authentic bisque, the shells are ground to a fine paste and added to thicken the soup.  Julia Child even remarked, “Do not wash anything off until the soup is done because you will be using the same utensils repeatedly and you don’t want any marvelous tidbits of flavor losing themselves down the drain.” –Wikipedia

Garlic Potato-Crusted Halibut with Dill Pollen Beurre Nantais

Wild Alaskan halibut fillets with a crunchy topping of shredded potatoes and fresh garlic, served over a dill pollen-infused reduction of butter, white white, red shallots, fresh lemon, cream and chopped parsley (beurre nantais)..

Garlic Potato-Crusted Halibut with Dill Pollen Beurre Nantais

“Halibut feed on almost any animal they can fit into their mouths. Juvenile halibut feed on small crustaceans and other bottom dwelling organisms. Animals found in their stomachs include sand lance, octopus, crab, salmon, hermit crabs, lamprey, sculpin, cod, pollock, herring, flounder as well as other halibut. Halibut live at depths ranging from a few meters to hundreds of meters, and although they spend most of their time near the bottom,[1] halibut may move up in the water column to feed. In most ecosystems the halibut is near the top of the marine food chain. In the North Pacific their only common predators are the sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), the orca (Orcinus orca), and the salmon shark (Lamna ditropis).”

“Halibut have been an important food source to Native Americans and Canadian First Nations for thousands of years and continue to be a key element to many coastal subsistence economies.”  –Wikipedia