Well, it is almost the fifth of May, and Mexican restaurants go crazy trying to bring in new customers for the night. The one nearest me used to have yearly signs out reading, “One tequila/Two tequila/Three tequila/Floor”, and the like, all shaped like tombstones, promising debauchery, but in recent years these apparently have gotten politically incorrect. (Or perhaps someone stole them.)
But as a Mexican friend pointed out to me, finding a good and authentic Mexican restaurant in New England is nearly impossible. The one near me certainly is neither good nor authentic. The closest that good ones get are essentially Southwest/TexMex cuisine, which is fine, but don’t begin to touch the wealth of cuisine that comes from Mexico. Since I’ve never visited Mexico, I admit I’ll be diving into uncharted (by me) waters, and I won’t vouch for my authenticity.
And, by the way, Cinco de Mayo is an occasion not really celebrated with much fanfare down in Mexico. I’ve got a couple other Cinco de Mayo posts planned, so I’ll talk about that, then.
I’ve been hankering to try some Mexican food (some will be admittedly less-than-genuine, but I’m at least hoping for a strongly positive “taste” factor) here, however, and so I’m going to start simple. This will be a salsa. I know, I know: neither mangoes nor pears are native to Mexico, but tomatoes are also not native to Italy, Spain or India. And tomatoes have grown to be at home in each of those nations.
For me, some of this salsa (it yielded a LOT) will end up on tacos, which I will report on, tomorrow. Some will end up as salad toppings. Other ideas: make endive “boats” with it. If you like those corn tostada/tortilla “cups”, try serving the salsa in those. (I will eat those but I won’t buy them for home use.) Or, use this to accent quesadillas. Or, eat spoonfuls — but moderate jalapeno use if you need to.
Prep Time: 20 minutes slicing and dicing
Cook Time: nada
Rest time: the longer this rests, the softer the ingredients get. Your call.
Serves: Depends on how you plan to use the salsa, and how big your mango and pear are. But, plenty
Pear/Mango Salsa, Mexican Inspired
1 large, juicy pear. Hate to break it to you, but Bosc are not very enticingly meaty. I used an Anjou pear, and I’d recommend this. Remove skin if you prefer (I didn’t), and dice about 1/4 inch squares. Remove bad spots, pit and ends.
1 mango. Remove skin, ends, and pit, and any bad spots. Dice about 1/4 inches. My mango was a smallish yellow mango from Whole Foods. (My regular mangoes went from way-unripe to over”done” without notice, so I didn’t use them.)
* Juice from 1 lime. Include pulp if easy to get at. My lime was very stingy about its juice – you can always use less juice if your lime is, well, juicy. Your call.
* 1 inch of the tip end of a small jalapeno pepper, diced fine. Depending on your heat tolerance include the interior ribs and the seeds, or leave them out. In the jalapeno, the tip end seldom has many seeds, so I left a few of them in today.
* 1/4 small/medium red onion, peeled, sliced thin and then diced.
* pinch of salt
* Cilantro, lightly shredded, to top
Mix everything up, except the cilantro, which will be on top of any preferred method you have for serving this salsa.
The salsa, as noted, will soften the longer you let it sit in the fridge. Again, this may be a positive or a negative, depending on the use you intend for it.
Oh, it’s really Spring around here: