Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth

I've just been busy.

I won't bore you with the details, though, because you come here to read about food, not about my shenanigans.

So, after years of making tasty food that's not necessarily unique, I think I may have come up with something original and delicious that could be what my sister-in-law deemed my "signature dish." It's not so much a dish as a side dish, although adding a protein could easily make it meal.

I came up with this dish one night when I was trying to think of something salty, sweet, and fresh to serve with chicken. I had some random fruits and veggies on hand, plus an overpriced package of mint, so I decided to use all of those ingredients to make something delicious.

The result was mango pepper rice with mint. It sounds like a questionable combination, I know, but the flavors complement and enhance one another beautifully.

Of course, a recipe isn't really in the cards with me, but I can give you general proportions of each ingredient. This is one of those dishes you can tailor depending on how much you like ingredient, so if you're a big mango fan, you can throw in more a greater proportion of mango.

Mango Pepper Rice with Mint

2 parts diced mango
2 parts diced red pepper
1 part diced red onion
mint chiffonade to taste

Toss the mango, red pepper, and red onion with some olive oil and a splash of sriracha or other hot sauce (optional). Dump the mixture onto a hot grill pan. Move fruit and veggies around to prevent burning and sticking. Remove after 4-5 minutes, once everything has some slight charring and has softened a bit.

Toss mixture with hot or cold rice--jasmine, basmati, white, whatever. I find that the exact ratio above is good for two cups of uncooked rice. Season with plenty of salt, which will make the mango and red pepper taste even sweeter.

To prevent wilting, stir in mint immediately before serving.

Tastes great with chicken or pork.

The second time I made this rice, I served it with slices of pork tenderloin and peach-pineapple salsa. I'm not sure I've made a better meal in the past six months.
My sister-in-law loved the rice, and my wannabe-gourmand brother deemed it "phenomenal." Me? Well, I just call it my signature (side) dish.


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Audrey Ellen @ My Scene and Herd said...

Love the cylinder presentation of the rice! Sometimes it's tough to make rice dishes look nice when plated and you did such a great job!