Cool and refreshing Spicy Mango Salsa Recipe

YAY it’s finally getting warmer here in Jersey and it couldn’t come soon enough! It’s the weather for lighter foods and sorbets, for icy drinks and cooling foods. It’s the time for firing up the grill, eating outdoors and making foods that transport you to the beautiful Caribbean Islands like this cool and refreshing spicy mango salsa recipe.

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With only a handful of simple ingredients you can turn a bland dish into a vibrant and more appealing meal. Just chop up a few ingredients, mix and let it rest so all the flavors blend well. The salt will help draw out the moisture of the mangoes for a juicier bite each time.

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Use it to top grilled chicken, pork chops or enjoy it with tortilla chips. Either way, its a sweet, savory and spicy flavor you will want to make all Summer long.

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Spicy Mango Salsa
Author: 
Recipe type: Condiment
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Let the mixture sit for at least an hour for best flavor.

 

Summer in May: Spicy Ice Pops to Cool You Off

We’ve had great weather here the past few weekends and feels like summer is trying to make an early entrance. This weather just makes me feel like bringing out my summer dresses and tank tops I stashed away for the winter. It also makes me crave more ice cream….actually, ice pops. Spicy, sweet, sour ice pops for my month long tribute to Mexico!

Honestly I can have ice cream throughout the year but ice pops or quimalitos, as we say in Dominican Republic, or snow cones (Frio Frio or Piraguas depending on where you’re from), are for me, treats I will only have in the Summer. They’re refreshing, sweet and supposed to go with tank tops and shorty shorts…ok, reality check, I’m no spring chicken so Bermuda shorts will have to do.

I’ve always made my own ice pops but wanted to try different flavors. I remember making these when I was about 7 or 8 years old. In our house we made mini pops in ice cube trays all the time. We used evaporated milk, sugar, cinnamon, and stuck toothpicks in them…simple and delicious. Today, because I think of myself to be a bit more sophisticated, ha ha, I use fresh fruits and look to create interesting flavors. I must confess though, that the evaporated milk quimalito will never go out of style for me! This time I made a special spicy treat using mangoes, coconut milk and tajin.

I got his idea from seeing countless Mexican ladies selling mangoes sprinkled with chile pepper when going to watch the Mets at the old Shea stadium. The sweet and spicy go very well together and it’s a combination used in a lot of cultures. In Mexico I’m sure you find this everywhere from street vendors selling spicy fruits, to lollipops dipped in chile pepper powder and to fruit ices served with chile. The flavors work well and the tajin, which is a special blend of chile pepper infused with lime, adds some acidity to this popsicle that works with the coconut milk. Just add ingredients to a blender and freeze!

Spicy Mango Mini Ice Pops

1 mango, cubed
1/2 cup coconut milk
agave, to taste
Tajin

Add all, except tajin, to blender and puree. Add more coconut milk if too thick. Sprinkle Tajin into ice cube trays.

If you don’t have tajin, you can replace it with a chile powder blend you like. Pour blended mixture into trays and freeze. About 1/2 or hour into freezing, stick toothpicks in!

I also mixed up blackberries, pineapples and added a little spice to that too. It’s fruity, healthy and all natural!!

These are so incredibly good and great for snacking when you want to cool off and head back outside to enjoy that sunshine!!

Spicy Blackberry & Pineapple Mini Ice Pops

1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1/4 pineapple juice
Tajin

Add all, except tajin, to blender and puree. Add more juice if too thick. Sprinkle Tajin into ice cube trays. Mixture will be chunky and that’s fine. You could strain to get some of the seeds from the blackberries out but make sure you add back some of the fruit pulp. Pour blended mixture into trays and freeze. About 1/2 or hour into freezing, stick toothpicks in!

Products I’m Loving Right Now: Indian-Inspired Chocolate Treats

Saffron Nut Chikki and Mango Paprika Slates from  Xocolatti

These chocolatey sweets from Xocolatti are exceptional and the flavor combinations are simply addictive! For a bit of spice, try the saffron nut chikki. It’s a crunchy mixture of nuts, chocolate, saffron, cardamom and a sugary brittle that’s just exquisite. The mango paprika also has a nice spice. It’s sweet, chewy (from the dried mango bits) and has a subtle spice from the paprika that’s just right. If you love chocolate and have been looking for unique spice flavor combos you’ll definitely want to check out these Indian-inspired chocolates at Xocolatti.

Xocolatti has a wide range of exotic truffles, clusters, slates and crumbles that are so artistic and pretty you won’t want to eat them! You’ll definitely want to take your time with these and savor every bite. I’m not a big fan of truffles in general since I like more texture and crunch in my chocolates but I had to try the rose cardamom truffle sprinkled with tiny rose petals and it was divine, a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. Their storefront in SOHO NYC is absolutely stunning as well and I can’t wait to go back to try some more spiced chocolate sweets.

Have you tried any spicy chocolates you just can’t seem to get enough of? Chime in!

Holiday Cocktails: Jalapeno Infused Vodka 5 Ways!

Hi everyone, I hope you’re enjoying your holiday festivities! Things are about to be a bit jollier with these 5 spicy vodka recipes. One infused spicy vodka and five easy recipes!

The following recipes are made with my jalapeno infused vodka. All recipes are single serving so you can multiply ingredients based on the number of guests. You can even make a pitcher ahead of time for some of these recipes so you’re not running around playing bartender all night and can actually have some fun!

1. Moscow Stallion
This is my pumped up version of the Moscow Mule using the spicy vodka. The Moscow Mule is usually made with ginger beer but I didn’t have any on hand so I mixed fresh grated ginger with simple syrup instead (less artificial and much healthier for you).

2 oz Spicy Vodka
1 oz Ginger Syrup (mix 1 tsp fresh grated ginger with 1 cup of simple syrup but just use 1 oz for single serving)
2 oz of Seltzer
1 lime wedge

Fill a tumbler with ice, pour in vodka, ginger syrup, seltzer, squeeze in the lime, drop it in drink and stir. Cheers or Za Zdorovie!!

2. Spicy Cranberry Spritzer

1 1/2 oz of Spicy Vodka
4 oz Cranberry Juice
Splash of Seltzer
Fresh Whole Cranberries for garnish + a tsp of sugar
Green sugar for garnish

Rim a tall glass with green sugar, muddle a few cranberries with a tsp of sugar, fill glass with ice, add spicy vodka, cranberry juice, top with seltzer and stir until well mixed. Drop in a couple cranberries to top for a lovely Christmas drink.

3. Tamarind Martini

2 oz Spicy Vodka
1 oz Tamarind Syrup (get at local Latin or Asian grocery store)
Jalapeno, sliced + 4oz of Tamarind syrup

Take the jalapeno and simmer in the 4oz of tamarind syrup for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat so jalapenos stay firm. The tamarind should reduce to half and you’ll be left with sweet, moist jalapenos to be used for garnish.

Add ice to martini shaker, add spicy vodka and 1 oz of tamarind syrup. Shake it baby! Pour into a martini glass and drop in a slice or two of candied jalapeno. Take another slice of candied jalapeno to decorate glass. Yummy!

4. Spicy Mango Slush
This is a fantastic summer drink but our December weather has been a bit odd…60 degrees here the other day so figured why not, mango is my favorite fruit and can have it anytime of the year if possible. This will be great for those having summer weather now!

1 1/2 oz Spicy Vodka
1-2 Scoops of Mango Sorbet (let it rest so it can melt a bit)
Lemon wedge

Fill a martini glass with mango sorbet, add vodka, add a squeeze of lemon and give it a little stir. Enjoy and pretend you’re on the beach somewhere!

5. Classic but Spicy Martini

2 oz Spicy Vodka
Dry Vermouth
Olives for garnish, olives stuffed with jalapeno is even better

Add dry vermouth to a martini glass and swirl around until well coated, discard excess vermouth. Add spicy vodka to martini shaker with ice and shake it up. Pour into glass and garnish with olives. Sit in front of the fireplace, or a space heater if that’s what you have and enjoy!

Remember, you can always adjust the spiciness of these drinks by using more or less jalapeno in vodka. The longer you infuse the vodka, the spicier the drinks.

Happy Holidays and have a safe weekend!