Friday, July 30, 2010

Fiesta Week: Day Five

I’ve been attracted to the fiesta spirit ever since I was a baby parked in front of Disney’s The Three Caballeros on loop. I could sit there all day and watch Donald Duck, Panchito and Jose sing in their sombreros. As I indecisively flip-flopped over the right dessert for my fiesta, I felt as frustrated as Donald in the film clumsily trying to blend in as a suave caballero.

Dessert may not be the first thing that comes to mind when most think of Mexican food, but there are many possibilities for one to consider. At first, churros sounded like a great idea; you know the long sugary donut sticks they sell from carts at carnivals and fairs? If only I had the right sized star tip. I thought of doing a sweet take on some kind of savory Mexican fare like fruit empanadas or burritos, but that got shot down by the oven-avoidance plan I had established from the beginning. Plus, after doing all that prep for everything else I wanted dessert to be easy, preferably without lots of mixing bowls or dough making.

Then I considered trying my hand at flan--what’s more Mexican than that, right? But serving my first attempt at the jiggly caramel-topped custard to company was not worth the risk. How about fried ice cream? They love that stuff at Mexican restaurants. I wondered if there was something I could do with regular old, un-fried ice cream instead; a palate cleanser of sorts, for my already busting table of guests? And that’s when I finally settled on tequila-flamed mangoes over vanilla ice cream.

At this point it probably sounds ridiculous, but I also got this recipe from Rick Bayless. I told you I used my new book, Mexico One Plate at a Time a lot for this fiesta! Seriously though, what better time is there to reference a cookbook chock full of authentic Meixcan recipes? Anyway, before the tequila-flamed mangoes are engulfed in a light blue flame of burning alcohol, they are baked with brown sugar. This step can be done ahead of time, which made things way easier (even though it kind of broke the no-oven rule a little bit). The baking process makes the mangoes sweet and syrupy. When it came to be show time my flame was lame but, whatever. Did it taste good? Yes, amigos! Served over vanilla ice cream, it kind of reminded me of bananas foster but with mangoes--and that’s certainly a good thing.

Tequila-Flamed Mangoes
Yield: 6 Servings

- 4 ripe mangoes
- 1 oz (1/4 cup) butter
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼-1/3 cup tequila
- 3 Tbs granulated sugar
- Vanilla ice cream for serving

• Peel mangoes with a paring knife. Standing the mango up on one end, slice the flesh from around the pit on both sides. Cut the large pieces into ½” wide wedges.
• Heat the oven the 350 degrees. Place butter in a 13” x 9” baking dish and set in the oven. When melted (about 5 minutes), remove from the oven and add the mango slices. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and gently stir to coat the mangoes completely. Bake, shaking the dish occasionally, for 45 minutes. (Can do this step a day before you plan on serving and refrigerate. Just make sure you reheat the mangoes before flaming).
• Just before serving, pour the tequila into a small saucepan and set over low heat—don’t let the tequila get too hot or it won’t flame. Sprinkle the mangoes evenly with granulated sugar; pour tequila over and immediately light it. When the flames subside, spoon the syrupy mangoes over ice cream.


Lazaro Cooks! said...

I love the recipe. Great infusion of flavors. Two thumbs up.

I was a big fan of Los Tres Caballeros when I was young as well.

Joy said...

i love, love mangos. Great add with the tequila.

Stephanie said...

This sounds so simple and so delicious! A great idea for serving to company too, since you can do it ahead of time.

The Cilantropist said...

Wow!!! This sounds like an amazing recipe, and certainly impressive for a dinner party! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

adelina said...

I love mangoes and need to try them on an ice cream. Sounds delicious!

~Lisa~ said...

I love mangoes and never thought to flame them with tequila. I absolutely love the idea. I bet it tasted super good (=

Wheels and Lollipops said...

grilled fruit over ice cream is one of my favs and topped with tequila delish !!! Thanks for sharing

Magic of Spice said...

Oh my that sounds fantastic!