Mango, cashews and chicken in a sandwich so tasty, it's better late than never!
Hodie non cras [Today, not tomorrow]
-- motto of the 1st Hussars, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps
Last week's tribute to St. Expeditus, patron saint of procrastinators, couldn't have come at a better time. My tomorrow-is-another-day attitude has resulted in a shameful failure to express prompt gratitude to fellow bloggers for their recognition in the past weeks as well as in missed opportunities to participate in some great events. So today, I set things to right!
Thank You . . .
. . . Phyllis at me_HUNGRY!
Several weeks ago, Phyllis not only generously shared her oh-so-delicious recipe for pork and century egg congee at my request, she also extended her 'Sisterhood Award' to me and nine awesome bloggers. I met Phyllis on Foodbuzz almost two months ago and since then, visiting her site has become a habit of unadulterated food fun. In the past, we've exchanged chalkboard messages about eating sago larvae (she has), balut (I have), and century egg (we both have). If you think these are strange foods, then I urge you to take a walk on the weird side - check out Phyllis' regular feature, Weird Food Wednesday, as well as her many adventures in Big Apple eating.
. . . Jenn at Bread + Butter!
. . . Jenn at Bread + Butter!
Jenn's food blog is barely two months old and she's already surpassed the total number of posts I've written since October 2008! Her simple yet incredibly creative dishes are a constant delight to her readers so it's no wonder that the accolades are starting to roll in. Last week, I was pleased to learn that I was among eight bloggers with whom Jenn shared her 'Friends' award. Powered by her boundless dynamism, her blog will leave you energized and craving more. A serving of this Bread + Butter is guaranteed to whet your appetite.
. . . Sam at My Carolina Kitchen!
In March, I joined Joie de Vivre in a discussion of the book Mindless Eating and it was through these posts that I connected with Sam - a food columnist, avid traveller and marvelous cook. A few days before Easter, I found two treats awaiting me on her blog: a fabulous recipe for Asparagus Goldenrod (which I served with our Easter Sunday meal) and the 'Adorable Blog' award, which she shared with me and Joie. Sam currently writes and blogs from North Carolina after having attained the quintessential dream of living on a tropical island in the Bahamas. But you can't keep a peripatetic soul in one place for very long - visit her site and revel in her experiences of culinary delights in the Provençal countryside through beautiful photographs and vivid reminiscences. Bon voyage et bon appétit!
. . . Phanitha at Phanitha's Kitchenette!
Ever wondered what Indian food tastes like . . . coming from a Japanese kitchen? Wonder no more as Phanitha demonstrates the marvelous dishes she cooks from her home in Tokyo. While there are plenty of traditional Indian recipes, such as dosas, chutneys and curries, she proves herself equally adept at Italian and Mexican cuisine and even ventures into fusion cooking with her own version of Indo-Chinese foods. Phanitha has received well-deserved recognition and last week, she kindly shared the 'I *heart* Your Blog' award with fourteen bloggers, including me. Drop by Phanitha's Kitchenette and you'll find that your *heart* and appetite are in the right place.
As always, I share these awards with all of my blogging friends. For more delectable food blogs, please click on the award links above to see which extraordinary bloggers were also recognized by these four peers and check out my blogroll, 'More Blogs to Love', in the right-hand column.
I'd also like to acknowledge having been recently 'memed' by Christine at Maman and Gourmand and Bytes from Texas: ladies, I'm working on my lists and will post soon, so help me, St. Expeditus!
Now, How About That Sandwich?
Thank goodness for second chances. Back in February, one of my favorite bloggers, Lori at Fake Food Free, co-hosted The Great Peanut Butter Exhibition #5 - Sandwiches (now that's a mouthful). I had every intention of entering but as we all know, the road to perdition is paved with plenty of those. But redemption has presented itself in the form of a sammich.
Earlier this month, Lori tempted us with Mango Week* by offering a variety of delicious dishes featuring this fabulous fruit. Then, she issued her Mango Recipe Challenge - to create our own mango recipes for the chance to win a box of goodies from Brazil! 'Nuff said.
[*For more mango mania, check out these great recipes from Mel at Bouchonfor2 and Kevin at Closet Cooking]
Lori, a certified nutritionist currently living in Brazil, offers not only healthy recipes and nutritional information but also insights into the country's food culture and its amazing array of edibles. One of her most interesting entries was about cashews, a nut that is a whole lot more than meets the eye! It was also the central ingredient in my never-submitted entry for the aforementioned PB Challenge. So, when this mango contest came up, I knew instantly what I would make.
In preparing this sandwich recipe, I was pleased to realize how it evoked both Brazilian and Filipino elements - the mango (mangga in Tagalog) is the national fruit of the Philippines and the cashew (caju in Portuguese) is native to Brazil. With that, I'm pleased to present my entry to Fake Food Free's:
Caju-Mangga Chicken Sandwich
Forget the mayo-based chicken salad sandwich - this recipe bathes mangoes and marinated chicken in a creamy, spicy and altogether irresistible dressing made with ground cashews and coconut milk. The sauce is adapted from a recipe by Amy Besan and Romy Dorotan of Cendrillon, the celebrated Filipino/Pan-Asian restaurant in New York, which sadly closed in early March 2009 after more than 13 years of business.
Yield: approx. 2 cups of sauce and 2-4 sandwiches
Ingredients and instructions:
For marinated chicken*:
1 lb chicken (breast or dark meat), cut into strips
2 Tbsps soy sauce
2 Tbsps mirin (seasoned rice vinegar)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1. Mix all the above in a bowl and let chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes;
2. Grill, sauté, stir fry or bake chicken as preferred and let cool;
3. Shred or chop meat and set aside.
*For a time-saving option, you can use a deli-roasted chicken.
For Cashew-Coconut Sauce:
1 cup roasted cashews, finely ground
1 lemongrass, minced
1 large shallot, minced
2" piece of ginger, minced
2 tsps canola oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 cup coconut milk (I used 'light')
1 Tbsp sambal oelek or other chili paste/sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce (a.k.a. patis, nuoc mam or nam pla)
1. Heat canola and sesame oils in sauté pan and lightly brown lemongrass, shallots and ginger;
2. Add ground cashews and coconut milk, and simmer for about 5 minutes;
3. Add chili paste, soy and fish sauces and heat through;
4. Sauce will thicken as it heats; to thin out, add water or more coconut milk as needed.
Alternative serving suggestion:
This sauce is delicious with chicken or pork and served over steamed rice. Simply add 1/2 cup of chicken broth (or more, depending on preferred consistency) during cooking. Add pre-cooked meat toward the end and mix well. Serve over freshly steamed rice.
1 large ripe mango, diced
2-4 bolillo* rolls, toasted
Lettuce leaves (optional)
1. In a bowl, combine shredded chicken, diced mango and cilantro. Add sauce by spoonfuls until desired consistency is reached;
2. Spread mixture on rolls and serve immediately!
*Bolillo is the Mexican name for this baguette-like small loaf; in Brazil, it is known as pão francês or pão de sal ('French' bread and 'salt' bread, respectively).
Lori is accepting entries to her Mango Recipe Challenge until May 22nd so there's plenty of time to put this delicious fruit to tasty use! Please visit Fake Food Free for more details.