Searching For Ambrosia: Mangoes Too Good To Share

My neighbor Barbara gave me some mangoes a few days ago and I brought them to work to share with my mango-loving friends. This will be a surprise to some of them, as they were never seen because after sharing just one of them, I realized what I had and greedily scooped them back into the bag to sneak back home with me. Now understand, I love sharing food, but these mangoes did not come from some produce shelf in a grocery store, they were grown fresh in Miami and given to my neighbor who then gave some to me. Do I feel bad about not being as generous? Well, maybe a little, but staring at the two I had left this morning made me happy about rescinding my mango offering with my coworkers.
I decided to make a smoothie with the mangoes, and although it was hard to not eat all the juicy flesh I scooped out of the skins, I did save some for the blender. Yogurt and mango is a delicious pairing and after blending the two together, I was glad I did. Mango Lassi is a cooling summer drink that hails from India and Pakistan, and is the formal name for what I made in my blender at home. A Lassi contains more than the two basic ingredients I used, but my mango was so juicy and sweet that I opted not to add anything else. But, I love the tang of good plain yogurt and can eat it unaccompanied by any other additions. To make a more traditional Mango Lassi, add to a blender: equal parts of mango and plain yogurt, add milk if you need some liquid, sugar or honey if you want it sweeter and a little ice if you like it frothy. If you really want to get traditional, add a little cardamom powder or rose water to spice it up.
It’s very rare I would have “leftover” mangoes sitting around, but I am going to share another mango recipe if you find yourself in such a predicament. I actually made this recipe with a mango puree from my local Asian grocery, but fresh mango pulp will result in a more flavorful bread. However you decide to infuse the dough with mango, you should try it because it really is wonderful. You may not be able to get fresh mango from Miami for these recipes, but when buying mangoes from the store, be sure to select ones that are soft and “give” when lightly pressed to ensure proper ripeness and the best flavor.
Mango Butter Rolls
1 package active dry yeast
1 c. warm milk (105 to 115 degrees F)
2 medium mangoes
1 egg
1 tbsp. salt
6 c. bread flour, plus more if needed
½ c. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for brushing (optional)
In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm milk and stir to dissolve; allow to stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes. Peel mangoes and puree in a blender (or food processor) until smooth; strain to make one cup puree. In a large bowl, combine mango puree, egg, salt and one cup of the flour; beat with a mixer until well combined. Add yeast mixture and two more cups of the flour; beat on high for about one minute or until combined. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, beating until well incorporated. Add additional flour ½ cup at a time to make a soft dough that leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead about two to three minutes until smooth, adding about a tablespoon of flour at a time as needed to prevent sticking. Place dough into a greased bowl, turning once to coat top of dough, cover with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about two hours.
Gently deflate dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into desired shapes for rolls. Sometimes I do fancy rolls, but the easiest is to roll dough into golf ball sized rolls and place about an inch apart into greased baking pans. Allow to rise again in a warm place until just doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush rolls with melted butter, if desired, and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
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Rose Klein

Written by Rose Klein