Not all days smile back happily. And as a blogger, do I always need to write about good rosy pinky posts? Shouldn’t I be just as honest and confess that today isn’t as bright? Well, there isn’t any fleck less of the golden sunshine though. The Sun’s rather tearing through the skies and outshining upon earth with all it’s might. And yet, to me, it’s been a dullsville day. I am homebased, attending countless work related calls and catering to business needs. Hubbyman’s office bound. Lil-J has been apparently having an awesome time with friends at her daycare…I had just called in her teacher to know. Big-J’s been entertaining herself with movies on Netflix, games, biking and a bunch of books.
There’s this sticky document that just wouldn’t get fixed and I’ve been half-heartedly working on it since half hour. It doesn’t seem to leave me alone soon enough. Topping on my mundane heap was my computer mouse that breathed it’s last this morning. There wasn’t a sign of sickness. No symptom, that I could see and tell. The mouse just wouldn’t work for no reason. Tried reconnecting, banging, vigorous shaking and a battery change. Frustrated, a few minutes later, I declared it dead…and tossed it in my old oak chest that houses a few of my outdated office supplies! Following this event, my tendinitis ridden thumb and index finger had spur into (slow) action on my lappy’s touchpad and keys.
Discontented with the state of affairs and in search of whatever solace my eyes could meet, I turned to steal a quick look outside on my porch. The bunch of geraniums, fuchsia, petunias, roses all looked too tired and thirsty under the scorching sun…every drop of water Big-J had poured into the pots this morning had evaporated and was gone. The lonely bird feeder hanging from our Japanese cherry tree was sans it’s usual crowd of chirpy winged visitors…it was empty and occasionally swayed in the soft rhythm of the gentle afternoon breeze. The feeder had a full happy refill of an assortment of choicest bird seeds last weekend. Soon after, the bird feeder was flocked with it’s feathered friends…too many of them. Dozens more sparrows in a day than we’d see of the song birds…the shy cardinals, Blue Jay, Chickadee, woodpeckers, Junco, American Finches, Robins or the Grackles. The sparrows had outnumbered them all and had feasted away on most of the seeds offered, leaving the feeder glaringly clear and untenanted in just over 2 days.
Come what may for my still WIP-document (I ceased to care at that moment), there my potted plants needed some more water, the feeder desperately wanted a refill, and my growling stomach demanded food…good food to compensate for the not so exciting day so far. There was some leftover Mushroom Fettuccine that Big-J fancied for lunch. I eyed upon a small portion of cooked pinto beans sitting on my refrigerator shelf. I can spare myself an easy meal with the beans in my spinach tortilla wrap. But, but, I wanted no cheese, and no meat today. A wrap with just the beans wasn’t going to do any good feeding my already-so-jaded-soul.
Was a mango going to make any difference? May be. The previous evening, a friend and kind neighbor had sent over a few ripe and too-sweet mangoes. She insisted that we consume them the same day. We honored. The mangoes were probably the sweetest we have had since a while. We did have some more mangoes from our monthly summer grocery too, but they weren’t half as good. I had the last one, from that lot staring back at me. Since it wasn’t so sweet, I made what I love making in the summers using the Mexican mangoes. A tropical salsa salad that is sweet, a little tangy and teensy bit spicy. It tastes deliciously of summer, with a refreshing medley of colors and flavors from roasted pineapples, mangoes, smokey red peppers, habanero and a splash of lime juice. I adorn mine with some shredded cilantro and always add pineapple juice and a small amount of sugar to even out the heat from habanero. It was an easy scrumptious quick fix to my otherwise dull meal today. I like mine chilled and today, (in the lack of any other better idea) I wrapped some salsa with the pinto beans in my wrap. I ate the wrap and a small cup of chilled flavored yogurt. As always, the salad immensely enhanced the taste and did not fail to pick my spirits up and cheer! I blended the remaining salsa to a more saucy texture, so we could consume it as a dip or a dressing.
I’ve mostly believed a salsa wouldn’t make as much a pleasing blog post. It’s been made and had too often. There were so many variations of salsa already. I once tried a google search and was left overwhelmed. So when I shared some of my salsa with a friend and kind neighbor of mine, I was surprised when she said she totally loved it and that it was unlike the many types of salsa she has had. She said “your Salsa tastes delicious and is very summer fresh. Why don’t you share the recipe on your blog, M?” Then she insisted I did. So here’s honoring her request. And here’s hoping this week has been treating you well and that this recipes adds up some more color and lots of flavors to your summer foods. Leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve made it and how you liked.
Makes 2 servings
- 4 to 5 pineapple rings from a can
- 1 sweet ripe Mango
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 orange or red Habanero
- 1/4 cup (about 2 oz or 40 gm) finely chopped onions
- 1/3 cup (about 3 oz or 80 ml) Pineapple Juice
- 1/2 tsp Black salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- About 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
- One handful of Cilantro (about 8 tender stems with leaves)
- Light olive oil, to grease the pan
- Preparation: Wash mango and the veggies. Peel, stone and chop the mangoes to small cubes. Chop the red bell peppers similarly. Carefully mince the habanero. Shred the cleaned cilantro stems and leaves.
- Lightly grease a frying pan over high heat. Throw in the bell peppers and minced habanero. Pan roast them with quick stirs for about 4 to 5 mins, till very slightly charred and tender. Once done, take off from heat and transfer the pan contents into a large mixing bowl. (Caution: this step yields peppery smoke from the roasting that may irritate throat and eyes. Use exhaust ventilation fan, and avoid inhaling the smoke. If too much to handle, you may skip the step.)
- Lightly grease the same pan over high heat and place the pineapple rings in a layer. Roast the rings for about 1 minute each face, till slightly charred. Take off from heat. Chop the pineapple rings into small bits. Transfer them to the mixing bowl.
- To the bowl, add the chopped mangoes, chopped onions, pineapple juice, black salt, sugar and lime juice. Give the bowl contents a hearty stir to mix all contents. Test taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Cover with a food plastic wrap and let the bowl sit in the refrigerator for at least half hour for the flavors to diffuse. Serve the Salsa salad with wraps, burritos, tacos, chips, grilled fish, meat, vegetables, sandwiches, or simply eat with a spoon! Best if consumed fresh and within a day.
- For a refreshing Salsa sauce, pulse the salsa salad in a blender, till you get a consistency you like. I do not puree my blended salsa. I love my salsa sauce with tiny bits and pieces of the fruits and peppers. Serve with anything at all or enjoy it straight out of the jar with a spoon! Store the salsa in the refrigerator in an air tight container and consume within 2 to 3 days.
- The salsa salad and sauce make great party foods, and are deliciously very apt for potlucks, picnics, pool-side or beach parties.
This Salsa is mild to medium hot. If you prefer milder salsa, add only half the habanero. If you’d like yours with more heat, do not roast the minced habanero, and reduce the amount of sugars or pineapple juice or the lime juice to suit your taste preference. Alternatively, if you do not have access to habanero chilli peppers, you may also used minced/crushed Indian hot green chillies as a substitute (adjust the amount to your taste).