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Tacos Al Pastor


Summer days are soon going to be coming to an end, but before it's all over, we had an end of summer fiesta with Chef Courtney Contos.

Tacos Al Pastor

1 oz. guajillo peppers cleaned and seed removed (About 4 peppers) 1 oz. achiote paste ¼ cup pineapple juice ¼ cup white vinegar 3 garlic cloves 1 tsp. Mexican oregano 1/2 tsp. ground cumin ¼ tsp. ground black pepper 2 cloves 1 ¼ tsp. salt 2 pounds thinly sliced pork shoulder (¼-inch slices are ideal) 1 medium red onion, sliced into ¼-inch rounds Salt ¼ of a medium pineapple, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds 1. Place the peppers in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer in a medium heat for about 15 minutes or until they look soft. Let them cool and drain. Place peppers, vinegar, pineapple juice with the spices and achiote paste in your blender. Process it until you have a very smooth sauce. Pour the sauce slowly through a fine sieve to get a nice homogeneous texture. At this time, taste the sauce just to make sure the salt is enough for your taste. 3. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Place the sauce and steaks in a large bowl and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Heat grill. When hot grill the steaks. Grilling some pineapple and onion slices along the meat to add to the tacos when serving. Remove from grill and slice thin.

Roasted Tomato Salsa 

Makes 2 cups 4 large ripe tomatoes, quartered 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed 1 jalapeño, quartered and half deseeded 3 tablespoons canola or olive oil 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt 2 limes, juiced ½ cup fresh cilantro Honey to taste Place tomatoes, garlic, jalapeño, oil, sea salt in an oven proof pan. Heat the broiler to high and place 5 inches under the broiler. This may take 15-20 minutes. You must keep and eye on it and stir salsa every 3 minutes to get even roasting. Remove from oven and transfer to a food processor and purée all ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning with honey and sea salt.

Handmade Corn Tortillas 

1 ¾ cup masa harina for tortillas 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water Place masa into a medium bowl and add the hot water. Mix well, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes. Then work in cold water one tablespoon at a time until the dough is as soft as you can get it without being sticky. Divide the dough into 15 balls and cover with plastic wrap. Heat an un-greased double-size griddle (one that will fit over two burners) over medium low heat and the other side to medium high heat. Cut two 8-inch rounds from 1 heavy-duty re-sealable plastic bag. Place 1 plastic round on bottom half of tortilla press; place 1 dough ball in center. Top with second plastic round. Close press, flattening dough to 5-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick). If tortilla thickness is uneven, lift dough round in plastic and rotate 180 degrees. Press tortilla lightly to even out. Peel off top sheet of plastic. Use bottom plastic round to transfer tortilla to 1 hand with part of tortilla dangling off; peel off plastic round. Hold hand with tortilla over cooler griddle. Let dangling portion of tortilla catch at front half of griddle and slowly sweep hand backward, easing tortilla onto griddle without wrinkling. Cook tortilla until it looks slightly dry at edges and starts to release from griddle surface, about 15 seconds. Lift tortilla with fingers and place, uncooked side down, on hotter griddle. Cook until brown spots appear on bottom, about 1 minute. On same griddle, turn tortilla over again. Cook until bottom browns and parts of tortilla puff up, about 1 minute longer. Transfer tortilla to cloth-lined basket and cover with cloth or wrap tortilla in large sheet of foil and keep warm in 250°F oven. Repeat with remaining dough balls, adding tortillas to basket or foil packet. (Tortillas can be made 2 hours ahead. Wrap in aluminum foil. Re-warm in 300°F oven 15 minutes.)

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While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

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The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…

INDIA 2016 : Mango production in state likely to take a hit this year

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Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.

However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.

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