I'm addicted to all things spicy-sweet. My friends are all aware of this; every time I walk into a restaurant or bar, the first thing I do is scan the menu for a spicy cocktail like this one. Even my favorite morning green juice (recipe coming!) is spicy-sweet, and I've even been known to blend in a little fresh mango to add flavor. That's why, since I'm also a huge fan of jalapeno poppers (yes, I've even wrapped them in chicken and bacon), this easy recipe was a no-brainer for me.
The mango sauce I made to go on the top of these was inspired by some shrimp tacos I made a few weeks ago. They had a mango salsa spooned over the top and were so flavorful that I knew I had to come up with some type of twist to them. Mangoes are one of my favorite fruits for so many reasons: they're easy to quickly dice up (here's how), they keep well (ripen on the counter then keep in the fridge for up to a week) and they're fantastic in both sweet and savory dishes. And I love that they're available year-round so I can use them whenever I like!
Here are some tips on how to both select and store your mangoes:
How to select a mango:
- To find a ripe mango, squeeze the fruit gently.
- Color isn’t always the best indicator of ripeness.
- A ripe mango will be slightly soft like a peach or avocado.
How to store mangoes:
- Keep unripe mangoes at room temperature.
- Mangoes shouldn’t be refrigerated before they are ripe.
- To speed up ripening, place mangoes in a paper bag at room temperature. Once ripe, mangoes should be moved to the refrigerator, which will slow down the ripening process. Whole, ripe mangoes may be stored for up to five-seven days in the refrigerator.
- Mangoes may be peeled, cubed and placed in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months (great for smoothies or cocktails)!
Now that you know so much more about mangoes, how would you like to try some for yourself? I'm giving away a mango starter kit with a sampling of mangoes, a paring knife, fruit scoop and dish towel! Contest is open to US residents and you can enter below:
And let me tell you a little something about this mango sauce! It's so easy you won't believe it – just puree a mango with a little lime juice, that's it! It's sooo good and naturally sweet, you don't need to add any sugar. You can use it to top just about anything. I like to keep some in the fridge for ice cream, cheesecake or other desserts, not to mention to swirl into my smoothies or even just to take a spoonful when I'm craving something sweet but don't want to indulge in a sugary dessert. Give it a try and let me know what you think! (And, if you add a little adobo sauce from a can of chipotle you'll have a nice sweet, smoky and spicy sauce that goes great over chicken. Just sayin').
jalapeno shrimp poppers with mango sauce
Try using poblano peppers instead of jalapenos if you prefer less spice. And, because they're bigger, they'd make a great side dish or even a main dish paired with a salad. You can also leave the shrimp whole if using poblanos, just increase cooking time by 1-2 minutes. Any remaining mango sauce can be served over just about any dessert, including ice cream!
- 8 large jalapenos (or four poblano peppers)
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped into smaller pieces
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- juice of 2 limes, divided
- good drizzle of olive oil (just to coat, about a couple tablespoons)
- 1/2 t kosher salt and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ripe mango, sliced and removed from skin
- 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Place jalapenos on baking sheet and coat with a small amount of olive oil (about a tablespoon). Roast in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove and cool.
- Combine shrimp, onion, cilantro, juice of 1 lime and olive oil in medium sized bowl. Stir gently with your hands and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- Place mango slices and juice of remaining lime in blender. Blend until smooth.
- Slice jalapenos lengthwise and remove ribs and seeds. Place on baking sheet and fill with shrimp mixture.
- Roast for 5 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through. Place on serving dish, top with queso fresco and drizzle with about a teaspoon of mango sauce.
- Serve additional mango sauce on the side.