BLACK PEPPER CHICKEN THIGHS WITH MANGO, RUM AND CASHEWS
• 1/2 tsp. light brown sugar
• 11/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
• Pinch cayenne
• 1/4 c. olive oil, divided
• 1/2 c. salted cashews
• 13/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-in. chunks
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 c. finely chopped green onions
• 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro stems
• 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp. dark rum
• 1 large (15-oz.) mango, cut into 1/4-in. cubes (or use 2 small mangoes)
• 1 to 11/2 tsp. cider vinegar, to taste
• 1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cashews and sugar-spice mixture to the skillet; cook, stirring, until nuts are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape nuts into a bowl.
Wipe out skillet with a paper towel. Season chicken all over with salt and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper. Return skillet to medium-high heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Add green onions and cilantro stems; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add garlic and chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is golden and cooked through, about 12 minutes. Pour in the rum and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the rum evaporates, about 1 minute.
Remove pan from heat and immediately add nuts, mango, vinegar and cilantro leaves. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
MANGO TRES LECHES CAKE
Note: This recipe should be prepared in advance; it needs to chill for at least an hour, but up to a day.
• 5 tbsp. butter, melted, plus more to grease pan
• 11/2 c. flour
• 1 c. plus 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, divided, plus more to taste
• 2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/4 tsp. plus a pinch fine sea salt
• 6 large eggs, separated
• 1/3 cup plus 3 tbsp. milk, divided
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
• 2 c. cubed very ripe mango
• 1 (15-oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk
• 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
• 1/4 c. Spanish brandy or Cognac
• 11/2 c. heavy cream
• 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar, the baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, melted butter, 3 tablespoons of the milk and vanilla extract.
Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until thick, fluffy and white but before peaks form. Add 1/4 cup of sugar, a little at a time, and continue beating until the whites are glossy and firm peaks form when the beaters are lifted.
Whisk half the flour mixture into the yolks (it will seem like paste). Whisk a quarter of the egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in another quarter of the whites. Sift half of the remaining flour mixture over the batter and fold in. Fold in another quarter of the egg whites followed by the rest of the sifted flour and finally the rest of the whites.
Scrape batter into the pan and smooth the top with the spatula. Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove cake from oven and move to wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile in a blender or food processor, purée the mango with 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste depending upon how sweet your mango is.
When the cake is cool, use a fork to poke holes all over the top, then cut the cake into 18 pieces, but don't take the pieces out of the pan.
In a small saucepan over medium heat stir together the coconut milk, condensed milk, remaining 1/3 cup milk, brandy and a pinch of salt. Heat until steaming, then pour it evenly over the cake. Cover and chill the cake for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Just before serving, whip the cream with the cinnamon and half of the puréed mango until thick and mousse-like. Taste and add more sugar if it tastes flat. Spread the mango cream on the cake, then dollop on the remaining mango puree. Use a spatula to swirl the mango purée into a marble-like pattern. Or use the purée as a sauce when you serve the cake.
MANGO ROSE-WATER LASSI
Note: The lassi can be made into frozen yogurt. Use at least 1/2 teaspoon of rose water and an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer's instructions.
• 2 c. diced ripe mango
• 11/2 c. plain yogurt
• 1/2 c. whole milk
• 3 tbsp. sugar
• 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. rose water, more to taste
• Pinch kosher salt
Combine the mango, yogurt, milk, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon rose water and salt in a blender. Purée until smooth. Taste and add more rose water if you like. Pour into 4 glasses.