Eating Mexican Mangoes

My recent trip to Mexico left me relaxed, tan and culinarily inspired. You might find that last part a surprise, given that I was a guest at a resort, and that I never left the property. Sitting by the pool and doing nothing is pretty appealing, but the eating at the hotel? Not so much. After all, resort food generally has a well deserved reputation for being over priced, boring and not very authentic let alone locally focused. If my trip was any indication, resort food seems to be changing for the better, at least at the Westin Los Cabos where I was a guest. The executive chef Manuel Peruyero who has been onboard for a little over a year told me he revamped all the menus to focus on Mexico City style street food, small restaurant food and home cooking because when guests come to Mexico, they want to eat Mexican food. He even asked his staff for family recipes and incorporated them into the menu. The first night I enjoyed a buffet of ceviche made to order with local fish and seafood, quesadillas also made to order with huitalacoche, a kind of fungus also known as corn smut, and rajas, a luscious mixture of poblano peppers, onions and corn cooked with cream and fresh local sea bass, perfectly grilled by chef Peruyero. The next day at breakfast I had nopales (Mexican cactus paddles) and chilaquiles and for lunch excellent Baja style fried fish tacos. But perhaps best of all was my final dinner, a “Festival of Mangos” menu. It turns out there’s a special criollo mango grown in Los Cabos, and when it’s in season the fine dining restaurant uses it every way they possibly can from drinks through dessert. The recipe I decided to replicate at home? A mango lime butter, perfect on rolls or pancakes but also great on fish and chicken. It has only 3 ingredients and is as easy as a siesta by the pool to prepare. Recipe after the jump. Mango Lime Butter 1/2 cup ripe mango, diced, preferably a mango with minimal fiber 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 lime Zest the lime using a fine rasp, such as a Microplane. Place the mango in a food processor and blend using the metal blade. Blend until all the mango is finely processed, then switch to the plastic blade, add the butter and lime zest and blend until as smooth as possible, scraping down the sides with a spatula as necessary. Scrape the butter out of the machine, tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer until firm.

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