Hazel Park (Mich.) Schools’ Chef Isha Nije created these mango shooters for a recent recipe contest by the National Mango Board and won first place. In an elegant appetizer form, peppercorn-seasoned shrimp and juicy mango makes for a super fresh flavor combo that would work perfectly as a small bite for a special event.
YIELD: 8 shooters
1-2 fully ripe mangos (about 1 lb. to yield 1 cup purée)
1 lime, juice and zest
Sea salt, to taste
16 raw medium shrimp (41/50 count)
1 tsp. Sichuan pepper or black peppercorns, crushed
1 Tbsp. fennel seed, crushed
2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
1 pinch sea salt
8-16 pieces diced mango, as needed
1 lime, zest, for garnish
Fresh basil or mint leaves for garnish, optional
1. Peel mangos and cut fruit away from see. Coarsely chop and blend until smooth. Season purée with lime juice and pinch of sea salt. Set aside.
2. Shell shrimp, keeping tail intact. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
3. In large skillet over medium heat, toast pepper and fennel in olive oil until mixture becomes fragrant. Add shrimp and sauté in spice mixture, stirring regularly, until cooked through, 8-10 minutes. When shrimp is cooked, add garlic, ginger and a sprinkling of salt to pan. Continue cooking and stirring for 2 minutes, then let cool to room temperature.
4. To serve: Place 1-2 mango cubes and 1-2 shrimp on pick/skewer, repeat to make 8 picks; set aside. Spoon or pipe 2 Tbsps. mango purée into mini glasses and top with mango and shrimp on skewers. Garnish with lime zest and fresh herbs.
Photo: National Mango Board; Recipe: Isha Nije, Flik