Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mango Salad, a regional classic from Seasoned with Sun

Here in our sharp corner of West Texas/New Mexico,  our most popular regional cookbook  is Seasoned with Sun from the Junior League of El Paso.
The original,  published in 1974 and followed by several later variations,  is sub-titled, "A Blending of Cultures",  and that says it all.  This cookbook is about what happened when Margie from Dallas got together with Maria from Durango in the kitchen to fix dinner.  It's about cooking with what's plentiful and common in this area, and using Northern Mexican foods and culinary techniques in new ways, as well as in the time-tested and traditional ways.

There are certain dishes from "Seasoned with Sun" that have become traditional in many homes, especially at holiday and entertaining time.

One of these is Mango Salad.  Straight out of the 60's,  (in a good way), it's tangy, light, and refreshing; a perfect side for a holiday dinner,  and since it must be made ahead of time there's no last minute interference with the turkey and gravy preparations.
Here's what you will need:
3 boxes of Lemon Jello.  In a pinch you can use another kind, but lemon is the best.
1 box of cream cheese
1 can of sliced mangos in syrup
1 or 2 limes

1. Drain the mango syrup into a measuring cup.

2. Add enough boiling water to make 3 cups, then add the jello and dissolve it.
3. Blend the cream cheese and the mangos.
4. Stir it into the jello liquid along with the juice of 2 small limes or one large one.
5. Pour it slowly into a large casserole.  This will be enough for a crowd. Then cover and chill overnight.  If you wanted to, you could make this several days ahead of time.

6. Serve on a lettuce leaf with a nice dollop of sour cream or crema (creme fraiche) and a sprinkle of brown sugar.  Good for any dinner, luncheon or brunch.

Seasoned with Sun, the Original, can be found at the following link, or at

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