Fruit Maintain’d with Beauty’s Sun

I drafted this and never posted it.  I can’t remember why, now… I might’ve been planning to add another recipe to it, but… no, I really have no idea.  Anyway, here:


This is a recipe I posted in a secret club I’m in, called Total Super Awesome Best Friends.  (It’s a club for people who donated to various Kickstarters for the folks at SMBC Theater.  It’s pretty rockin’.  If you don’t already read it, I highly recommend Zach Weiner’s comic, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.)

The context is this:  James Ashby (writer and executive producer for SMBC Theater) asked fans to post ideas for recipes that he could make during “Sexy Shirtless Recipe Time”, which was a live feed of him… cooking… shirtless.  It was to promote the Hand to Mouth Kickstarter.

Hand to Mouth is a video series by Marque Franklin-Williams in which they teach you how to make SUPER-cheap, super-quick, not-obscenely-unhealthy food, that isn’t made exclusively of Twinkies (R.I.P.) and Ramen, although they do have a special on how to spruce up your Ramen.

So, that’s the audience for the recipe, which may explain some of the phrasing.

I have a recipe suggestion for Sexy Shirtless Recipe Time!

I’ve often said that mangoes MUST be prepped and eaten naked, primarily because I’ve never been successful at cutting one up without being totally drenched in its juice.

I know mangoes may not be the first thing you think of when you think “budget food”, but you people are in California, where it’s always sunny (much like Philadelphia, I hear), and I figure most folks could find bruised or irregular mangoes super-cheap in a little tienda or farmer’s market somewhere.  Also, you haven’t done much in the way of dessert, that I can recall, and this is a delicious not-crazy-unhealthy way to bring a little sweetness into your life.

So, what I do is something like this:

  1. Get naked.  Because, mangoes.
  2. Peel a mango.  Cut the flesh from the seed and chop into bite-sized chunks and put ‘em in a bowl.
  3. If you like alcohol, and you’re, like, a millionaire… or a pirate, splash a bit o’ rum over the mango.
  4. Sprinkle some spices on that stuff.  I like to use ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, but if you’ve got cloves, allspice, or the mixture that is pumpkin pie spice hangin’ around, those might be good too.  You could also add a whisper of salt to bring out the sweetness.
  5. Sprinkle some brown sugar, honey, agave, or sweet, sweet, lovin’ on your mango.  This isn’t necessary, but I tend to serve the mango with a creamy, un- or lightly sweetened yogurt / pudding / just plain cream / coconut milk… so I like the extra sweetness.
  6. Heat a little frying pan over medium-medium-highish heat — like a 6 out of 10.  Drop in a pat o’ butter.  I’d say you could go with oil, but while EVOO might lend it an interesting flavor, and coconut oil would undoubtedly be good… I use butter.  Because, butter.
  7. I usually wait ’til the butter is starting to brown a little, ’cause it gets a deeper flavor.
  8. Throw the mangoes in and whirl ‘em around to get them coated.  Use caution, since you’re frying naked.  Cook until they’ve got a lovely little caramelly/browned/blackened crusty crust on them and they’re warm and toasty.

You could eat ‘em straight out of the pan.  As I said, I often serve them over vanilla rice pudding, vanilla ice cream, pound cake with heavy cream poured over it, vanilla or plain yogurt with or without a smidge of oats/granola, or simply a drizzle of coconut milk, but they’re delicious just the way they are, and you can’t afford that stuff anyway.

You can use this recipe with any stone fruit (peaches are yummy) and probably berries, though I’ve never tried that.  Soft apples work okay too.  You could probably throw all the ingredients together and microwave it (or sorta boil it on the stovetop) and come out with a pretty passable compote/topping as well.

And it’s got a sensual deliciousness that is designed to be EATEN naked as well as cooked that way.