Chow

080113-StirItUp

Every once in a while I’ll come across a recipe or dish that is so simple, yet good, I have to try it out and sometimes pass it along to you. This happened at a recent Bluesdays Tuesdays concert in Squaw.

Walking around listening to the music, which has been outstanding, I see a lot of the same people every week. One small group that is always sitting in the same spot just outside the Rocker that I’ve come to know through Wink are Boyd and his wife, Julie. Sitting under the small trees in their own lawn chairs, they are always prepared with their beverages and snacks. This week, Boyd called me over and insisted I have a piece of fruit. Well, who doesn’t like fruit on a hot summer day? The thing is it wasn’t just a piece of mango he was giving me. It was perfectly ripened mango with a few other ingredients that went absolutely perfect with my weekly beer.

During the summer, there are so many activities to choose from as far as concerts, outdoor movies and things that people are always traveling with their folding chairs, coolers and picnic baskets at the ready. Some people go big and make elaborate hors d’ oeuvres and others will bring entire meals, but mostly you see people with maybe a few beers or a glass of wine and some simple snacks that are just meant to kind of enhance the events atmosphere. Cheese and crackers, some nice bread, maybe a little sliced salami, and olives are always present along with that one summer time staple – watermelon.

But, I have to say, try this slightly spiced up mango, and you’ll be including it at all your events. It just goes that good with a beer or glass of white wine. It is easy to make and adjust to your own taste buds and mood, and you also can use it as a base for lots of other things, such as a mango salsa for fish, chicken, pork or just about anything.

As for the name? As I was walking away, I was wondering what to call it and was about to turn back to ask when, as if reading my mind, Boyd yelled to me: “Chow. I just call it Chow.” So, this week when you’re wondering what to bring to the beach or show, make some Chow and enjoy.

Chow
4-5 ripe mangos, cut in wedges, strips or chunks
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
1 thinly sliced habanera or Serrano pepper
Pinch of salt

Simply mix all together. Leave the seeds for a little more heat, which does get tempered by the sweet juice of the mango. Those are the ingredients, the salt used to really draw out the juice and enhance the mangos flavor, so just add things slowly to best fit your own taste buds.

Trained under Master Chef Anton Flory at Top Notch Resort in Stowe, Vt., Smitty is a personal chef specializing in dinner parties, cooking classes and special events. For more information and archived copies of Stir it Up, visit chefsmitty.com. Smitty welcomes your questions and comments at [email protected] or (530) 412-3598.

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Chef Smitty
Smitty is a personal chef specializing in dinner parties, cooking classes and special events. Trained under Master Chef Anton Flory at Top Notch Resort in Stowe, Vt., Smitty is known for his creative use of fresh ingredients. Smitty has been teaching skiing at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows for more than 26 years each winter, and spends his summers working for High Sierra Waterski School since 2000. Smitty has been writing his chef column for Tahoe Weekly since 2005.