What is a feature common to both the small, landlocked west African country of Burkina Faso and southwestern Arizona? Personal experience of living in both places suggests at least this one: There comes to both a season in which the heat is so dry and intense that the whole great out-of-doors feels like one big sauna. When these climatic conditions prevail, cooking that requires extended oven use is to be avoided whenever possible. The mango and thin-sliced, air-dried and salted beef Bresaola (from the Alps of northern Italy) that are the principal component parts of this entrée (aka first course) will raise the kitchen’s temperature not one iota. The only heat applied in the making is during the few brief minutes in which the sauce caramelises over a burner flame.
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- 4 large Mangoes or enough from which to cut 24 slices…4 for each plate. A suggestion: Large mangoes may look good on the outside, but when cut (much to the buyer’s dismay) may reveal sections of spoiled fruit. It is well to buy an extra one…just in case. If using small or medium mangoes, increase the number of slices per entrée to six.
- 18 slices of Bresaola: Slices of the Swiss air-dried beef Bündnerfleisch or Viande des Grisons are an excellent substitute. Thin slices of smoked duck are another good alternative.
- 8 Tablespoons of dry Red Wine
- 6 Tablespoons of Powdered Sugar
- 1 teaspoon of Balsamic Vinegar
- about 6 teaspoons of Pink Peppercorns (aka Baies Rouges)
- a heavy-bottomed Pan
- a Whisk or Wooden Spoon
- 6 entrée-sized Plates (about 8-inches or 22 cm in diameter)
2. In the pan, whisk together the wine and powdered sugar.
3. Heat the mixture over a medium flame, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, until the sauce becomes thick and syrupy. When the sauce is sufficiently caramelised, it will coat the spoon and form a droplet on a plate:
5. Arrange 6 entrée-sized plates out on your work space. Form rosettes of Bresaola by laying a slice in one hand, poking down on its center with the index finger of your other hand, then pinching the indentation together from below with the fingers of the hand holding the slice. A rosette looks like this:
7. Dribble ribbons of sauce, extending out , like the sun’s rays, over the mango slices and out to the corners of each plate. Dot the plates here and there with droplets of sauce and sprinkle each entrée with about 1 teaspoon of pink peppercorns.
A Note: Mango and Bresaola with Caramelised Red Wine Sauce is the First Course of the Lunch Menu: A Lunch with Spice and Many Things Nice.
An Invitation: You are invited to request suggestions from the diplomatickitchen for your own menus for any occasion by clicking on the feature ‘Ask and Tell’ here or in the Menu at the top of the page. Do you have a menu concept with a gap or two that wants filling…or perhaps you are an expat looking for ways to adapt your recipes to what is available in your temporary home…maybe you are just looking for a new way to use a familiar ingredient or would like suggestions on how to adjust quantities of a recipe from the diplomatickitchen for smaller or larger groups…Replies will be published in ‘Ask and Tell’ or sent by email if you prefer.
© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011-2013