The semi-success of my mango salsa muffins, an initial experiment for my entry in the May Royal Foodie Joust at The Leftover Queen, did not dampen my enthusiasm. I mean, come on -- mango, cardamom, and brown sugar? What's not to like about this combination? Toss in my ardent love of Costco's mango peach salsa and all together it's enough to fuel the culinary tinkering of this muffin chick for quite some time.
The second round of my attempts with these three ingredients turned out much better than the mango muffins, I'm happy to say. Still wanting to stay with a more breakfast-y creation, I thought that mango salsa-stuffed crepes sounded pretty darn tasty. After puttering around on the web in research mode, I ran a test batch of crepes, as I had never made one before. The first time around I made whole wheat crepes with cardamom and cinnamon. After a few mishaps (primarily in the form of too-thick crepes and funky shaping), I had a small stack of reasonable crepes. Surprised at how light the crepes were, I also didn't feel that the somewhat nutty taste of the wheat meshed well with the cardamom. However, they still tasted pretty good, especially filled with vanilla yogurt and sliced banana. In fact, they help make up quite a balanced breakfast.
In my next attempt at crepe creation, I opted to use white all-purpose flour instead of the whole wheat. The taste on these pancake-y puppies was much improved, but I again ran into trouble with turning out crepes with some interesting shapes. My favorite turned out looking like an anatomically correct heart, and I photographed it and then ate it with what probably amounts to a rather sad overabundance of giddy delight. I never said I was all that mature!
However, I didn't devour the new crepes until I made a mango salsa of my very own -- no Costco brand this time around! -- to fill them with. This salsa, adapted from a recipe I discovered on Cooking Light, is not tomato-based like most salsas. Instead, with a base of orange juice and a blend of pineapple, mango, and banana and a dash of fresh mint (the intriguing ingredient which drew me to the recipe in the first place), this salsa is sweet and very tropical tasting. The addition of a little coconut would not be out of place.
So, my salsa all chopped and mixed -- with a little assistance from the Best Husband Ever in the area of mango peeling -- I selected two crepes with the most fun shapes, including the anatomical heart crepe. I slathered the heart crepe with mango salsa, and then tried the other with a simple spread of vanilla yogurt and fresh mango. Both were yummy! I have since finished off the leftover salsa -- it tastes great over cottage cheese as well -- and have filled the remaining crepes with a number of different foods, peanut butter and banana being a favorite.
If you're anything like me, your mouth is now watering at the idea of peanut butter and bananas on cardamom crepes, so I will leave you with my May entry for the Joust!
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tsp yogurt
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup egg replacer (or 1 egg)
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Stir together the dry ingredients. In a blender, combine the wet ingredients. Once they are well blended, add the dry ingredients and blend until the batter is smooth. cover and chill for one hour.
Place a nonstick pan or skillet over medium heat. Pour a small amount of batter (I used a very scant 1/4 cup) into the pan, then quickly tilt the pan so the surface is completely covered with a thin layer of batter. Cook for 1 minute. When the underside is just browned and the crepe can be shaken from the pan, flip it over and cook the other side for another 30 seconds or until it is set.
Cool completely on a towel and continue to use the rest of the batter in the same way. Be sure to keep the uncooked mixture well-stirred until it is ready to be used. Store the crepes between layers of waxed paper to keep them from sticking to one another.
Serve with mango salsa or another topping of your choice.
3/4 of a ripe mango, peeled and diced
1/2 sliced banana
scant 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 T orange juice
1.5 T lime juice
1 8-oz. can drained pineapple chunks
1/2 tsp chili powder
Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl, then cover and refrigerate. This can be served fresh, but it tastes even better after allowing it to chill for a little while, even overnight.