How to quickly cube mangoes without making a mess.

Other than apples, we could go through dozens of mangoes in a month, simply because we LOVE the fruit. We eat it on its own mostly, but we also love it served with meringues and cream (okay, yogurt when the scale is bouncing off a bit further from the zero).

But you must agree with me that cutting mangoes is one of the most tedious task in the world. Normally I just armed myself with a paring knife, then leisurely slice the flesh off and eat it off the knife. This is not recommended because (A) you might slice your own tongue off, and (B) it is awfully inelegant.

So yeah, there are times when you need to cube mangoes. Such as when you need to eat them with meringues & cream, and only with cubed mangoes that you get to scoop up the perfect ratio of mangoes:cream:meringues.

Here’s a tutorial, courtesy of my BF who painstakingly took these pictures of himself cubing mangoes so that I could post them up on my blog, for you to read. Did I mention, he was cubing mangoes while I lied collapsed in our sofa writhing in pain from the dreaded PMS, because he wanted to cheer me up with mangoes, meringues and cream? Yeah, I love him too.

# – Hold the mango on a chopping board with the slimmest side down.

# – With the knife positioned about 0.5 cm from the eye, cut all the way down. You should miss the seed but not too much that you’d waste mango flesh. Do the same with the other side of the mango. By the way, the eye is that little bulbous ugly thingy on the top of the mango ;)

# – Now, score the mango flesh in a checkered pattern. Cut as close as possible to the skin without damaging the skin.

# – Now pop out the flesh like this by pushing the skin. Beautiful!

# – With a knife, gently lift the flesh off the skin.

# – Voila! Cubed mangoes!

And that, is how you can fairly quickly cube mangoes without making a mess :)

Chilli trick by Gordon Ramsay does work.

You’ve probably noticed that most, if not, all my dishes that I’ve posted recently contained chillies. Well I can’t help it that I love my food with kicks but mostly, you got to blame Gordon Ramsay for my chilli obsession.

Well, through television, he taught the world and me the neatest way to seed chillies. This tutorial is for those without the privilege of a food channel…

# – First, roll the chilli with the your palm on a chopping board for about 10 seconds. You can roll it between two palms too.

# – Then cut off the top of the chili. You can see all the nasty, spicy seeds inside.

# – Now, hold it firmly in your hand, over the rubbish bin, with the cut part facing downwards, shake vigourously. Listen to the satisfying sound of the chili seeds falling out.

# – Look ma, no more seeds!

Now you can slice, dice, julienne, do whatever you want with your clean, seeded chillies :)

Fresh raviolis for idiots with bacon tomato sauce.

I have a confession. Any cooking with flour involved often scares me. Perhaps it’s my total lack of talent, chronic lack of patience or even a genetic malfunction, I can’t seem to ever get pastry right.

I know, I know, practice makes perfect and I’m sure one day I’ll be able to produce decent looking and usable pastry but right now is sadly, not the time.

I however have a knack for cheating in my cooking, regularly skipping steps that would make any established cook/chef gasps in horror. Just because my bird brain feels that it’s “unnecessary”. Needless to say, more often than I prefer, I find my cooking inedible or as my BF put it….nauseating. I’ll feature more of my inedible, nauseating creations but right now is fortunately, not the time.

This is a post about how I cheated, succeeded and most importantly, how my BF ate everything, right down to the last drop of sauce. Ladies & gentlemen, I present the “FRESH raviolis for idiots”. You don’t even have to know how to roll out a pasta ;)

For raviolis:

  • 60 gm of chinese salted vegetables (“choi bou” in cantonese)
  • 80gm of any soft stinky cheese (I used Blue Jack)
  • 1 chilli, chopped
  • 1 packet of wonton wrappers

For sauce:

  • 4-6 pieces of streaky bacons
  • 1 chopped yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon of dried basil
  • 1 can of tomato in juice
  • 100gm of chicken stock (you can make do with chicken cubes though I used homemade ones)

# – First of all, soak the salted vegetables in water for 1/2 hour. Remember to change the water at least twice during that time. Drain.

# – Also, take out the cheese and let it sweat and soften in room temperature.

# – Chop up the chili into as tiny pieces as possible.

# – And then you mix the salted vegetables, chillies and cheese together till thoroughly blend.

# – Lay out 20 pieces of wonton wrappers.

# – Put a teaspoon of cheese mixture on a wrapper each.

# – Use your finger to dab water all over the edge of the wonton wrapper.

# – Now use another wonton wrapper, lay it on top and press it down the edges. If you can, try to press down around the filling too so that there’s no air trapped inside.

# – If you fancy, you can use a ravioli cutter to cut around the edges to form nice scallop designs but since this is a recipe for idiots, don’t bother…hehe.

# – Wooohoo, raviolis for idiots. DONE.

Now…to make the bacon tomato sauce to go with your raviolis..

# – Cut up the tomatos if it’s not already cut in the can.

# – Heat up a pot and throw in onions and bacons to brown.

# – Pour in the cut tomatoes with its juice and chicken stock into bacons and onion mixture. Stir. The weird looking block in the picture is a piece of frozen homemade chicken stock by the way.

# – A dash of basil.

# – A dash of black pepper. Leave it to simmer while you cook the raviolis…

# – Boil a pot of water. Throw in a dash of salt. When it’s bubbling throw in the raviolis 5 at a time. It takes less than 2 minutes to cook. When cooked, they will float up to the surface and look very silky soft.

# – Prepare a plate, drizzle olive oil on it. You can omit this step but I don’t want to risk my raviolis sticking to the plate.

Also, instead of oiling the plate, you can just dump some bacon tomato sauce on it and place the cooked raviolis on top. Obviously I could have done this but it was my first time making this hence I was playing very, very safe.

# – Scoop up the cooked raviolis with a straining ladle and serve with bacon tomato sauce.

There, fresh raviolis without touching flour or eggs! I admit, they don’t rank very high when it comes to looks, but the taste?

Wow, I was prrrretttty impressed with myself. The salted vegetables (which had lost most of its saltiness from the soaking) gave the filling a good light crunch while the blue cheese contributed a creamy & savoury taste only a good cheese can. The chopped chilies gave the raviolis a kick and kept the dish interesting.

As for whether wonton wrappers can be passed off as pasta? My BF really thought I had made fresh pasta from scratch! The wrappers were thin but strong and they were silky and light after cooking. One of our best dinners to date!

Oh! And it was dirt cheap to make this too ;)