Mango Salsa

I’ve really been digging mangoes lately. They’ve been a heck of a buy at only 78 cents apiece at my neighborhood grocery story.

My first encounter with mangoes were the dried kind, which are truly yummy. But since experiencing fresh ones, I’m having a hard time figuring out which one is the best.

I hope there will be some fresh ones around come May 31. That’s when I volunteered to make some mango salsa for the Herald’s Relay for Life team, which we’ll be selling samples of it at our site at University Park. Last year, the Grand Forks event raised nearly $70,000!

While searching around for a good recipe, I came across a tasty sandwich called the Caribbean Grill. It’s a tropical grilled cheese sandwich with a mango salsa, which won grand prize at the "The Search for the Greatest Grilled Cheese Sandwich in America Recipe Contest" in 2004.

With my affection for mangoes and cheese, I can’t wait to try it.

Caribbean Grill
½ mango, cut into ¼-inch dice
2 tablespoons red onion (¼-inch dice)
¼ red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Pinch of sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon curry powder
8 slices fresh Italian bread
8 slices (1 ounce each) Swiss cheese
¼ cup honey mustard
In small bowl, prepare salsa: mix together mango, red onion, bell pepper, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside. (This can be made one day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.) This makes about 1½ cups.
In small bowl, mix butter and curry. Spread 2 tablespoons butter mixture on one side of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices of bread on your work surface, buttered side down. Spread mustard on bread. Place about 2 tablespoons mango salsa on bread, followed by the cheese. (You may need to fold cheese slices to fit bread.) Place remaining 4 bread slices on top, buttered side up.
Add remaining curry butter to nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat 2 minutes. Put sandwiches in skillet (in batches if necessary), cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until undersides are golden brown and cheese has begun to melt. Uncover and turn sandwiches with spatula, pressing very firmly. Cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until bread is golden brown and cheese has melted. Turn once more, press with spatula and cook 30 seconds. Remove from pan and let cool 3 to 5 minutes. Cut diagonally and serve with extra salsa on the side.
Yield: 4 sandwiches.

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