Mango Habanero Salsa

Mango Habanero Salsa

This is a great sweet and hot salsa! I first had it from a jar from the local market. Their chef had decided to add small pebbles for added texture. A bold ingredient, definitely leading edge!
Besides the crunch of small rocks, it tasted pretty good for a jar salsa, I knew I could improve on this.

WARNING! Use less habanero peppers if you do not have the stomach of a Rhino!

Easy to make, but there are a few precautions I will state here and now that should not be ignored.
Besides the obvious, do not handle the habaneros with bare skin. I used a fork to keep them on the cutting board, a knife to excise the stem area, and a contained chopper to get the job done.
At no time did I touch them.
After I had the wife wash them, and out of personal kindness, I told her she should boil her hands right away and not touch any part of her body she has become fond of.
Second, and this is a biggie, I had all leftover jalapeño peppers excess matter in the sink. I should have scooped it out and disposed of properly.
I did not.
At the time, the garbage disposal appeared to be a good idea. Big mistake. The pepper innards were vaporized mechanically and formed a cloud of invisible doom in the kitchen. After what seemed like a lifetime, the coughing and gagging in the house subsided into a rhythmic asthmatic wheeze. Eyesight was restored later.
Breathing and eyesight can not be overstated. As always in my recipes, avoid my mistakes at all cost.

This salsa goes well with chips, or as a dip, or thrown on anything you can think of.
Add to Chicken or steak?
I say thee yeah!

4 Tomatoes (cored)
6 oz crushed pineapple in pineapple juice
mango puree (2 mangoes)
1 fire roasted red bell pepper (1/2 cup)
4 jalapeño peppers (cored)
1 diced onion
1 tsp sugar
6 habanero peppers (or less, say about 2)
1/4 cup cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 good squirt lime juice concentrate( a bad squirt would involve lack of concentration or astral traveling)
1/2 tsp garlic powder


Dice up everything except the Mango and Habanero peppers. Add to a medium sized container with sealable lid. (as to refrigerate after assembly)
Add sugar,salt,cilantro, lime juice concentrate and garlic powder.
Extract all the fruit from the mango (exclude skin and pit) and blend in a mixer to puree, add to mixture.
Per instructions above ( have an expendable family member do this part), finely chop habanero peppers.
Try two peppers at first. Have same expendable family member test it out.
If they show no signs of seizure or organ failure, add two more. Be sure to ask them how they feel. Reassure them that you have plenty of beer.
Ask them if they can still feel their lips. If they respond in the affirmative, it may be enough peppers. You be the judge!

Grilled Asparagus and Tri-tip Tacos

Grilling season is upon us.

My grill of choice is a model named after one of the founding fathers of Stockton California, a Captain Weber. It produces smooth even heat with the warm familiar glow of charcoal. I use a briquette chimney to avoid the smell and flavor of lighter fluid in the food.

I once had a sinister propane grill, but found it too work intensive. There were four areas on the grill ranging from warm to incinerate. Using the propane knob controls seemed of no use. I was lucky in acquiring this grill though, If I had purchased it at the store, it could have set me back well over 70 dollars. I was fortunate to have found it beside a road near town, and soon had it up and incinerating my food in no time at all. Ah, the joy of replacing the wheels on the bottom every so often. Cleaning was a breeze; just pull it out where the rain can get at it. It gained a wonderful petina.

One of my favorite taco recipes is for Grilled Asparagus and Tri-tip Tacos.


I like to use flour taco size tortillas, it’s just a matter of taste. My family has told me on more than one occasion, that should I ever acquire taste, they would be sure to let me know.

Tri-tip marinade

1 large Tri-tip

1 cup soy sauce

1tsp ground mustard

12 chopped garlic cloves

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp of salt

1/4 cup olive oil


Mix ingredients in a large plastic beverage container. Place Tri-tip into zip-lock freezer bag, pour mixture in. Set everything in a bowl unless you totally trust the folks at Zip-Lock to have sent you the one that will not leak all over the kitchen, house, and backyard. Did I mention that charcoal grilling is an outdoor event unless you are aspiring to have your story on the “Darwin Awards”. Let marinate for no more than 1.5 hours, or the meat will break down too much.


Asparagus Marinade

2 bunches of Asparagus, bottom third cut off.

12 chopped garlic cloves

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp of salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp freshly chopped dill

1 tbsp lime juice

Place Asparagus in a large Zip-Lock freezer bag. Add everything else, seal bag and roll around until mixed. Let rest for about 1.5 hours, shaking up occasionally.

Grill Tri-tip for about an hour on indirect heat after searing both sides on direct heat. This should produce medium done. During last 10-12 minutes of cooking, add Asparagus to grill. (Grill them for 10-12 minutes. Remove Tri-tip from grill; let rest at least 10 minutes, thin slice. Asparagus let rest in a glass dish.

asparagustaco0001Grilled Asparagusasparagustaco0002Grilled Asparagus

Taco preparation.

Heat taco sized tortillas on grill or indoor frying pan. Do not burn, and remove to plate. Add slices of Tri-tip, 3-4 Asparagus spears, and slices of onion, cheese of choice (I used white cheddar with truffles, Trader Joe’s), sliced jalapeno peppers, your favorite salsa and sour cream. Yummy! You will have leftover unless you eat like wolves, like we do.


asparagustaco0006The last thing it saw on Earth

Diablo Prawn Enchiladas Recipe

On our first date, I took my then future wife Carrie to a place called The Whole Enchilada in Moss Landing. They had a variety of enchiladas, but my favorite was the shrimp. It was a creamy smooth, cheesy dish, the tortilla stuffed with tender shrimp. A culinary delight!
As the years went on and my taste changed, I attempted to replicate the enchilada, only with a spicier flavor.
The following recipe resembles the original only because it has cheese, tortillas, and it’s served on a plate.
This is decadent, rich and not for the squeamish. The sauce is made more for a bunch of chest-butting Navy Seals than your relatives who may believe that flour is a spice.
Heed my warning, this will burn, but it’s a good burn. I serve this dish by itself, and as I add so much heat, I also have to eat it all by myself. The family passes on food this hot.
I brown the tortillas so they don’t break up during assembly or turn into hard crust after baking. I prefer a smooth, soft texture.
The salsa I use comes in a small jar in the Mexican food section at the local market.(La Victoria Salsa jalapeno) I could make my own, but I like the thickness and flavor of this one. Less work, tastes great!

Diablo Prawn Enchiladas Recipe
Note the word “vein” is in quotation marks — you really don’t want to know what it is. I learned this in my college zoology class. Also, I use prawns in this recipe since most markets have already done most of the cleaning, and you have to process fewer than if you used shrimp.
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 12 flour tortillas
• 1 pound prawns, “deveined” and peeled
• 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
• 1/4 cup minced garlic
• 2 jars of salsa, separated (flavor is up to you — this is where the heat comes from)
• 16 oz. sour cream
• 6 large jalapeño peppers
• 2 cups shredded jack cheese
• 8 oz. merlot wine
In a hot pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, which will be enough to brown three flour tortillas. Repeat until all 12 tortillas are lightly browned. Let stand on paper towels; they should not be too oily.
After thoroughly cleaning prawns of all exoskeleton and “vein” (ditch the tail) set prepared prawns aside in ice water. Pat dry before cooking.
Melt half a stick of butter in pan, add minced garlic, and heat about 40 seconds, do not brown or all could be lost. Add prawns, cook for about 1 minute. Remove from heat, add one jar of salsa, 12 oz. sour cream (save the rest for topping), and four chopped jalapeño peppers. (I use only the outside of the pepper in this part, as the seeds contain most of the heat. The outer part has the flavor without the pain.) Stir and set aside.
To assemble, set out tortillas, cheese, prawn mixture and a large greased baking pan.
Put 2 tablespoons shredded cheese and three to four prawns in mixture, then roll up and add to pan. Add a thin layer of salsa (this is to keep it from sticking or burning).
Repeat until baking pan is full.
Add the rest of salsa on top, along with any sauce from cooking the prawns, covering all tortillas so they won’t dry out. Add remaining shredded cheese. Garnish with the last jalapeños, sliced horizontally. These can be removed at serving by those who can’t take the heat.
Cover in foil, making a tent so cheese doesn’t stick, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Let stand for five minutes, then serve. Enjoy!
(You may need 8 oz. of merlot wine by now.)