Chris Cooks

Mango and Grapefruit with Sweet Avocado Cream

April 29, 2013

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A couple weeks ago, Jules and I were in Idaho visiting family. I made dinner one night – roasted potatoes and crispy pork belly- and I knew it was gonna sit pretty heavy. See, the difference between a “meh” meal and a great meal, is the way each course builds on each other, and how it leaves you feeling afterward. Unfortunately, most meals we consume are just… well… meh.

Let’s examine Pizza Hut for a moment. Now, I like Pizza Hut. If someone offers me pizza from the Hut, I don’t turn it down. But they just came out with this box meal thing that is ludicrous. They give you breadsticks as an appetizer, a pepperoni pizza as your entree, then breadsticks coated with cinnamon and sugar for dessert. That is literally 3 back to back courses consisting of bread, with the only vegetable being tomatoes which were processed and made into tomato paste, then used to create pizza sauce. By that point they’re no longer recognizable as tomatoes anyway, so I’m a really being generous in calling the sauce a vegetable (and please, let’s not get into a discussion about whether tomatoes are a fruit or vegetable – nobody cares). What’s my point? Balance! If you want to feel good after eating a meal, offset heavy courses with something light.

Of course, there are times where you don’t care about how you feel after the meal. Thanksgiving, for example. In my family, if you get up from the table on Thanksgiving and are able to walk at normal speed, you need to go back and eat another helping of potatoes or stuffing or a half-dozen rolls or some other carb, until your pace slows a knot or two. But most of the time, you shouldn’t feel engorged every night. I mean, that can’t be good for your love life.

So, back to the meal I made for my family. Roasted potatoes tossed in kale pesto, with crispy pork belly and a balsamic black currant syrup (I’ll share the recipe for that sometime too, because it was awesome). I wanted the heaviness of the pork belly and potatoes to be offset by some “lightness,” so I started with a simple apple jicama and lime salad (I’ll also share the recipe for that), and ended with this:

Fresh mango and grapefruit topped with sweet avocado cream and mint. Super simple, sits light in the belly, and is amazingly delicious. Here’s how it went down.

So, mango and grapefruit. Not rocket science. Peel, cut into pieces however big you want. I did supremes for the grapefruit, but if you don’t want to take that time, just cut the ends off, cut the peel off, slice in quarters, cut out the white middle part, and cut into pieces. Mangos can be tricky, because the pit is shaped like an oval. Just take your time, and when you feel resistance to the knife, you know you’re cutting too much off.

Mint – chiffonade. That means cut into long, thin strips. Or you can leave them as full leaves. I cut them up because I wanted it to be obvious that the mint was meant to be eaten, and I wanted it to be eaten in small amounts throughout the dessert.

So those are the easy parts. Ready for the almost as easy part? Boom, check it.

1 avocado, pitted and scooped out
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp honey

Toss those in a blender, whirl it up until silky smooth, and plate. You want mostly mango, and a little grapefruit. I think for each person I did 1/2 of 1 mango and 1/4 of 1 grapefruit. Easy fo’ sheezy. Adjust the ingredients as you see fit.

Seriously, try this dessert. Even if it’s in the middle of the day and your kids are at school. A, you deserve it. B, you’ll go through the steps and realize just how easy it is. C, you’ll taste it and realize just how good it is. D, you’ll realize that you can make this for everyone you know and they’ll think you’re a rockstar. There’s something so enjoyable about fresh food prepared simply, and this is a great example of that.

So that’s what I have today. I promise I’ll share the other pieces of this meal, but I wanted to get this dessert out there. I think Spring is finally here, and you can be sure this little dish will be a regular in our home this year.

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What do you think?

  1. Made it for after school snack for the family. Grant thought the dip was ice cream. Who knew to make the avocado sweet; well I guess you did. So yummy, thanks.

    • Haha, awesome. Well if I can’t be there to cook for you guys, then at least the internet lets me help out a bit. :)

      Miss y’all! We never have family dinners anymore – I guess you guys were the driving force behind that, haha.

  2. Dana says:

    Just made this (had to impatiently wait a few days for my avocado to ripen). It was amazing! My husband insists this go into our cookbook. Thank you so much. I look forward to reading this blog for more incredible dishes!

  3. I’m vouching that it was delicious! Wish we could relive that fun night!

  4. Vrie says:

    I love how simple this looks. I’m all for the complex show-stoppers when I’m at home but it’s nice to find recipes I can do in my dorm. (And it’s crazy how impressed people get when a few ingredients are amazing together.)

    I’ll be trying this out soon (: Thanks for sharing!

  5. Belinda says:

    That sounds amazing! Can’t wait to try it! Any suggestions as an alternative to the mint though? I wish I was, but I am just not a fan…please don’t judge me! :)

  6. haha! as a nurse I can only help but to roll my eyes at the pasta bowl. I mean really, are you trying to kill people?!

    But I will totally count the tomato sauce as a veggie ;) Double standards, I know.

  7. Buying the ingredients tonight!

    • Awesome Gabrielle! Be sure to return and let us know how it goes. :)

    • My husband and I just made, consumed and adored it. Great flavors and such a refreshing dessert. The husband was quite worried the grapefruit would over power the mango, but totally not the case. I do have to confess we couldn’t find any fresh mint so we ended up using dried mint… :blush: Can’t wait to find/purchase a mint plant and try it all over again.

      Chris, did you design/birth/engineer this dessert? Not really sure how to say that in cooking terms…

    • Well, the saying “there’s nothing new under the sun” applies here, I’m sure. I’ve had an avocado mousse, which inspired the avocado cream. And I read in a book that mango and grapefruit go together well (I thought the same thing about the grapefruit overpowering, but was pleased it didn’t turn out that way), and both play nicely with avocado. So I guess this dish was born from varying sources of inspiration, as most of my dishes are. :)

      If you have trouble finding mint, fresh basil would be a great substitute, as well. In case that’s easier to find.

      So glad you enjoyed the dessert!

  8. This looks great! Thanks for sharing :)

  9. Um, delish!!!! So fancy, but totally doable.

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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