My memories around vacations are usually tangled up with the meals I ate. What better time to bust out of whatever food rut you've been in and find what's fresh somewhere new. To really take your time and cook whatever has been lurking in the back of your mind. And to let others take over and show you something new.
The most recent vacation I took was centered on meals, because there were several great cooks in our midst. We were also on the Gulf Shores of Florida, which meant some of the best seafood I've eaten in a long time- fresh oysters (still learning to like), shrimp, blue crabs that I CAUGHT all on my own. Our host, A's mom, not only encouraged all of us to successfully crash a wedding but introduced me to this raw tomatillo, mango and black bean salsa that ended up in coming back home with me. There are all kinds of applications for this salsa- with chips, alone, in shrimp or fish tacos, with grilled meats. Don't be afraid of raw tomatillos- pick bright green, firms ones. They have a refreshing, slightly tart flavor that is summer.
We did actually crash a wedding. But that pales in comparison to what happened recently. How could I not mention the oil spill?
Tomatillo, Mango and Black Bean Salsa
Makes around 3 cups
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tomatillos, husks removed and chopped
1 ripe mango, seeded and chopped
a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro- to your liking
1. Combine all ingredients.
2. I realize this isn't a real recipe- its a method and suggestion of ingredients. You combine as little or as much as you like. One of the secrets of good cooks are that they taste and taste and taste until they like what they get. And then get really good at memorizing and knowing how ingredients combine in quantity. And taste some more. Oh, and pull out the salt shaker.