Thursday, June 6, 2013

Father's Day Gifts!

Father’s Day is coming up.  Don’t worry though, you still have time.  It is Sunday, June 16th.  I didn’t mean to freak you out.  It’s just that I have a couple of things that would be super fun to make for the dad in your life, but I want to make sure you have the time to do it. 

Normally, I make a special dinner for my husband, or we eat out.  This year, I thought I would make something that lasts longer than one meal.  I came up with two really yummy recipes for BBQ sauce and hot sauce.  The best thing about this?  You can make a lot and give it out to all the dads in your life.  And don’t all dads love a good BBQ sauce or hot sauce?

My first recipe is for a delicious Mango Chipotle BBQ Sauce.   This sauce is sweet and spicy, which is a perfect combination for BBQ sauce.

Let me back up a little and tell you this.  My husband and children have an obsession with mangos.  Specifically, mango juice.  My older daughter likes fresh mangos too, but my youngest and husband only love the juice.  Odd, I know.

Back to the BBQ sauce….The first thing I want you to do is boil one cup of mango juice until it has reduced by half.  I want a strong flavor of mango in this sauce, so you really need to concentrate the flavor.  I use Langer’s Mango Nectar because it is all mangos in there.  No other fruits are mixed in to stretch the flavor.  Plus, it is readily available.

I use ketchup and apple cider vinegar to start the sauce.  (If you are anti-ketchup and would like to stay away from it, no problem.  Use half tomato puree and half tomato sauce. ) I add the ketchup and apple cider vinegar to a pot and get it started towards boiling.  While that is going, I add in brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, granulated garlic, salt, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, ground chipotle powder and the reduced mango juice.  I let this simmer together for about 15 minutes….and that is all there is too it.  Did you know BBQ sauce was that easy?

You may have noticed that this is a smooth sauce.  I like this particular sauce to be super smooth.  If you don’t, feel free to use fresh onions and garlic sautéed in a bit of oil instead of powdered spices.

I pour this sauce into washed out bottles that I had saved for an occasion like this.  This sauce makes about 2 cups so you need a bottle that will hold that, or maybe two smaller ones.  Keep this in the fridge since it isn’t sealed.  The dad in your life will love it!

The mango juice gives this sauce a tropical sweetness that is crazy good in a BBQ sauce.  This sauce is so good with chicken and even better with pork.

FYI-My kids helped me make this sauce.  They like to measure out the spices and stir the pot.  Then, they really feel like they were a part of making daddy’s gift.

As for the hot sauce….don’t have your kids help.  In fact, you may want to evacuate the house while you make this.  At the very least, open all the windows because we are making Mango Habanero Hot Sauce, and habanero peppers will make your eyes water and your lungs feel like they are going to explode.  Fair warning.

And please, don’t touch your eyes after touching the peppers.

I start the hot sauce by boiling stemmed whole habanero peppers in vinegar.  I also throw in a whole peeled garlic clove and a whole peeled shallot.  This boils for about seven minutes, or until the habaneros are starting to get mushy.

Once the habs are mushy, this whole mixture gets a trip in the blender.  I blend this for about a minute, or until it is very well blended.  Then, I push this mixture through a very fine sieve.  You don’t have to do this part if you don’t want to…..but getting rid of the seeds and skins will greatly reduce the heat of this sauce.  It will still be ridiculously hot, so don’t worry about losing too much heat.

Now we have our habanero mash, and we can make the actual sauce.  I boil my habanero mixture with agave nectar, salt and mango juice until it is reduced by quite a bit.  This sauce will remain pretty thin, but it is a hot sauce.  You only want to eat a couple of drops anyway, right?

I pour this sauce into another bottle that I have washed out and hung on to.  This recipe makes about 3 to 4 cups, so this one goes a long way.

This hot sauce is good on virtually anything.  It is super-hot, but the agave nectar and mango juice give it a sweetness that helps you adjust.  It is a sweet heat.  And such a pretty color!

Now wash your hands and get all the hot stuff off of them.  Maybe go outside and take a deep breath of fresh hair before you get Habanero Lung.  I’m kidding.  That’s not real.

One thing to remember, I made these sauces in advance of Father’s Day because hot sauce and BBQ sauce are best after they have sat for a bit.  They like to “cure” if you will.  The flavors adjust and mature and just get better with time.

Oh yeah, I’m including a recipe for Mango Tres Leches Cake just in case you have a lot of mango juice left.  This is a Father’s Day tradition at our house, due to the mango obsession.


Mango Chipotle BBQ Sauce

1 cup Mango Nectar (Langer’s)

1 ½ cups ketchup

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder

In a small pot, boil mango nectar until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

In a medium sized pot, stir all ingredients together, including reduced mango juice.  Simmer, over medium low heat, for 15 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Pour into a washed bottle and store in refrigerator.

Makes about 2 cups

Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

1 ½ pounds habanero peppers, stemmed

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 shallot, peeled

1 cup white vinegar

½ cup agave nectar

2 cups mango nectar, Langer’s

In a small pot, boil (covered) habanero peppers, garlic, and shallot in white vinegar.  Blend mixture in a blender for 1 minute.  Pour mixture through a fine sieve.

In a medium sized pot, boil habanero/vinegar mixture with agave nectar and mango nectar over medium high heat until reduced, about 15 minutes.

Pour into washed bottle.

Makes about 3 ½ cups.

Mango Tres Leches Cake

1 and ½ cups cake flour divided

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 eggs

½ cup mango nectar (Langer’s)

8 ounces diced frozen mango, defrosted and chopped


6 ounces evaporated milk

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup mango nectar (Langer’s)


1 and ½ cups heavy cream

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 teaspoons rum extract

Remaining chopped mango for garnish

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 13x9 baking pan.

Stir together flour (all but 2 tablespoons), baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat together sugar, oil and vanilla extract with a hand mixer.  Beat in eggs, one at a time. 

Slowly beat dry ingredients into wet.  Once blended, stir in mango nectar.  Add remaining flour to mango chunks and stir mango mixture into cake batter.

Pour cake batter into greased pan and bake at 325 for 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cake cool for 30 minutes.

After cake has cooled slightly, poke all over with a skewer.  Mix together ingredients for syrup and pour over cake.  Place cake in the refrigerator for 3 hours to let syrup soak in.

For topping:

With a hand mixer, beat together cream, powdered sugar, and rum extract until soft peaks form.  Spread over cake.  Top cake slices with remaining mango.

Makes about 16 servings.

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