Tangy Toppings

Our week 3 culinary lab was the first time we were given a lot of creative freedom.  Our task was to make a wild mushroom terrine (gross, tasted like cream of mushroom soup when it’s at room temperature and solidified), mango relish, and aspic.   Aspic is basically clarified chicken stock mixed with gelatin; its function is more for decoration than for taste.  We were given carrots and leeks to use under the aspic (other acidic vegetables would break down the aspic).  Here’s what I chose!  It looks a bit mangled here because the chef had to pick it apart to evaluate.


The only tasty part from this lab was the mango relish.   It goes really well on a lot of things, including fish and pork tenderloin.  This picture here actually combines two other posts (rainbow trout recipe and oven roasted tomatoes).  I tend to like tangy toppings so for this meal, I also added pickled onions.  The recipes for my two new favourite tangy toppings are below!


== Mango and Red Onion Relish ==


  • Mango (1)
  • Red onion (1/2)
  • Honey (30 mL)
  • Cider Vinegar (25 mL)
  • Chile peppers (1/4 piece)
  • Chives (6)
  • Thyme (1  sprig)
  • Salt and black pepper



  1. Combine honey and cider vinegar in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the consistency is syrupy (make sure it’s syrupy and reduced, otherwise it will be runny and mushy)
  2. Add onions and chill pepper and simmer until onion is soft
  3. Add mango, salt, pepper and finish with chives and thyme and warm through
  4. Cool and served chilled (or at room temperature)

== Sweet and Spicy Pickled Onions ==

This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen.  It goes really well with fish and steak tacos.  This can be refrigerated for up to a week in an airtight container


  • Red onion (one, sliced thin ~1.5 cups)
  • Red wine vinegar (1 cup)
  • Sugar (1/3 cup)
  • Jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, cut into thin rings (2)
  • Salt (1/4 teaspoon)


  1. Place onion in medium heatproof bowl
  2. Bring vinegar, sugar, jalapenos, and salt to simmer in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves
  3. Pour vinegar mixture over onion, cover loosely, let cool to room temperature (~30 minutes)
  4. Once cool, drain and discard liquid

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