Saturday, December 12, 2009

Short and Sweet

Craving something sweet today with not much in the house - toast and nutella used to be the old sure-fire - now though, thanks to Sudan's heat or a wiser gullet, bread and chocolate don't move me like they used to.

So the lovely Papaya beckoned. Lots you can do with a papaya: cubed with avocado, blended with banana, sliced with salt and lime...but straight up, maybe with a squeeze of lime, when the papaya is at its peak, is heaven.

Alas, today heaven was not on the ground floor. Our papaya, attractive is she was, was not quite ripe. Hmmm...what can we do to make this baby ripe and delicious - now?

Yes, in search of the proverbial shortcut to heaven.

Found it in my kitchen this afternoon, and it is a stairway of sorts. Just one flight of fancy away.

Cook it! (bingo!)
Yes, certainly. What's in the house?

Chili peppers, check - (1/3 red & 1/3 yellow med. size, med. heat chilis)
brown sugar, check - (1 1/2 Tbs.)
shea oil, check - (1 TBS - olive oil can split or sub if available)
salt, check - (nice pinch)
lime,check! - (1/2 lime per 3 slices papaya)
Papaya? Check! (de-seeded and sliced into three 1/2" slabs )

Heat the oil in skillet over medium heat, mixing in diced chiles while they sizzle for 1/2 minute.
Sprinkle brown sugar and pinch of salt across pan evenly. At point of caramelization, place 3 papaya slabs on pan. Sautee on med-high flame, without breaking papaya rings, about 2 1/2 minutes each side, until nicely cooked and syrupy.

Serve in all its juices with a squeeze of lime.

A little reminder that even if it may be hiding, Heaven is in the house.