Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have another restaurant inspired dish for you! I say inspired because it is actually quite different from the original. This time it’s from a New England classic – Legal Sea Foods. There’s a few restaurants Matt and I have been to over and over and Legal Sea Foods is definitely in that category. It helps that there’s a lot of them here in Massachusetts and that we’ve always seemed to have one near us, whether it was the one in Chestnut Hill while we were still at Boston College or the one in Harvard Square that we could walk to when we lived in Cambridge.

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple  |  Lemon & Mocha

It was at their Harvard Square location that we first tried their Thai style fried calamari. It is described on the menu simply as “Thai style – pineapple and peanuts,” and when it came out we could smell the rich peanut sauce.

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple  |  Lemon & Mocha

The crispy fried calamari was smothered in an addictive peanut sauce, scallions, chopped peanuts and pineapple chunks. We were hooked! They are actually pretty spicy and normally I cannot do spice, but I will happily suffer through every time just for some of these saucy, crispy calamari bites!

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple  |  Lemon & Mocha

Now if you’re wondering why I’m talking about calamari when this is clearly a shrimp recipe that is a big part of why I’m using the word “inspired.” This Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple can be served as a party appetizer or as a main course alongside some rice and salad.

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple  |  Lemon & Mocha

The panko breadcrumbs, which are already crunchy, get pre-baked to ensure they create the crispiest coating for the shrimp. The shredded coconut is another departure from the original, but I love the flavor combination along with the peanut sauce and pineapple. A little savory, a little sweet and a whole lot of deliciousness. I hope you enjoy these Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple!

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple  |  Lemon & Mocha

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the shrimp
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • Salt and pepper
for the peanut sauce
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter (don’t use natural peanut butter)
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons light coconut milk or water (depending on how thick you want your sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Directions
for the shrimp
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the panko and coconut on a baking sheet then bake until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss with ½ teaspoon salt.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a wire cooling rack on top of baking sheet then spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set up a breading station for the shrimp with three shallow bowls. Place the flour tossed with salt and pepper in the first one. Add the beaten eggs to the second one and the panko mixture to the third.
  3. Bread the shrimp. Coat with the flour, shaking off excess, then dip in the egg, letting excess drip off. Coat completely in the panko mixture then place on the prepared wire rack. Repeat until all the shrimp are breaded then bake for 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately along with the peanut sauce, chopped peanuts, scallions and pineapple.
for the peanut sauce
  1. Whisk everything together until combined.
Notes
If you don’t want to use coconut, just omit it and add an additional ½ cup of panko.

Baked shrimp recipe from Pinch and Swirl.

Plum Pie Cookies

Plum Pie Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

There is no time for stories today because we need to start talking about these Plum Pie Cookies now! These are the August Cookies from the Food Network Magazine Calendar of Cookies and they hit a home run with this recipe. Even though they are called cookies, the pie part of the name is much more accurate. Essentially small hand pies, these Plum Pie Cookies are flaky, buttery, tart and dangerously delicious.

Plum Pie Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The cookies are made from a pie crust that has more sugar than normal, which I think Food Network did to try to take them from a pie to cookie category. The perfectly jammy inside is made from tossing some fresh plums with sugar, cinnamon and a little flour. Plums can be a little sweet and a little tart; a winning combination for these cookies.

Plum Pie Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I don’t know if I mentioned it previously or not, but even though Matt is a fan of lots of different types of dessert, his absolute favorite is pie. Specifically cherry pie. However, I kid you not that might have changed with the baking of these Plum Pie Cookies as Matt announced that if these are the pie dessert I choose to make for the rest of eternity he would be ecstatic. Cherry pie recipe search over – Plum Pie Cookies have been crowned the ultimate dessert.

Plum Pie Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt is slowly turning me into more of a pie person and I was also quite smitten with these Plum Pie Cookies. I say that so modestly, while the real truth is I ate three the first day I made them and none from this batch made it out of the house or to the freezer. Oops. I’m perfectly fine with these cookies being in the regular dessert rotation, at least during plum season, because although there’s a fair amount of steps the recipe wasn’t complicated.

Plum Pie Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you’ve worked with pie dough before then you know what to expect; if you haven’t the one thing I would want you to know about pie dough is that it is easier to roll, cut and pick up when it is cold. The original Food Network recipe skipped a lot of nuances when it comes to chilling the dough in a way that keeps the process from getting frustrating so I added in a lot more detail in the recipe below to take you through how I went about making the cookies. When you make these Plum Pie Cookies don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments!

Plum Pie Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Plum Pie Cookies
 
Yield: 18 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten, plus 1 beaten egg for brushing
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 small plums
  • Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Directions
  1. In a food processor, pulse 2½ cups of the flour, ½ cup of the sugar and the salt until combined. Add the butter cubes and pulse until the flour mixture looks crumbly. Add 1 beaten egg and pulse until the dough comes together. Divide the dough into 2 balls. Work each dough ball into a disk and place each disk on a separate piece of wax or parchment paper. Place another piece of wax paper on top of each and then roll out each into an 11-inch to 12-inch round, about ⅛-inch thick. Place both round sheets in the fridge and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Take the first round sheet out of the fridge. Use a circle cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to cut out 2½-inch rounds as close together as possible. Place the rounds on one of the baking sheets and return to the fridge. Put the scraps aside. Take the second round sheet out of the fridge and repeat the cutting out process. After returning the second baking sheet to the fridge, take all the scraps and shape into a disk before placing on a piece of wax or parchment paper. Place another piece of wax paper on top then roll into an 11-inch to 12-inch round, about ⅛-inch thick. Place in the fridge.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining ½ cup sugar, the remaining tablespoon of flour and the cinnamon. Halve, pit and thinly slice the plums. I cut each plum in half then cut each half into 10 thin slices. Then cut each slice in half crosswise. Toss the plum slices in with the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Take one of the baking sheets out of the fridge. Arrange it so you have 9 rounds on the baking sheet. Lightly brush the edges of each of the 9 rounds with the remaining beaten egg. Place 4 plum pieces in the middle of each round then top with a second round of dough (taking more from the second baking sheet in the fridge if you need them). Press the edges to seal them crimp the edges with a fork. Cut 4 small vents on the top of each cookie. Put the baking sheet in the freezer while you work on the second batch.
  5. Take the second baking sheet out of the fridge. Arrange it so you have 9 rounds on the baking sheet. Repeat the steps with the beaten egg and the plums. Top with the rounds you have then take the remaining large round sheet of dough made from the scraps out of the fridge and cut out the remaining rounds. After sealing, crimping and cutting vents remove the first baking sheet from the freezer and replace with this second one.
  6. Lightly brush the cookies with some beaten egg and then sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Let them cool completely on the pan set on a wire cooling rack. Take the second baking sheet from the freezer and repeat.

 Recipe from January/February 2019 issue of Food Network Magazine.

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Classic Ice Cream Cake

Classic Ice Cream Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

Classic Ice Cream Cake! Yes! This is the recipe that has been missing from Lemon & Mocha for far too long. As you all know, myself and my family are all obsessed with ice cream. And let’s be honest, most people are obsessed with ice cream. So when you tell people the cake you made is not just a cake, but an ice cream cake, you are guaranteed to get an overly enthusiastic response.

Classic Ice Cream Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

Other than my Perfect Chocolate Chips Cookies and my Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes, ice cream cakes are the dessert I have made the most. I was debating titling this recipe Classic Birthday Ice Cream Cake, but this cake is too delicious and versatile to be relegated to only birthdays. Family cookouts, graduation parties, 4th of July, that random Tuesday when you got an ice cream cake craving – all valid celebrations for this cake.

Classic Ice Cream Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve shared plenty of ice cream pie recipes on here before, from the decadent Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae Ice Cream Pie to the flavor-packed Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie to the fan favorite Stracciatella Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato Pie, and while those are all great specialty options, this recipe is for a full cake version and is called classic for a reason. We have a bottom crunch layer followed by two layers of ice cream that sandwich together another crunch layer and a sauce layer. The whole cake is then frosted with whipped cream, just like you would get at your neighborhood ice cream shop or Dairy Queen.

Classic Ice Cream Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

The beauty of this cake, aside from it being a definite crowd-pleaser (although that might be a bad thing if you were expecting leftovers!), is that you can customize it to your favorite ice cream flavors, preferred crunch ingredient and ideal sauce component. My Dad had a big birthday over the weekend (70!) and since he is the ultimate ice cream fanatic I had to bust out this ice cream cake. I went fairly traditional, using Oreo cookie crumbs for the crunch layer, chocolate ganache for the sauce layer and chocolate and black raspberry ice cream. The combination was pure perfection! What is your ideal ice cream cake combination?

Classic Ice Cream Cake  |  Lemon & MochaWhat flavors of ice cream should I use?
Whatever flavors you prefer! You will need 1.5 quarts of each flavor. You could go traditional with vanilla and chocolate or mix it up with cookies and cream and peanut butter cup!

What should I use for the crunch layer?
Oreo cookie crumbs and graham cracker crumbs are my two favorites. I like to use Oreo cookie crumbs when I’m using chocolate in the cake and graham cracker crumbs when I’m having a more vanilla or fruit-forward flavored ice cream cake. Speculoos cookie crumbs, crushed pretzels and chocolate chip cookie crumbs are other great options. This is a great layer to adapt based on the season as well, such as gingersnap cookies in the fall or peppermint cookies in the winter. Whatever you use, make sure they are crumbs and not chunks.

What should I use for the sauce layer?
Chocolate ganache is my go-to since everyone loves it. It has a great fudgy texture in the ice cream cake. Ganache sounds fancy, but it’s easy to make: heat cream then stir in chocolate chips and butter until melted and smooth. You could make a peanut butter version by using peanut butter chips instead. Or go in a completely different direction and use marshmallow topping.

Classic Ice Cream Cake  |  Lemon & MochaWhat size pan should I use?
I use a 9-inch springform pan that I line with two pieces of plastic wrap to make it even easier to take the cake out. The springform pan is nice because it is deep and you’re able to take off the ring for easy removal; a regular 9-inch cake pan will not be deep enough. Alternatively if you use a 9-inch by 3-inch round cake pan then it should be deep enough.

How do I make the ice cream layers smooth?
I was making ice cream cakes for years before I stumbled on this little trick: beat your ice cream to make it spreadable without making it melty. I use the paddle attachment on my stand mixer. If you try to scoop right from the ice cream container into the cake pan you will get a combination of ice cream that is both too melted and too hard to be smoothed and packed in properly. You can certainly do it that way, I just wouldn’t recommend it. Beating the ice cream is the best way to ensure all the ice cream will fit in the pan and you will have smooth and packed ice layers when you cut into the cake.

How do I frost the cake with whipped cream?
Frosting with whipped cream can be a little fussy so I’ve taken special care to write up a detailed step-by-step in the recipe. It’s not complicated; I’ve just found there are certain steps you need to follow if you want it looking like the ice cream cakes you get at your local shop. After you do it once you will be a pro for life! I used a Wilton #22 star tip for the piping. If you don’t need it looking picture perfect you can skip all those steps and just pile a whole bunch of whipped cream on the top of your cake. It will still taste just as good!

Classic Ice Cream Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

Classic Ice Cream Cake
 
Yield: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 2⅓ cups Oreo cookie crumbs (about 18 Oreos)
  • 1½ quarts chocolate ice cream
  • 2½ cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1⅓ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ quarts black raspberry ice cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles, for decorating
Directions
  1. Line a 9-inch springform pan with plastic wrap so it goes up and over the sides. I use 2 pieces. Spread 1 cup of the Oreo cookie crumbs into the lined springform. Use the flat bottom of a small measuring cup to press down firmly into an even layer.
  2. Scoop the container of chocolate ice cream into the bowl of a stand mixer then beat with your paddle attachment until smooth and spreadable. Use a rubber spatula to spoon over the cookie crumb layer and spread into an even layer. Put in the freezer.
  3. Make the chocolate ganache. Heat ½ cup of the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until just steaming. Reduce heat to low and add the chocolate chips. Stir until melted then add the butter. Stir until the butter has melted and the ganache is smooth and shiny. Remove from the heat and let cool. Once the ganache has cooled (doesn’t need to be room temperature, just not too warm), take the ice cream cake from the freezer and add the remaining 1⅓ cups Oreo crumbs. Spread into an even layer, pressing down slightly. Pour the cooled chocolate ganache over top and return the cake to the freezer.
  4. Once the ganache has mostly set, scoop the container of black raspberry ice cream into the bowl of a stand mixer then beat with your paddle attachment until smooth and spreadable. Use a rubber spatula to spoon over the chocolate ganache layer and spread into an even layer. Put in the freezer and let set until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Make the whipped cream. Place a metal mixing bowl or the metal bowl of a stand mixer in the freezer along with the metal beaters or beater for 5-10 minutes. Remove and add the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream (make sure your cream is cold), powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form. If you just want to frost the top of the cake, follow the directions in the note at the bottom of the recipe. If you want to frost the cake with the whipped cream like in the photos, keep reading.
  6. Take the cake out of the freezer and open the ring of the springform pan. Use the plastic wrap to lift up the cake; carefully remove the plastic wrap and transfer the cake to a cake board or platter (that will still fit in your freezer). Working quickly, cover the top and sides of the cake with a crumb coat of the whipped cream. This means you put a light layer all over the cake, but there will be ice cream and cookie crumbs in it. This will help give you a smooth surface for the next layer. Return to the freezer until mostly firm (and store the whipped cream, still in the metal bowl, in the fridge). When the crumb coat is firm, remove from the freezer and use an offset spatula to apply a second coat of the whipped cream on the top and sides, smoothing as you go. Return to the freezer. At this point you will probably need to re-whip your whipped cream in order for it to be stiff enough to pipe. Re-whip the whipped cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Add the whipped cream to a piping bag fit with your preferred piping tip. I used a Wilton #22 star tip. Take the cake from the freezer and pipe stars all along the top border. Then pipe a decorative line around the bottom edge of the cake where it meets the cake board or platter. Decorate with sprinkles and store in the freezer until ready to serve. The cake can usually be cut right out of the freezer with a sharp knife.
Notes
- This recipe calls for the entire Oreo cookie including the creme filling.
- You can make the ganache ahead of time if you prefer. Store in the fridge until ready to use and then gently heat in the microwave until smooth and pourable before using.
- If you just want to frost the top of the cake, follow these directions: Pile the whipped cream on top and leave in the freezer until ready to serve. When ready to serve, open the ring of the springform pan. Use the plastic wrap to lift up the cake; carefully remove the plastic wrap and transfer the cake to a cake board or platter.

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Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree  |  Lemon & Mocha

Do you like cooking out of your comfort zone? To me, cooking out of my comfort zone is when I cook with an ingredient or technique I haven’t used before, or cooking something I normally only order at a restaurant. I usually resist it, but sometimes I take the chance and it’s not only easy, but crazy delicious.

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree  |  Lemon & Mocha

So what exactly is this meal? Creamy coconut sticky rice piled high with savory chicken and fresh mango puree. Each bite is like a comforting explosion of sweet and salty flavors balancing each other perfectly.

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve had sticky rice plenty of time at restaurants, but I’ve never thought to make it at home. Sticky rice is different than say sticky sushi rice; sticky rice, which is also called sweet rice or glutinous rice, is very, very sticky and a little sweet. Oddly, even though it is called glutinous rice there is no gluten in it. We’re cooking it in coconut milk so it soaks up all that creaminess and richness.

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree  |  Lemon & Mocha

The chicken is cooked right in a skillet and the soy sauce adds a saltiness that pairs really well with the sticky rice. The final component is a simple mango puree. I say simple because it’s literally fresh (or thawed frozen) mangoes blended until smooth with a little salt and pepper.

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree  |  Lemon & Mocha

You’re going to want to be very generous with your mango puree serving and make sure you drizzle it over every nook and cranny of your Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowl. Matt couldn’t believe the sauce was just mango and proceeded to use the leftovers on everything he could find in the fridge. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree
 
Yield: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup glutinous or sweet rice
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Green Dragon Sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 mangoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Directions
  1. Soak the rice in the water for 30-60 minutes. Then, add the rice, soaking liquid and the coconut milk to a small medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low, cover halfway to allow steam to escape and simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
  2. While the rice is cooking, make the chicken. Season the chicken. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat then sear the chicken on both sides. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic, ginger, hot sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil. Cover the skillet and continue to cook on low heat until the chicken reaches 165 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, leaving the sauce. Shred the chicken then return to the sauce and mix well.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, make the mango puree. Peel and pit the mangoes. Puree in a high-speed blender with a little salt and pepper until smooth. To plate the meal, scoop some sticky rice into each bowl then top with the chicken, sesame seeds, chopped cilantro and plenty of mango puree.

Recipe adapted from Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Grilled Avocado Stuffed with Mango Salsa

Grilled Avocado Stuffed with Mango Salsa  |  Lemon & Mocha

I never thought a warm avocado sounded appetizing, much less crave-worthy. Then a few years ago I got fish tacos at Border Cafe, which came served alongside a grilled avocado stuffed with mango salsa, and I was a complete convert. As in, every time we’ve gone to Border Cafe since, which is often, I get the same dish just so I can have the grilled avocado with mango salsa. Okay, okay, the fish tacos are really awesome as well, but the grilled avocado is the real draw.

Grilled Avocado Stuffed with Mango Salsa  |  Lemon & Mocha

After years of having it at the restaurant I realized I needed to try making it at home. I mean, it’s literally just half an avocado that has been grilled and topped with citrus-packed mango salsa. I say “just” as though it isn’t the most magical combination you never knew you needed in your life until that first bite – which it is! My version doesn’t taste exactly like the original, especially since we all know I’m not a fan of spicy foods, but the essence of it is the same.

Grilled Avocado Stuffed with Mango Salsa  |  Lemon & Mocha

I wanted a bit of crunch in the salsa since mango and avocado are both creamy so I added jicama. Even though jicama looks kind of like a potato, it’s crispy, juicy and a little sweet like an apple. It added the perfect textural element to the salsa. I also added classic Mexican flavors like lime juice, lime zest, cilantro and jalapeño.

Grilled Avocado Stuffed with Mango Salsa  |  Lemon & Mocha

The punchy and sweet salsa spooned up with a big bite of the warm, grilled avocado is all you need in a summer meal. I’m not sure exactly what is so good about a grilled avocado, but the top gets a little charred while the inside stays creamy as always. Make sure you are using fully ripe avocados for this dish; no hard avocados allowed!

Grilled Avocado Stuffed with Mango Salsa  |  Lemon & Mocha

These Grilled Avocados Stuffed with Mango Salsa could be served with all sorts of dishes, particularly any type of grilled fish, tacos or grilled steak, pork or chicken. I know I basically just named all the proteins, but avocado and mango go with so many of them! I served them with something a little unique, which I will be sharing with you all next week. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Grilled Avocado Stuffed with Mango Salsa  |  Lemon & Mocha

Grilled Avocado Stuffed with Mango Salsa
 
Yield: 4 stuffed avocado halves
Ingredients
  • 1 finely diced ripe mango, about 1¼ cup
  • ⅓ cup peeled and diced jicama
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (use parsley if you don’t like cilantro)
  • ½ jalapeño, seeds removed and finely chopped (leave seeds if you like spicy food)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Zest from ½ lime
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 avocados, halved and pits removed
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
Directions
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the mango, jicama, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, lime zest and salt. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
  2. Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Lightly brush the flesh of the avocado halves with olive oil then grill, flesh side down, for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately fill with the mango salsa and serve.