Coseppi Kitchen

Inclusive Vegetarian Cooking by Taylor Cook & James Seppi

Tips and Techniques

How to Slice a Mango

Fresh mangoes are becoming more and more common in grocery stores around North America. Unlike many fruits, mangoes are good in almost all states of ripeness the taste moving from sour to sweet the riper it gets. This means that you can shop for mangoes according to your personal preference.

If you love mangoes but are a novice at slicing them be sure to avoid the skin and the fiber around the large oblong seed in the center of the fruit as these are not delicious. Below is a technique that should help you avoid these hazards:

  1. Mangoes are ovoid reflecting the shape of the seed. Identify the narrow sides of the fruit and slice right and left thirds off the side. Reserve these portions of the fruit.
  2. Laying the center third flat on a cutting board remove two semi-ovoid sections of fruit around the seed. If you feel any resistance on your knife from the fibers surrounding the seed start again slicing closer to the periphery of the fruit. Slice the skin off with the knife.
  3. Using a spoon scoop the fruit from the left and right cheeks.
  4. Slice and use the fruit as directed.

Slicing into thirds; Removing fruit around the seed, Scooping out the fruit with a spoon


How to wrap a tamale

Wrapping tamales can potentially be a tedious process, but we hope that these photos will help you know that you are on the right track:

Spread the masa evenly across the bottom of corn husk in a 3 inch x 5 inch square

Add a tablespoon or two of the prepared filling to the center of the tamale

Roll the tamale by pressing the edges of the masa together.

Tap masa closed at the end of the tamale to further encase the filling.

You will notice that along the length of the tamale there is a seam and at the end you have a tail. Fold the tail to meet the seam and gently pinch the masa to make sure that the bottom is closed. When you lay the tamale down lay it tail down to keep the tamale closed.

How to cut an avocado like a pro

Almost nothing in the world is as delicious and nutritious as a fresh ripe avocado but neatly cutting one is a task that takes a little bit of technique. These steps should help:

  1. First cut the circumference of the avocado from top to bottom all the way to the pit.
  2. Gently twist the avocado to separate the two halves; the pit should separate into one of the halves.
  3. Hold the half with the pit firmly in your non-dominant hand, and using a heavy knife, carefully strike the pit with a single firm blow. The knife should stick in the pit and with a twist and pull you should be able to easily remove it.
  4. Now you can simply peel the two avocado halves and use as directed.

Slice and separate; remove the pit; two perfect halves.


Roasted Peppers

In my opinion, all peppers taste better if they have been roasted. Roasting adds depth to the flavor of mild or sweet peppers and it helps mellow the heat in spicy peppers.


  • Peppers of your choice
  • Olive or vegetable oil cooking spray


  • Knife
  • Baking sheet
  • Air-tight container


  1. Prepare the peppers by removing the caps and seeds.  Cut in half if appropriate for your recipe.
  2. Arrange the peppers (cut side down) on the baking sheet.
  3. Spray the skins of the peppers lightly with the cooking spray.
  4. Place the peppers in the oven and broil on high (about 500 degrees Fahrenheit) until the skins have blackened.  Pay close attention here because you can easily burn the peppers too much. If using whole peppers, you might need to flip them partway through the roasting.
  5. Carefully transfer the hot peppers to an airtight container and allow them to steam themselves and cool for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Remove and discard the pepper skins. The roasted peppers are now ready to use or consume.

Roasted orange bell peppers in the oven

Tip: You can roast a variety of different peppers at the same time, but keep an eye on the smaller ones. They may blacken faster and need to be removed from the oven sooner. You want the skins to char, not the flesh!

Fresh Cheese

Fresh cheese, also known as queso fresco or paneer, is an important ingredient in many traditional Latin and South Asian dishes.  While cheese making may seem like a daunting task, this mild, soft, unaged cheese is extremely easy to make at home and only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.

Whole milk curd draining in a cheese cloth lined colander.


  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar


  • medium sauce pan
  • spoon
  • cheese cloth
  • colander


  1.  Heat milk and salt in a medium sauce pan. Stir occasionally to prevent the milk from burning.
  2. When the milk starts to boil turn the heat down low and add 3 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar. Stir gently while the curds form.
  3. After about 5 minutes all of the curd will have formed and you can pour the curdled milk in to a cheese cloth lined colander and allow to cool about 10 minutes.
  4. In the cheese cloth, gently squeeze the cheese into a ball and extract excess liquid.  Now it is ready to use!

Tip: Retain the liquid that separates from the curd, or whey, and serve it to your favorite spoiled cat or dog over dry pet food.


Cam, the four legged beneficiary of our whey disposal.

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