Mexican Fruit Salad
I know - it sounds weird, but give it a try. You will be amazed how good chili powder tastes on fruit!Yield: 10-12 side portions
|1/2 cup||dried chile de árbol|
|12 cups||fruit diced into 1-inch chunks - any combination of watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, papaya, pineapple, orange, coconut, jicama and even cucumbers works well|
|1/3 cup||freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste|
|skillet, spice grinder or mortar and pestle, salad bowl|
Toast the dried chile de árbol peppers in a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes till fragrant and toasted-- the seeds should turn golden. Careful not to let the chili toast too much or burn.
Take the toasted chile peppers out of the skillet, leaving the loose seeds behind to discard.
Combine the toasted peppers and 1 tsp salt, then make the toasted chiles into powder. You can use a mortar and pestle to grind the chiles and salt to a powder-- this will take 10 minutes or so and a lot of elbow grease. Or, you can grind the peppers and salt together in a spice grinder. Either way, be careful not to inhale the powder-- it's really spicy and will make your nose burn! Also don't touch your eyes while working with the chiles and chile powder.
In a salad bowl, toss the cubed fruit with fresh lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt. Add additional salt or lemon juice to taste, if desired.
Serve fruit salad alongside the toasted chile powder. Guests can sprinkle the chile powder onto their individual salad serving to taste. Younger and spice-sensitive guests may prefer the salad without the spicy powder, and people like varying degrees of spiciness, which is why the chile powder is traditionally served on the side. You may have some chili powder left over, which you can use for future fruit salads, or to sprinkle on chicken or fish-- anywhere you need a salty, spicy kick! Also, Sandra recommends drinking the juice at the bottom of the fruit salad bowl because it is delicious. :)