Can't Beat the Heat? Try A Mexican Chile Pop!

Mexican Chile Pops and Cantaloupe Cucumber Chop Salad.

Before my last post, Adobo Grilled pork and Esquite Stuffed Onions, I went to a small Latin market to shop for chiles. I knew our grocery store would have ancho chiles, but I wasn't sure about the dried pasillas. Plus, I love these kind of markets! They always have such wondrous diversity and great deals!

After wondering around, dreaming of the infinite possibilities with the unique ingredients piled high on shelves, I found exactly what I needed and headed to the resister. In front of the counter was a freezer case filled with Mexican popsicles. The kiddos looked up at me with pleading eyes. It was a hot day after all, and there were so many to choose from! I started reading the flavors to the kids...coconut, pineapple, tamarind, lime, watermelon, banana, sour orange. Then I saw one simply labeled "Chile."

Now up to this point I wasn't craving a popsicle, but I had to know! What would a chile-flavored popsicle taste like? I had that inkling it might be something special! We walked outside and unwrapped our pops.

It was unreal. A delicate medley of cantaloupe, cucumber and lime, with an strong dose of salt and lingering heat from the little flecks of jalapeno throughout the pop. This brilliant amalgamation of sweet, salty, tart, spicy, and cooling flavors was a complete revelation! Wow, was all I could utter. "WOW!"

Clearly, I had to come home and recreate them. The family's response? My five-year-old repeatedly stated they were, "totally awesome!" The seven-year-old said, "It's so spicy, but I can't stop eating it!" And my husband has been telling everyone in sight about them for the last 3 days! You could say they were a hit!

Along with the pops, I made a quick chop salad using the same flavors. My little ones just wouldn't seem to get enough of this dish either--even with the jalapenos!

I hope you enjoy these sweet and spicy summertime dishes as much as we did!


Mexican Chile Pops

½ large ripe cantaloupe
1 medium peeled cucumber
Juice of 2 limes
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ cup sugar
1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
* I added 2 drops of red food coloring to enhance the color.

Roughly chop the cantaloupe and cucumber. Place them in a blender with lime juice, salt and sugar. Puree until smooth. Check the flavor—it should be equally sweet and salty. Add a little more sugar or salt if needed. Add ½ or all of the jalapeño to the blender. Pulse a few times.

Pour the mixture into small disposable cups. Place the cups in a baking dish and freeze for one hour. Push popsicle sticks into the center of each cup and return to the freezer.

Freeze until solid—about another hour. Makes 10-20 pops depending on the size of the cups!

Cantaloupe Cucumber Chop Salad

½ large ripe cantaloupe
1 large peeled cucumber
1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
2 Tb. grape seed oil
2 Tb. lime juice
2 Tb. agave nectar
1 tsp. salt
Garnish with mint leaves

Chop the cantaloupe and cucumbers into bite-sized cubes. Place in a large bowl. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients and toss with the cantaloupe and cucumbers. Sprinkle with small (or chopped) mint leaves and serve. Serves 4-6.