Yesterday, we asked about eating spicy food in hot weather, and some of you mentioned dishes that are both heating and cooling, such as fruit sprinkled with chile powder. We just tried a recipe for a frozen version of this popular Mexican combination.
We love Mexican paletas, or ice pops, which are made with fresh fruit and are not overly sugary. They frequently include sweet and savory flavors, like mango and chile, plum and salt, or rice and cinnamon. We usually buy them at paleterías and from street vendors, but we thought we'd try making some in our own freezer.
We used Gaby Camacho's recipe for cucumber paletas with lime and chile, and they are intensely fiery and refreshing. The popsicles include habanero chile powder, which settles and concentrates towards the tip, making for a scorching beginning which is then tempered by cucumber ice as you work your way down. The addition of lime juice is invigorating, and little sugar and salt round out the flavor.
We would definitely make them again, although next time we might go a bit lighter on the habanero (we are wimps!) or experiment with other chile powders in our spice cabinet, such as ancho, chipotle, or cayenne. We would also use one or two more cucumbers than the original recipe calls for, as we found that two cucumbers yielded fewer than two cups of juice.
• Get the recipe: Paleta de Pepino con Limon y Chile (Cucumber Ice Pop With Lime & Chile), by Gaby Camacho for San Francisco Chronicle
(Image: Emily Ho)