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Spicy Jicama, Cucumber and Fruit Skewers

This image courtesy of Professor Paul Elledge

Here’s a slightly dressy way to serve that beloved street food snack of fruit or jícama or cucumber (or, in this preparation, all of them) jazzed up with lime, chile and salt—the seasoning pillars of Mexican street food. While I always want to include the fresh crunch of jícama on these skewers, the other elements are easily substituted. Try cantaloupe (or other melon), orange segments, peaches, raw quince or apple or pear And, while pure powdered guajillo chile gives a distinctively Mexican character with its wonderfully rich flavor and bright (but not overpowering) heat. There are other options: guajillo can be replaced by powdered ancho chile, New Mexico or California chile, or paprika with a little super-spicy cayenne, árbol or chipotle chile powder mixed in. Cutting the fruits and vegetables in circles creates a very beautiful presentation—and a fair amount of waste. Feel free to choose any shape you like. But, make sure to peel the jícama with a knife, not a vegetable peeler. So that you can go deeply enough to remove all the fibrous exterior

NotesWorking Ahead: The skewers can be put together a day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Sprinkle with the spicy salt when you’re ready to serve.

Makes8 skewers, serving 8 as a tapa or snack

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party

Recipe Coursesnack, tapas/small plates

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealsnack

Taste and Texturehot & spicy, sweet

Type of Dishfruit, skewer

Ingredients

  • 1 small (about ¾ pound) jícama, peeled and cut into ¾-inch slices
  • 1 English (long, thin-skin, hot-house) cucumber, cut into ¾-inch slices
  • ½ small pineapple, peeled and cut into ¾-inch slices
  • 2 large (about 2 pounds total) mangos, peeled, flesh cut from the pit in large slices
  • 8 bamboo skewers
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons powdered guajillo chile
  • 2 teaspoons fine-ground table salt

Instructions

  1. Using a 1½ inch round cutter, cut circles out of the jícama, cucumber, pineapple and mango slices. Thread the circles on the skewers and arrange them on a serving platter. Surround the skewers with lime wedges. In a small shaker (a salt shaker works fine here), thoroughly mix together the powdered chile and salt. Secure the top and lightly sprinkle the skewers. Serve the remaining chile-salt mixture on the side, for guests to add al gusto.

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