Strawberry Salsa — for dessert!

Strawberry Salsa
Finely diced jalapeno adds a touch of heat to fruit salsa and ice cream.
I couldn’t resist following Rita’s Versatile Strawberry Salsa with my Jalapeno Fruit Salsa for ice cream! A client I’ve enjoyed developing recipes for over the years is Häagan–Dazs Ice Cream. The projects are usually for a new flavor, so I get a sample carton before it’s even on the grocery shelf. Often, my first thought is “this ice cream is already so delicious, what dessert can I create to make the ice cream even better?”  Oh well, someone has to do it! 

A few years ago Mayan Chocolate was the new flavor up for experimentation. My family had just vacationed in Cabo San Lucas and one of my daughters thought fruit salsa would be a natural for the Mexican-themed ice cream. Why not? I experimented with fresh fruits and various heat-producing ingredients like jalapeno, ground cayenne pepper, and crystallized ginger. My favorite combinations were strawberries and mango with jalapeno, and strawberries and pineapple with ginger. 

Sadly for this recipe, the Mayan Chocolate was a short-run special flavor no longer available. But Häagan-Dazs Dark Chocolate, or Chocolate Chocolate Chip, or FIVE Milk Chocolate are excellent runners up.

Don’t be shy with the hot pepper because dairy neutralizes some of the capsaicim, which is the heat producing compound in chiles. To get the full flavor contrast of heat and sweet with the chocolate ice cream, the salsa needs to be spicy.  Hope you like it! 

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Jalapeno Fruit Salsa
Prep time: 10 minutes     Makes: 2 cups, about 4 servings.

1 cup diced strawberries
1 cup diced mango
1-2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeno or serrano chile
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Combine strawberries and mango.  Stir in chile (adjust to taste depending on heat level of chile), and sugar.  Let stand at room temperature 1 hour for flavors to blend.  (Or refrigerate up to 12 hours.)  Spoon over servings of chocolate ice cream.

Ginger Fruit Salsa variation: Substitute diced pineapple for mango, and chopped crystallized ginger for the chile.

Nutrients per serving: 350 calories; 19 gr fat (11 gr saturated); 95 mg cholesterol; 40 mg carbohydrate; 6 gr protein; 34 gr sugars; 3 gr fiber; 55 gr sodium.

An original recipe by Rosemary Mark for Häagan–Dazs         Photo: Eskite Photography

Kitchen notes for chiles:
I like to wear disposable food-safe gloves when handling chiles, to avoid accidently contacting skin or eyes with the capsaicin compound which can burn. Before chopping chiles, slice the stem off, then cut lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and membrane with the tip of a knife.  Wash knife and cutting board thoroughly after use because the capsaicin can transfer to other foods!

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