Thursday, May 28, 2009

Three-Pepper Papaya Salsa

Fresh, ripe papaya and three different hot peppers combine to deliver layers of flavor and fire in this tropical salsa. Papaya is not quite as sweet as mango and has a milder but exotic flavor that pairs nicely with grilled meat, pork, chicken and seafood. Red jalapenos have a natural sweetness because they're ripe, and they don't have that sharp vegetal flavor edge of green jalapenos. However, if you can't find red jalapenos, you can certainly use a green one. You can also substitute a scotch bonnet pepper for the red habanero. The three types of peppers in this recipe bring different flavor notes and heat characteristics, making this recipe a favorite of fans of fiery foods. Enjoy this salsa with grilled pork chops and other grilled fare, and it's especially nice with Cajun blackened fish or as a side for Jamaican jerked chicken.

1 large ripe papaya or 2 small ripe papayas
1 red habanero pepper
1 red jalapeno pepper
1 serrano pepper
1 small red onion, diced
3 to 4 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 lime
Salt to taste

Cut the papaya in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Peel the papaya and then dice the flesh into a bowl. Slit each pepper in half and de-seed (I recommend wearing plastic gloves to protect your skin while handling the peppers). Finely dice the peppers and add to the bowl, together with the diced onion. Carefully grate the rind of the lime, avoiding the bitter white pith, and add the grated rind to the bowl. Then slice the lemon in half and sqeeze the juice into the bowl. Add the cilantro to the bowl, plus a pinch of salt. Mix everything together thoroughly, and taste to see if you want to add a little more salt. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

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