Mango, habanero & lime ice pops

Summer doesn’t start for a good couple of weeks but it seems like nobody bothered to tell Mother Nature. Everything is growing like a weed, including – sadly – the weeds. Some old soul once said that a weed is just a flower growing in the wrong place. Thanks. Please do remind me of that next time I’m on my hands and knees, yanking out another ‘flower’.

And then there are the sounds of summer. The birds tweeting, the leaves rustling in the breeze, and your neighbor swearing (loudly) as he tries to start the riding lawnmower. Of course, there are always the folks across the street who decided to tear up their lawn and replace it with a paved patio, astro turf and giant plastic kids’ pool. Smile and wave. To each his own.

And you? You eye that spot in the shade and dream of something cold to eat and a restorative nap, camouflaged as ‘reading’. A chile-spiked ice pop is just what the doctor ordered. Eat it quickly before it melts and ignore the weed – I mean flower – growing next to you.

Makes 12 x 1.25oz ice pops

1 large mango, just under 1lb., peeled and pit removed

2 oz / ¼ cup granulated sugar

1/8 tsp habañero powder, or more to taste

zest & juice of 1 lime

juice of 1 orange


To garnish:

Chile pequin

Shredded coconut

Chopped pistachios

Make sure you cut away all of the flesh surrounding the mango pit and capture any juices too. Coarsely chop the flesh and place it and any juices in a saucepan with the sugar and 6 ounces / ¾ cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes – until the mango is soft but not mushy. Add the habanero powder and blitz in a blender until smooth.

Place the mixture in the fridge and when it’s cool, add the lime zest and two juices. Give it a stir, taste, and add a dash more chile powder if you desire.

Sprinkle your preferred garnishes in the bottom of each mould, top with the chilled mixture and then finish with more garnishes – or leave ‘naked’ if you like. Insert the sticks and carefully place in the freezer. Freeze for at least 4 hours until frozen solid. Pop out of the moulds and eat.

Green chile & lime crab with avocado & mango salad

Folks think that at the Chile Trail we’re all about the heat and the hotter the better. Sure, we like things spicy but I’m here to tell you that there is a kinder, gentler side to us too.

Because the truth is, chile doesn’t have to hit you like an 18-wheeler to be good. It doesn’t have to rip your taste buds out and dip them into a hot lava flow. It doesn’t – well, you get the idea, right? Au contraire, mon ami (that’s French btw, and roughly translates “on the contrary sweet lips”).

Chile can be subtle. Chile can be smooth. Chile can be a tease. And frankly, not every dish is up to a Scoville busting, mouth incinerating blast of heat. Take this dish of crab, avocado and mango. It has a hint of heat thanks to some mighty fine Green Chile Powder. A nice hit of lime and a bit of mayo and you’ve something that sings. A sassy little salad on the side of mango and avocado and you’ll hitting all the high notes.

Yes, it’s got chile. Yes, it’s got some heat. But it’s also got class written all over it. And at the Chile Trail we ain’t nothing if we ain’t classy.

Green chile & lime crab with avocado & mango salad

Limes vary tremendously with the amount of juice they give you so you’ll need to do a bit of tasting and testing but we figure around 1- 1 ½ should do you. And don’t scrimp on the mayo – use a nice quality one, it’s worth it.

Serves 3-4

1 lb white crab meat

zest of 1 lime

juice of 1- 1 ½ limes

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp Green Chile Powder, or more to taste

1 avocado, chopped

1 mango, chopped


Lettuce leaves

Green Chile Caribe to garnish

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the mayonnaise, Green Chile Powder and half of the lime juice and half of the lime zest together. Add the crab meat and mix gently. Taste, season with salt and add more Green Chile Powder if desired. Place in the fridge covered until ready to serve.

Mix the chopped avocado and mango in a separate bowl, add the remaining lime juice and a generous sprinkle of sea salt.

Place some lettuce leaves on each plate. Divide the crab evenly between the plates along with some of the avocado and mango salad. Garnish with the remaining lime zest and a sprinkle of Green Chile Caribe.




Chile Mango Salsa

Mangos are sexy. There, I’ve said it. Sure, it’s a tropical fruit and we know tropical is sexy but it’s more than that. They’re lush and perfumed…juicy and succulent. Hold a ripe mango up to your nose and take a deep whiff and you’ll know what I’m talking about: it’s heaven. And the best thing – that lovely sweetness isn’t afraid to stand up to chile. In fact, the two were made for each other.


Once upon a time, it was tough to get mangos but now it’s pretty easy. Most of our mangos come from Mexico, Haiti, the Caribbean and South America but you’ll find them growing in tropical climates all over the world. The countries where we get our mangos from have two main growing seasons so you can usually find mangos year round. And you’ll find some homegrown mangos from Florida, Hawaii, California and Puerto Rico.

For something that tastes so decadently sweet, mangos are surprisingly good for you. Actually, astonishingly good for you.They’ve got loads of Vitamins A and C and buckets of potassium. And very high fiber too, if I might add. And best of all they’re low calorie – about 110 calories for an average mango. Not bad.


I think what puts some people off mangos is slicing them and I’ll be honest, it is a bit of a fiddle. There is a fairly large stone in the middle which the flesh clings too so you can’t simply slice it in half like an avocado. You’ve got to slice around the stone and then take the skin off. It’s no big deal and I share my tips to make it easy in the recipe. Or go online and check out a video tutorial.

Lastly, before you slice into a mango, make sure it’s ripe. You can’t always tell by the color. Different varieties can be dark green, vibrant yellow or yellow and green with a red blush that makes it look like a really delicious Tequila Sunrise. The best test, is to gently press the skin. It should yield slightly. Oh, and of course take a whiff. Now tell me that’s not sexy.

MANGO 4Chile Mango Salsa

Makes about 1 cup of salsa but feel free to double or triple the recipe

1 ripe mango, cubed (see below) – about 1 cup
1 Tbsp red onion, finely chopped
Juice of ½ lime
1 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
½ tsp chile pequin
Pinch of sea salt

MANGO 2Mangos have a stone in the center that is about an inch wide. Insert the tip of your knife into either side of the stone. If you hit the stone, don’t worry. Just lift your knife and move it slightly over. Once on one side of the stone, slice through. Repeat on the other side. You now have two ‘cheeks’  that are slightly boat shaped. To remove the skin, place a cheek on your chopping board and slice it in half lengthwise. You’ll now have two quarters. Repeat with the other cheek so you have four quarters in total.

Now take your knife and insert it at one end as close to the mango skin as possible. Slide the knife between the skin and fruit to separate the two. I use a filleting knife for this because it has a slightly flexible blade that I find easier to use with mango. Repeat with the other mango quarters. You can also get an additional piece of flesh off either side of the stone. Dice the flesh.


Mix the mango with the other ingredients, check for seasoning and serve. Superb with chicken, seafood – shrimp, scallops, tuna, swordfish (you get the idea) or simply a bowl of tortilla chips. Best made no more than an hour or so before serving.