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Sweet and spicy arancini with salsa.

I am essentially a middle-aged woman who likes making up weird snack combinations and galloping. ~ Miranda Hart

Don’t know why I’m continually surprised by all the sweet and spicy salsas turning up in the oddest places on the menus in this town.

In a state where roasting and storing bags of chile is an end-of-summer ritual for most ~ the shopping for chile itself a kind of pilgrimage ~I shouldn’t be.

But I am.

Even after experiencing Caliche’s green chili ice cream sundae.

And incredible cinnamon chipotle chocolate cake truffles from a chocolate festival in El Paso.

Sweet and spicy chocolate cake truffles.

Uh-huh. They’re talking to me, too.


Peppers, including New Mexico’s number one veggie ~ the chile ~ keep showing up with sweet stuff, where you least expect it. And I’m really starting to like it.

So I’ve been experimenting with some sweet salsa dishes of my own.

It started simply enough with strawberry salsa,

Simmering sweet and spicy strawberry salsa.

drizzled over vanilla ice cream.

Sweet and spicy strawberry salsa over vanilla ice cream.

Took it up a notch with a recipe using dates, a classic desert food.

The original recipe for these Date Balls o’Fire calls for many of our favorite foods ~ coconut, chocolate, honeyPeanut butter.

But nothing to give it a fiery taste worthy of the name. So I added a (BIG) dollop of green salsa to the mix. Then rolled the chewy balls in coconut and powdered sugar.

Delicious with morning coffee.

Sweet and spicy Date Balls o'Fire Ingredients.

Sweet and spicy Date Balls o'Fire.

What happens when you take your sweet salsa on a trip around the world and use it in, say something like . . .  mochi?


You know I had to go there.

With orbs of mochi filled with freshly-roasted chile mixed with honey. Some rolled in sesame seed, some in coconut.

Can’t wait to make another batch of these.

The bite of the chile with the sweet rice mochi is a wake-up call ~ HELLO! You’ll want to put in as much sweetened chile as the mochi will allow without bursting.

Sweet and spicy roasted chile mochi.

This sweet version of the fried balls of rice Sicilians named arancini ~

Dish of fresh arancini, soon to be made sweet and spicy.

because they resemble little oranges ~ is my latest sweet salsa~enhanced creation.

With salsa and raisins mixed throughout . . .

Mixing up sweet and spicy arancini filling.

Strawberry sauce and chocolate centers.

Glimpse of chocolate in sweet and spicy arancini.

Was it nice? Yes.

But with roasted green chile instead of salsa next time, it could be sublime.

Sweet and spicy arancini.

Now your turn to experiment . . .

What delicious combination(s) of sweet and spicy will you come up with?