Nearly every Saturday, I like to make a trip downtown to the Red Stick Farmers Market. (Ideally, I like to go early when it’s fairly cool and just beginning to buzz.) On this week’s trip to the market, I found some spicy, locally grown poblano peppers and a big, freshly picked cantaloupe.
I realized that I’d gotten one thing that might make my upper lip sweat but was totally worth it, and one thing that instantly cools me off after a long, hot day working in the yard — a great combination for a hot Saturday night’s dinner.
Poblano peppers range from mild to medium-hot. So some bites are mild, and some can get pretty fiery. Usually the rule of thumb among pepper varieties is the smaller, the spicier. Poblanos are delicious roasted and cooked in a variety of ways. Like most peppers, removing the membrane and seeds will reduce the heat — if you want to.
Eating cantaloupe is a great way to rehydrate your body. In this heat, we could use all the hydration we can get. The fiber content helps with digestion, too. All of this makes a cool cantaloupe dish an excellent finish to any summer meal.
Because I had some crawfish dressing in the freezer, I repurposed that into a ready-made stuffing for the peppers. The sweet cornbread and crawfish balanced the medium heat of the pepper. And because I’m getting what use I can of my heat- and rain-embattled herbs, I added some basil and mint to a cantaloupe smoothie to cool down my tongue and help my stomach handle those peppers a little easier.
I hope you enjoy this little balance of hot and cold found at the farmers market and create your own version of spice and ice this summer.