CHILI DUSTED ORANGES, JICAMA AND CUCUMBER (for eight as hors d’oeuvres)

This appetizer finger food, intended to accompany tequila, is a take on the jicama and cucumber spears that are a popular Mexican street snack.

4 navel oranges

1 small jicama (1 pound), peeled and quartered lengthwise

½ seedless cucumber (usually plastic wrapped) peeled and halved lengthwise

cayenne to taste


1.   Cut off peel and white pith from 3 oranges with a sharp knife.  Cut peeled fruit in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ¼ inch thick slices.  Cut remaining orange in half crosswise, then cut each half into 6 to 8 wedges for squeezing.

2.   Cut jicama wedges and cucumber crosswise into ¼ inch thick slices.

3.   Squeeze juice from 4 to 6 orange wedges into a bowl, then add jicama, cucumber and salt to taste and toss well.  Season orange slices with salt and arrange on a platter with jicama and cucumber.  Lightly sprinkle with cayenne.

4.  Serve with remaining orange wedges.

NOTE:   Oranges, jicama and cucumber can be cut 3 hours ahead and chilled separately in sealed plastic bags.

from the Gourmet Mexican Cookbook (magazine special edition)

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