Chile Salt

7 teaspoons ground cayenne
7 teaspoons ground red chile powder
3 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons salt

Mix all ingredients together.

Roasted Corn on the Cob

6 ears of corn in their husks
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons chile salt (recipe above)
juice of 3 limes
3 additional limes, cut in wedges

To boil: Stand corn on end in a pot and cover with water. Remove corn and bring water to a boil. Meanwhile, pull husks down (not off) and remove corn silk. To make a handle, cut off a longish strip of husk half an inch wide. Tie it around rest of husks, like a ponytail. Trim ends neatly. Boil 1 minute, with husks out of water.

To microwave: Cook corn on high for 1 minute. Then pull husks down and follow directions above to make a handle.

Finish by browning corn over a grill or gas burner (color may be splotchy).

Drizzle butter on corn and sprinkle with chile salt and lime juice. Serve with lime wedges.

Jícama and Cucumber Strips

2 medium cucumbers, peeled and seeded
1 small jícama, peeled
3 limes
chile salt to taste (recipe above)
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (for garnish)

Cut cucumber and jícama into 1/4- by 2-inch strips. Sprinkle with lime juice and chile salt and garnish with cilantro.

Pear and Brie Quesadillas

6 teaspoons honey
3 medium pears
6 ounces Brie, sliced 1/8 inch thick
3 fresh jalapeños, seeded and minced
several sprigs thyme and basil, chopped
6 eight-inch flour tortillas
6 ounces sour cream (optional)
sprigs of cilantro (for garnish)

Fill a saucepan with water, add honey, and bring to a boil. Blanch pears for 30 seconds. Remove, peel, and slice 1/8 inch thick. Place pear and Brie on half of each tortilla and sprinkle with jalapeño, thyme, and basil. Fold tortillas in half and cook in a skillet over medium heat on both sides until cheese melts. Cut each into four triangles. Serve hot with sour cream on the side. Garnish with cilantro. Serves 6.