Thursday, June 26, 2008


This salad is a lot like Chili's EXPLOSION SALAD without the quesadilla's. It's really good! It can be a little time consuming so I would suggest at least making the dressing and corn and bean salsa the day ahead of time. For those watching their weight, you can substitute fat free sour cream or fat free mayo in place of the regular mayo. Also, you may want to dip your forkfuls into the dressing instead of pouring it all over. You'd be surprised at how little dressing you actually use when you dip! ENJOY!!!

Santa Fe Chicken Salad

corn and black bean salsa

-Seed and dice two roma tomatoes. Put in a bowl.
-Finely dice half of a red onion. Put that in the bowl too.- Take a can of black beans. Drain and rinse well.
-use a cup or so of frozen corn. Put that in the bowl too.
-Seed and pith a jalapeno then dice. If you want it spicier, leave the seeds or add another pepper to the mix.

-Chop up some cilantro.-Squeeze in half a lime. Season the salsa with a little salt and pepper.
-Stir well then cover with saran and put in the fridge.-This can be made a day in advance.

southwest ranch dressing

-Take one package ranch dressing mix. Dump the dry mix into a bowl
-Add 1 cup mayonnaise. (Sour Cream can be substituted)
-Add 1 cup milk. Mix the dressing together.-Add 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce. If you want this spicier, add a little more.
-Add 1 tsp garlic powder.-Add 1 tsp chili powder.-Add 1 tsp cumin.-Squeeze in half of a lime.-Mix everything together. This dressing can be made days in advance. In fact, the longer it sits, the better the flavors will have a chance to marry and balance out.

Now to make tortilla strips!

-Take 4-5 fajita sized tortillas and cut in half.-Cut them into thin strips.-Heat some oil in a pot and fry the strips up. When they're nice and golden, pull from the oil and place on some paper towels.-As soon as you pull the tortilla strips from the oil, season lightly with salt. These *can* be made the day ahead. Put the strips in a ziploc or any airtight container so they don't get stale or soft.
Now it's time for the main body of the salad!

-Take a package of McCormicks Grill Mates Southwest marinade. Put 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a ziploc. Dump in the marinade (as prepared according to the directions on the package). The packaging says you only need to marinate for 15 minutes. Personally, I like it a little more seasoned, so I let them sit in that marinade all day, overnight if possible.-Grill, bake or cook the chicken on the stove until done.
-Using two forks, start pulling the meat apart. The shredded meat goes a long way vs. cutting into cubes.
-Put the chicken in a large bowl.-Chop up 1 head of iceberg lettuce and add to the bowl.
-Grate some cheese (1-2 cups). I used some cheddar and some monterey jack. Put all the cheese in the bowl too.
-Slice up one avocado. You can dice this and add directly to the lettuce bowl if you want. I leave them in slices and use on top.
-Toss everything in the bowl together. If your family likes olives, you can add some sliced black olives.
-Begin by putting some of the salad on the plate.
-Put a big handful of corn and black bean salsa on top in the middle.
-Put slices of avocado around the plate.-Put a small stack of tortilla strips on top like a haystack. These will be your "croutons" for the salad.
-Drizzle on some of the salad dressing and you're done! Time to eat up.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fresh California Salsa... A TASTE OF CANCUN...

A made this salsa 3 days ago to bring to PJ's softball game along with sliced Semolina bread. The game was rained out so I threw it in the fridge when we got home. Today I remembered that it was in there. I still had the sliced bread and it was actually still very soft. I guess high humidity is good for something!
Alyssa and I couldn't stop eating this. Maybe letting it sit for 3 days really did the trick! It was so good and so fresh tasting... perfect for a summer treat! It reminded us so much of our favorite salsa at the Royal Solaris in Cancun. YUM. Alyssa and I decided that next time I make it, I'm making a bucket full!!!

Fresh California Salsa

4 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 large onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt to taste
In a small mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro and lime juice. Add jalapenos 2 teaspoons at a time, tasting after each addition to see how hot the salsa has become. I used 1/2 of a jalapeno. Next time I will use a whole one.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Potato, Tomato, Corn and Basil Salad

This is a very nice refreshing type of salad to have when you're BBQing. It can be made ahead of time to make it easier. I've made it with and without the potatoes... both are good. The only thing I did different this time is that besides the regular basil, I also used some Lemon Basil from the garden. YUM. I rough chopped both and then put a few whole leaves throughout.

Potato, Tomato, Corn and Basil Salad
Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman

Recipe SummaryDifficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Yield: 6 to 8 servings User Rating:

1 pound baby red potatoes

scrubbed 5 medium ears of corn (about 3 pounds)

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

1 small red onion, peeled and sliced thinly (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup)

1 large bunch fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and leaves picked

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 large lemons, juiced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

About 15 grinds freshly ground pepper
Place the potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to boil. Cook until just fork tender, about 15 minutes. Fish out the potatoes with a spider or slotted spoon and place them in a bowl of ice cold water to stop them from cooking.
Shuck the corn and break each ear in half. Cook in the same boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes until tender but not soft. Remove the cooled potatoes to a dish-cloth to drain. Immerse corn in the same ice bath until cool. Cut each potato into quarters and place in a large bowl.
Remove corn from water and also let drain. Use a chef's knife to cut the kernels off each ear. Add kernels to bowl. Add grape tomatoes, onion, and whole basil leaves. Add olive oil and lemon juice and toss gently to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve immediately