elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: Mexican

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This post features a bunch of recipes. Not only is there the salad and dressing, but I also want to share  this simple way to make baked chips. I served it with leftover vegan cashew avocado “cream” from these incredible tofu tacos I discovered on Love and Lemons. 

To make the salad (I measured nothing):

Put some chopped romaine lettuce in a bowl.

Top with the following: I chose to do it cobb-salad style, but you can toss it all together, too. Go loco.

  • radishes
  • cherry tomatoes
  • grilled corn (Soak it first for about a half an hour. Grill on medium-high for about 10 minutes, rotating a few times. Then, let it cool and cut it off the cob)
  • shredded carrots
  • chopped red bell peppers
  • thinly sliced red onions
  • drained black beans
  • optional: shredded cheddar cheese
  • You can also do: avocado, jicama, etc.

Basic cilantro-lime dressing:

Blend the following until smooth:

  • 2 handfuls of cilantro
  • juice of 2 limes
  • a little bit of honey (or agave or sweetener of your choice)
  • salt/pepper
  • a few tablespoons of olive oil
  • water to thin out as needed

For the chips:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare oil: Mix together a few tablespoons of olive oil with spices of your choice. I did a few shakes of cumin and paprika, and then a few pinches of salt.
  3. Put a stack of corn tortillas on a cutting board and cut them into sixths (first cut in half and then cut each half into thirds)
  4. Arrange tortilla triangles in a single layer on a cookie sheet (no overlapping) and brush both sides with the oil mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until slightly brown and crispy.
  5. Serve with salad and dip of choice.

This is a salad adapted from a delicious Mexican Pie Dip traditionally served at my family’s Thanksgiving and famous for spoiling my appetite for dinner several years in a row.

Individual servings of the salad can be made in one bowl (as shown in the picture), or you can make a giant salad in a large pie pan. 

NOTE: If you want to make the dip, it is is made without the lettuce. Instead of crumbling the chips on top, just serve chips alongside the dip.  It also is made with double the sour cream/mayo/taco seasoning mix and less tomatoes.  Really, you can adapt quantity of the different ingredients to your choosing. 

Ingredients:

  • one container of black bean dip of your choice
  • homemade gruacamole (3 avocados mashed up, 1 tablespoon finely diced red onion, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, juice of half a lime, salt and pepper)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 3 cups bibb lettuce (or your favorite lettuce)
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 small container sliced black olives
  • 10-15 tortilla chips, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Make guacamole by combining ingredients listed above (or buy store-bought guac)
  2. Mix taco seasoning mix with the sour cream and mayo.
  3. Layer ingredients in a large pan in the following order: bean dip, guacamole, cheddar cheese, taco seasoning mixture, lettuce, tomato, scallion, olives, chips.
  4. Dig in.

This salad is a slightly different take on Rick Bayless’ version in Mexican Everyday

The Salad:

  • 1 jicama, peeled and cut into sticks (use a paring knife rather than a vegetable peeler)
  • 2 avocados, cut into 1 inch pieces (Here are tips on how to cut an avocado)
  • 1 medium bunch watercress, large lower stems broken off (You can substitute arugula)
  • 4 large romaine leaves, cut cross-wise into 1/4 inch slices

The Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup oil (I used a combination of vegetable and olive oil)
  • 1/3 cup  fresh lime juice
  • A few squeezes of fresh orange juice (I used navel oranges)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1/2 cup roughly packed cilantro
  • 2 serrano chiles (or 1 jalapeno) stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a jar and secure the lid.
  2. In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients. Give the dressing another shake to make sure it is combined. Drizzle about 1/3 cup of the dressing on the vegetables. (Save the rest of the dressing in the fridge for another salad). Toss to combine.
  3. Taste and add more salt if you think necessary. Serve immediately.
Variations: You can add toasted pine nuts, diced mango or goat cheese. 

This recipe was adapted from Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday. He suggested using frisee or escarole, but we had baby spinach and romaine–so we used that. We also substituted the suggested queso anejo for cotija cheese.

Serves 4

1 medium-large head (8 ounces) frisee or escarole, root end cut off, the remainder cut into 2-inch sections

2 medium-large (about 1 pound total) ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2 inch (or smaller) cubes

2 medium avocados, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and cut into 1/2 inch (or smaller) cubes

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil (divided use)

1 pound skirt steak

salt

ground black pepper

2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or crushed through a garlic press

1/4 cup beef broth or water

1 canned chipotle chile en adobo, seeds scraped out and finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

About 1/3 cup grated Mexican Queso anejo or other garnishing cheese such as Romano or Parmesan

***

Scoop the greens into a large bowl. Spread the tomatoes and avocados over the top.

Set a very large (12-inch) heavy skillet over medium-high heat, and measure in 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle both sides of the skirt steak with salt and pepper. Lay it in the hot oil and cook until it’s about medium-rare, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side. remove to a cooking rack set over a large plate–this keeps the juices in the meat rather than running out onto the plate.

Turn the heat under the skillet to low. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds, until very fragrant. Then pour in the broth (or water) and stir to release any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet (the liquid will quickly come to a boil.) Turn off the heat and add the chile, along with the lime juice and the remaining 1/4 cup oil. Season with salt (usually 1/2 teaspoon) and pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon).

Cut the skirt steak into roughly 3-inch lengths, then cut each piece across the grain into 1/4-inch strips. Add to the bowl with the frisee. Pour the warm dressing over the frisee and toss to coat thoroughly–the greens will wilt slightly. Divide among four dinner plates or large salad bowls. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve right away.