“Do you like Mexican food Andrew?” my cousin asked me last night.
After a short pause, she continued, “What am I thinking? Of course you do.”
Anyone who follows me on Instagram or Facebook, or regular readers of my infrequent posts on here, knows I have a problem. Well, I have many problems. The principal issue I’m referring to is the love affair I have with comida Mexciana. Fresh salsas, gooey queso, crisp lechuga and succulent meats wrapped neatly in a warm tortilla. I assert there is no such thing as “bad” Mexican food. Perhaps I’ve had good luck in experimenting with different taquerias.
There was a recipe I found on the Kitchn. I went so far as to print it out and tuck it in my laptop bag for future reading.
After a quick spree through the produce section, I had the necessary ingredients to attempt this taco salad. I don’t think I’ve previously mentioned this: I don’t follow recipes. I don’t really care for following directions. Ask my boss, who affectionately (my words, not hers) says I’m un-manageable.
So, I used the Kitchn’s recipe as a starting point. Essentially it was a combo job–put together all of these great, fresh flavors in a bowl–but I added in some of my own signature touches.
My buddy has gone carb-free this summer, which has served to challenge my reliance on pasta, rice, quinoa and tortillas when serving amigos food.
Here are all the components to make the Greatest Salad in the History of Salad Making.
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
Mix all the spices, then rub it on some washed chicken breasts and let it be for 15 mins. I grilled the chicken, but you could also saute it in a skillet.
1 big handful of cilantro, washed, stems removed, and roughly chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
A few grinds of freshly-ground black pepper
Combine all the above ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse for 10-20 seconds, empty into a container and refrigerate.
2 poblano peppers
1 lb of tomatillos
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
1-2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
Roast the poblanos and tomattilos (no husks). Then combine in a blender, empty into container and refrigerate.
2 1/4 cups shredded romaine lettuce or your favorite salad mix
1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 block of pepper jack cheese, cubed
1/2 large avocado, diced
3 tablespoons sliced black olives
I’m tired just writing all this. Combine all the above and then go HAM on the end result. Ideally, you could use some previously grilled chicken versus making everything in one day.
This carb-free salad is bound to impress even staunch carb addicts like me. The salsa verde mixed with the sour cream/cilantro dressing brightens the creamy dressing and adds even more flavor to this outstanding salad.
But if you’re anything like me, you wont follow the above recipe. Experiment. Let me know how you make this even better.