Well...I had originally planned to share a fun post with y'all today about what it’s like "behind the scenes" prepping for a television cooking appearance. I had also planned to share the finished segment as it aired on Great Day SA yesterday. But...that will have to wait a few more weeks. I found out Monday that due to a technical glitch with my pre-taped segment, it would not be airing. To say I was bummed is an understatement...but, there is a silver lining: I’ll be cooking live on the show on June 6th. I’m going with a fun new theme: Summer Picnic...ideas for foods that travel well in the summer heat. So, I’ll be sharing my behind-the-scenes exclusive with y'all then.
Now about today's recipe...warmer weather means eating lighter foods. I love making entree salads as summer approaches. They're healthy, light, and cooling...and they can be full of flavor and texture too. I created this Pollo Confetti Chef Salad last May, and it quickly became one of my favorite go-to meals during our hot Texas summer. It's full of Tex-Mex flavors and textures, and it's as pretty to look at as it is to eat!
with Chipotle-Ranch Dressing
a Weekend Gourmet Original
Step 1: Make the black bean-corn salsa by combining the following ingredients in a large bowl: 1 cup corn kernels, 1 cup drained black beans, 1 seeded and diced roma tomato, 2 sliced green onions, 2 grated garlic cloves, the juice and zest of one lime, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. coriander, and salt & pepper to taste. Stir well to combine and set aside in the fridge while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
Step 2: Dice 2 cups cooked chicken breast into bite-sized cubes. Place the chicken in a bowl and add a squeeze of lime juice, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. coriander, 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 tsp. garlic powder, and salt & pepper to taste. Stir to evenly coat the chicken with the spices. Set the meat in the fridge to keep cold until it's time to assemble the salad.
Step 3: Using a sharp knife, cut half a head of romaine lettuce into ribbons. Make the dressing by combining 1/2 cup of your favorite Ranch dressing with the sauce from a can of chipotle chiles. How much you use depends on how much spicy you want your dressing, but 2 tsp. should do the trick. Stir well to combine. Place the lettuce on your serving platter, then put the platter and the dressing in the fridge until you're ready to assemble.
Step 4: Make the garlic tortilla "croutons" by stacking three flour tortillas and cutting into small squares...you can discard the round ends to do this. Put the tortilla squares in a bowl. Add 1 tbs. olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and 1 tsp. garlic powder. Stir well to combine and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake in a 400 oven for about 10 minutes...until the "croutons" are golden-brown and crispy.
Step 5: To assemble the salad, arrange all of the ingredients in rows down the ribbons of romaine on the platter. I used the following order: the garlic tortilla "croutons," the black bean-corn salsa, the seasoned chicken chunks, 1 cup 2% Mexican blend shredded cheese, and one diced avocado tossed with a squeeze of lime juice and salt. Drizzle the chipotle Ranch dressing over the top. To serve, use salad tongs to place a bit of each ingredient onto salad plates. Toss to combine the dressing with the ingredients once it's on the plate.