(photo by Charley Star)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Delicious Salad from Sunday Dinner

We made this recipe for our family dinner on Sunday. It was delicious and very satisfying! It would be a beautiful lunch salad - just toss in some grilled chicken. The recipe is courtesy of our of our favorites: Pastry Queen Parties by Rebecca Rather and Alison Oresman

El Rancho Chopped Salad with Creamy Poblano Dressing
Serves 8

For the dressing:
1 large poblano chile
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 medium lime)
2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped (We used 2 cloves)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
Kosher Salt (We used 1/2 t.)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (evoo) (technically for the salad to cook the bacon, but we added it to the dressing)

Roast the poblano chile with a kitchen torch, over a gas burner (our choice, see pictures below) or under an oven broiler until evenly charred. Using an oven mitt, place the chile in a brown bag, close the opening, and let the pepper steam for at least 10 minutes. Remove the pepper from the bag and peel off the skin, which should slide off easily. In the jar of a blender or the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, puree the poblano, cilantro, lime juice, green onions, garlic, mayonnaise, and buttermilk until smooth. We added the evoo at this point. Season with salt and more lime juice. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the salad:
8 strips thick-sliced applewood-smoked bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8 ears sweet corn, unshucked (timesaver: we bought a bag of frozen corn)
Croutons (we bought ours from Dean & Deluca)
2 medium heads romaine lettuce, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 large ripe avocados, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 cup thinly sliced celery hearts
8 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 pint yellow or orange currant or grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup finely grated Cojita cheese (we used Queso Fresco)

Have a plate lined with paper towels ready. Heat a grill to medium-hot. Add the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered and the pieces are browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to the prepared plate. (Here is where you would grill the corn, we choose the timesaver route and bought already prepared corn).

Combine the lettuce, avocado, celery, green onions, tomatoes, bacon and corn kernels in a large salad bowl. Drizzle the salad with dressing and toss well to evenly coat the ingredients. Garnish the tossed salad with the croutons and grated cheese. Serve.

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