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Mexican Salad

Mexican Salad

More Chronicle recipes Shown on ABC's NH Chronicle Nov 25,2005

Pepper jelly
There are quite a few varieties of pepper jelly on the market. This recipe uses 'Fire in the Mountains, Chipotle pepper jelly' by Catamount specialties of Vermont. I bought it at the league of New Hampshire Craftsmen fair at Lake Sunapee. I have also used a jalapeno pepper jelly that I bought at the Cabot outlet in Vermont. Stonewall kitchens market a pepper jelly and there are several other brands in the grocery store. Preferably buy a hot pepper jelly for a bit more of a kick. Both sweet and hot pepper jelly are based on sugar, but sweet pepper jelly is very mild. Sweet pepper jelly is great on the brick of cream cheese with shrimp. But if you mix a sweet pepper jelly with a lot of other ingredients, you really lose any heat factor. You can also add Tabasco or other hot sauces to raise the heat of vinaigrette if necessary.

You can also make your own pepper jelly by following the directions for pepper jelly in a packet of Certo pectin. Obviously there is a difference in both taste and heat between individual brands, so use half the stated quantity of pepper jelly to start with and then add more to your individual taste. Even if you used exactly the same pepper jelly as I did, your taste could want more or less heat. Also realize that the vinaigrette tasted on a spoon will taste far hotter than once it is mixed with a salad. The sweetness of the jelly mellows the vinaigrette and makes a vinaigrette with a sweet spicy but mild kick. Just enough to realize the heat without your nose running and lips tingling madly. I don't like heat with no flavor.

Vinaigrette:
  • 2 tbsp pepper jelly placed in small microwave safe bowl and melted in microwave 10-20 seconds. I like to clean, sterilize and reuse jam jars for these sauces as you can see what's in them in the fridge.
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice - about ½ to 1 lime. Half of a lime can produce only about 1½ tablespoons of juice, you need to add more to total 2 tablespoons. The extra little bit of lime does make a difference in taste for me. (I have tried lemon juice but the lime added just the flavor I wanted)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or more or less to taste)
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil or other oil you prefer. If you use olive oil it will solidify in the fridge and then melt at room temperature.
  • 2 teaspoons Sara Lee Garden Pepper Trio mustard. This is a mustard only recently available that you will have to look for in the stores. It is described as a sweet, zesty mustard made with green peppers and jalapenos. I really like it on a turkey/ham/Swiss sandwich. As they say, 'bring a little zip to your deli sandwich'.

Salad for 4 people

  • Shredded romaine lettuce enough for 4 people
  • Grape tomatoes
  • English cucumber, cut into small dice
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, de-pitted and cut into small dice
  • ½ red pepper deseeded and cut into ½" dice
  • ½ c cooked chickpeas
  • Fresh cilantro chopped - optional
  • Whatever other salad ingredients you personally like
  • Tortillas - tear in 4 and toast as a garnish

Method

1. Mix all vinaigrette ingredients together and leave for about 1 hour for flavors to blend together.

2. On individual plates or one large platter, attractively arrange lettuce and top with circles of tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, red pepper and any other salad ingredients you think would be suitable.

3. Arrange Corn Fritters around edge of platter or on a separate platter. Pour some vinaigrette over salad and serve extra on the side. Put toasted tortillas in a separate basket.

Notes

Serve with these Corn Fritters.


PLEASE NOTE THAT SUBSTITUTIONS AND DIFFERENT METHODS WILL AFFECT FINAL TASTE.
© 2000-2005 Royal Temptations


Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers Catering services, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner and has her own series on Merrimack TV. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.
 
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