This recipe for Chicken Avocado Salad was inspired by those delicious oversized chicken tostadas from Mexico. There was this little “hole in the wall” restaurant that my parents would take us to everytime we visited Monterrey. Tostadas de la Siberia were as I said, oversized corn tortilla tostadas loaded with shredded chicken, fresh guacamole, mexican crema and sometimes served with thinly sliced tomato. Topped with an extra tostada for scooping and pickled jalapeños on the side. This was my first time trying Cabot Greek style yogurt in a chicken recipe. I have enjoyed it in various dip and dressing recipes. The flavor profile is very much like sour cream, so I knew it would be great in this recipe. Besides serving it on a tostada, which is the most traditional way, you could serve this is in a soft warm corn tortilla. It’s dipped in hot oil just to soften the tortilla and then, filled and rolled like a hearty flauta or taquito. The corn tortilla whether soft or crunchy pairs well with this chicken, avocado and crema flavors.
Mexican Inspired Chicken Avocado Salad
Ingredients 4 1/2 to 5 cups cooked chicken, shredded *I used both breast and thigh meat that was previously cooked on the grill 3 roma tomatoes, diced, optional, but tasty! 2 avocados, diced or mashed 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, minced 1 to 2 tablespoons of brine from pickled jalapeños 1/3 to 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced 1 to 2 cloves garlic, grated Juice of 1/2 lime 1 full cup plain Greek yogurt salt to taste Fresh cracked pepper to taste
Combine all of the ingredients. Taste for salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Serve over a salad, with tostadas, soft corn or flour tortilla(wrap), saltines or with crusty rolls. Yields up to 6 to 8 servings.
The image below shows you exactly how it is typically served in the restaurants in Mexico. If you wanted to serve a more authentic version, use mexican crema instead of yogurt and serve in layers as shown. For easy serving, you could also mix it all together when serving in a potluck or picnic setting.
*Click onto picture to go directly to tripadvisor site.
I was pleasantly surprised when I received this wonderful email from the nice people over at Cabot Creamery. They asked me if I would like to join and be a new member of the Cabot Cheeseboard? What was the catch? I would be forced to eat and enjoy their wonderful cheese products! Darn, lol! And not just one or two flavors, but a whole box full of flavors such as Spicy Pepper Jack, Seriously Sharp Aged Cheddar, Horseradish and a few other aged cheddar varietes that I had never tried. Ok, twist my arm! I was in! With the big game, Super Bowl, coming this weekend I put together a few of my most favorite sandwich recipes, all with Cabot Cheese of course. These sandwiches, one or all are a must try for this weekend!
MACARONI & CHEESE GRILLED CHEESE
8 slices whole wheat or white sandwich bread 2 to 3 cups leftover macaroni and cheese (cold) Hot sauce, to taste 1 1/2 cups Aged Alpine Cheddar, shredded 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Preheat large griddle pan to medium heat. Brush 4 slices of bread with butter and place on hot griddle. Layer with a little cheese, hot sauce, macaroni and cheese, more cheese and top with bread slice. Brush tops with more butter. Cook until toasted and crispy. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving. Yields 4 sandwiches.
AVOCADO TOMATO GRILLED CHEESE
8 slices Italian sandwich bread Olive oil 1 1/2 cups Seriously Sharp Cheddar, shredded
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
1 large avocado, sliced
1/2 cup chimichurri sauce
For Chimichurri Style Sauce
3 tablespoon parsley 3 tablespoons cilantro 2 green onions 1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, optional
4 cloves garlic
1 chile serrano or jalapeño
1/2 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
Salt to taste
Juice of 3 key limes or 1 regular lime
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup olive oil
* I also added 1 teaspoon of crushed red chile flakes to the marinade, but it’s optional
Combine all ingredients in the order listed 1 to 2 hours before serving.
Preheat Large griddle pan to medium heat. Brush 4 slices of bread with olive oil (on one side). Place the oil side down on hot griddle. Add some cheese, avocado slices, chimichurri, tomato slices, more cheese and top with bread slice. Brush tops with a little more olive oil. Cook until toasted and crispy. If serving individual sandwiches, top with any leftover avocado, tomato, cheese and chimichurri. Yields 4 sandwiches.
2 jalapeños, red or green, sliced thin
1 cup sweet onions, sliced thin
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
4 hard rolls (about 5 inches in diameter)
1 1/2 pounds to 2 pounds roasted chicken sliced thin from the deli counter
1 cup pepper jack, shredded
1 cup seriously sharp chedded, shredded
Preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat in a skillet for a few minutes. Add the onions and jalapeños, season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes. Add the deli sliced chicken to the pan and cook just until warmed through. Add all of the cheese and fold into the chicken/onion mixture. Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover with lid and cook just until cheese has melted. Fill sliced rolls and serve right away. Yields 4 cheesesteak sandwiches.
Preparing chili for the big game? Top with some Seriously Sharp Cheddar, frito corn chips, pickled jalapeños and green onions! The ultimate frito chili pie!
“Me pico la salsa!“(this salsa burned). Those were the words my Mom would say as she sat there enjoying countless meals she prepared for us with lot’s of love. If my mom thought it was spicy, then I knew it was going to be good. Believe it or not, there are some Mexican foods that are not spicy, but I grew up loving it. Even my husband Richard, who grew up strictly mild, cannot get enough of the spicy foods! Lol! When I first came to visit and meet his Mom, in central New York, her spice selection consisted of salt, pepper and a dried up jar of garlic salt. Needless to say, we lived in two different worlds when it came to the foods we grew up enjoying.
As I browse through Pinterest, like I do every morning, I am just amazed on how many salsa recipes are posted and repinned on a daily basis. It’s mind boggling! After pinning and repinning a few hundred myself over the past two years, I just had to stop and create this blog. I want to start with a few of my favorite, “go to”, salsa recipes that I prepare often. I will add more recipes, a little at a time, because there are too many variations to post in one day, lol!Confessions of a diehard chilehead……
Tomatillo Salsa. This is a slight variation of my other salsa verde recipes. The tomatillos are cooked for a shorter period of time, cooled and combined with fresh chile peppers, cilantro and lime. So, a cross between a cooked salsa and a salsa fresca all in one. Tasty!!
1 pound tomatillos 2 jalapenos 2 serranos 1/3 cup cilantro Juice of 1 lime Salt to aste 1 red fresno, diced fine
1. Remove husk from tomatillos and wash. Transfer to sauce pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and let cool. If you blend hot tomatillos with fresh ingredients, they will end up cooking from the heat and the flavor won’t be quite the same. So, let them cool.
2. Remove stems from chile peppers and give them a rough chop. Once tomatillos are cooled, combine with the remaining ingredients and pulse to blend. If it’s too thick, add a little water. Taste for salt. Garnish with red fresno chile. Someone please pass the chips!
A Trio of Summer Salsa’s 08/09/14. These salsa recipes are about the most basic cooked version that I prepare at least once a week. It’s my go to salsa! The hot peppers plentiful from the garden right now and my good friends Joanie and Kim were kind enough of share their harvest with me. One of the peppers featured in these recipe is a yellow version of a jalapeno, also known as “chile guero” or “caribe”. It’s not easy to find around here and I really enjoy using it for poppers or in my salsa recipes when I find it. It’s a little more mild than a jalapeno.
1 large white onion, peeled and sliced into thick rings 6 cloves garlic, leave skins on 4 to 6 large roma tomatoes 4 to 6 large tomatillos, skins removed and washed 3 to 4 chile caribe (gueros) 3 to 4 chile jalapeno 3 to 4 chile fresno 20 chile de arbol *remove all stems from the chile peppers 2 lemons or limes Salt to taste Mexican oregano, optional water
1. In a large pot, add the tomatoes, tomatillos and all of the peppers. Cover with water, bring to boil, reduce heat and continue cooking for 20 minutes. Drain all but 1 cup of water.
2. Transfer the onion and garlic to a skillet or griddle pan and heat to medium heat. Drizzle lightly with oil and continue cooking until you get some browning and charring in some spots. Remove the garlic after 15 minutes so it does not burn. Remove skins from garlic and combine with onion in mini chopper. Pulse to chop into a coarse chop, set aside.
3. Separate the varieties of peppers and tomatoes and blend or chop them individually. I often do this when there are more than one kind of pepper and tomato. But you most certainly can blend them all together if you like. Add the chile de arbol to the blender with 1/3 of reserved water from the peppers. Blend on high until smooth.
4. Once everything is chopped or processed you can mix your salsa’s.You should have a tomato base, tomatillo base and chile de arbol base. Divide the chopped hot peppers and onion/garlic mix equally among the three salsa’s. Season with fresh lemon/lime juice, oregano and salt to taste. Just a pinch of crushed oregano is enough for each salsa. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature. Tomato and Tomatillo Salsa’s yield about 2 cups, chile de arbol salsa yields about 1 cup.
Tips~ For more flavor, try grilling all of your ingredients on an outdoor grill, minus the chile de arbol. After cooking the fresno peppers (red peppers), you may want to peel the skins off because they can be a little harder to chew.
Pico de Gallo, the first salsa I ever learned to make when I was 14 years old….it is simple, fresh and delicious!
6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced 1 medium white or red onion, diced 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, minced Handful of chopped cilantro Juice of 1 lime ½ teaspoon pepper Salt to taste (about 1 to 2 teaspoons)
*adding garlic is optional, my Mom never added it, but I love it now!
Combine all the ingredients and stir well. Let salsa sit for 30 minutes before serving.
Tips~You could add add 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic and a drizzle of olive oil for a slight variation. And for a smokey pico, add 1 chipotle in adobo!
Tomato and Chile de Arbol Salsa or Salsa de Mesa
Essential to any Mexican table, this Salsa de Mesa can be prepared with a variety of chiles, fresh or dried. Most commonly prepared with chile serrano, but I really love the flavors of the chile de arbol.
4 roma tomatoes 10 to 12 chile de arbol 1 clove garlic 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or fresh lime juice Salt to taste
Poach the tomatoes and chile de arbol until tomatoes start to tear open. Drain, transfer to the blender and add all remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, taste for salt. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Salsa Verde was the favorite salsa when my Mom prepared her traditional tamales. We loved it so much, we would request it at least once a week!
10 to 12 tomatillos, quartered (remove husk and rinse well) 3 to 5 serrano peppers, cut into thirds 1 to 2 chile de arbol, crushed, optional 1 small white onion, quartered 1 clove garlic, chopped Juice of 1 keylime or 1 small lime 1½ teaspoon salt ¼ cup chopped cilantro, optional
1. Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse in lukewarm water. In a microwave-safe container, add the tomatillos, serrano peppers, and onions. Cover with paper towel and cook on high for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from microwave and let cool slightly.
2. Transfer the tomatillo mixture to the blender, add the garlic, cilantro, chile de arbol (if using), salt and lime juice. Blend on high for just a few seconds. Taste for salt. Serve at room temperature.
Tips~ Another variation my Mom made often included chile de arbol in place of serrano peppers. She would cook the dried peppers along with the tomatillos to soften them.
Salsa de Tomatillo Fresco con Aguacate, this is always the hit of the party when I prepare it for friends and family. I often prepare it with all fresh ingredients when pairing it with homemade chips. My Mom would prepare a cooked version as well that was awesome with shredded beef taquitos.
6 to 8 tomatillos, peeled, washed and roughly chopped 2 to 3 serranos or jalapeños, roughly chopped 1/4 of a white onion, chopped 1 large avocado (or 2 for extra creamy) Handful of washed cilantro Juice of 1 lime Salt to taste
Combine all of the ingredients in the blender and blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt. I sometimes will add a tiny bit of water for easier blending.
Tips~ For a Taqueria Style Avocado Salsa, poach the tomatillos, chiles and onions until soft. Let cool, then blend as directed with remaining ingredients.
Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner! This blog….to be continued. April 25, 2014
There is something so delicious and addicting about habanero peppers when added to your favorite salsa recipe! Cannot get enough!
Spicy Grilled Tomatillo Chile Japones Salsa ~ April 28, 2014
2 tablespoons olive oil
25 chile japonés, remove stems if they have any
4 large tomatillos, grilled
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
1. Line a medium pan with easy release foil paper. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil and preheat to medium heat for 2 minutes.
2. Add the chiles and cook just until you get some blackening and they become aromatic. Do not leave them unattended or they will burn and become bitter. Remove from heat and transfer to the blender; set aside.
3. On an outdoor grill or stove-top grill, add the tomatillos and drizzle with another teaspoon of oil. Grill and cook the tomatillos until they blacken on most sides. Remove from heat and transfer to the blender with the chiles.
4. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the blender and start by pulsing to blend. Leave as chunky or as smooth as you would like. Taste for salt and transfer to serving dish. Let the salsa come to room temperature. It will be hot! Yields about 2 cups. Store in an airtight container for up to one week in refrigerator.
Totopos~Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips April 29, 2014
And with all these tasty homemade salsa recipes, we must have homemade tortilla chips! Once you have tried and tasted homemade tortilla chips, you will never want store bought chips again!
40 to 50 corn tortillas 4 to 5 cups canola oil
1. Let your tortillas sit out overnight at room temperature. This will dry them out and help them fry quicker. Slice the tortillas into quarters or into 6 strip like chips.
2. Preheat the oil in a large, heavy pot for 15 to 18 minutes. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Fry the tortillas in batches for a few minutes, turning as needed. Drain onto lined baking sheet and season lightly with salt while they are still warm. Yields about 2 pounds of chips. Cool completely and store in plastic storage bags for up to 10 days.
Grilled Poblano Salsa…. and with warmer weather comes grilling! Lot’s and lot’s of grilling! May 13, 2014
3 poblanos 1 red bell pepper 3 jalapeños 2 serranos 2 fresnos 3 roma tomatoes 1 small red onion, peeled and quartered 4 cloves garlic, skins on olive oil Juice of 1 lime, if you can find key limes, I would suggest using them, tasty! Salt and pepper, to taste Cilantro, optional
1. Wash all the peppers and tomatoes. Preheat grill to medium heat. Remove the stems and seeds from the large mild peppers. Remove the stems from the hot peppers. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and transfer to hot grill.
2. Grill and cook until the skins on the peppers begin to blister and char in most spots. Turn as needed. The garlic should be ready after about 10 to 12 minutes, remove and reserve.
3. When ready, transfer the large peppers to a plastic bag or a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Let them steam for 20 minutes. Remove skins from garlic and transfer to food processor along with onion. Pulse to chop, transfer to a bowl. Remove skins from steamed peppers and continue processing the remaining ingredients. Mix all together, add lime juice, salt and pepper.
Spicy Tomatillo/Chile de Arbol Salsa ~June 01, 2014. I really enjoy this salsa for huevos rancheros!
5 tomatillos 2 guajillo peppers, stems and seeds removed 15 chile de arbol 1/4 white onion 2 cloves garlic Salt to taste
Combine the tomatillos, guajillos, chile de arbol and onion in a sauce pan, cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain water, tranfer mixture to blender, add garlic and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. When I have them available I like to add a little fresh key lime juice to the salsa. Yields about 1 1/2 cups.
Roasted/Charred Tomato Salsa . For years I would watch my Mom slow roast poblanos on the stove top on her comal. And to this day, I prepare mine the same way. Especially since I only have an electric stove and roasting them on the direct flame is out of the question, lol! Oven roasting is nice also, but the flavors developed from slow roasting on a comal are like no other. Thanks Mom…
4 roma tomato 1 small white onion, sliced into thick rings 2 serrano peppers 1 jalapeño pepper 1 poblano pepper 4 cloves garlic, leave skins on Olive oil Juice of 1 lime or 2 key limes 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped Salt to taste
1. Heat a cast iron pan or comal to medium heat. Line the pan with easy release foil paper…or not, lol! I use it to save me some scrubbing time (bad wrist). Add the tomatoes, onions, peppers and garlic. Drizzle with a little oil and cook for 25 to 30 minutes turning as needed.
2. Remove the garlic after 15 minutes. Once the vegetables have charred and blackened in some spots, remove them from heat, cover and let them cool.
3. Remove blistered skin from poblano, stems and seeds from peppers and skind from garlic. Roughly chop all of the ingredients before adding to the food processor. Pulse to chop until you reach the consistency you like. Add lime juice and salt to taste. Mix and pour into serving dish. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Yields about 2 cups.
Embracing my Mexican heritage and sharing all the wonderful flavors, colors and foods I grew up with. Join me on this journey as I also learn new foods and cooking techniques. Dedicated to my parents Ramiro and Blanca.