Tag Archives: Chicken and Avocado Salad

Chicken Avocado Salad

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

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

Chicken Avocado Salad

 

Chicken Avocado Salad~Cabot Greek YogurtDirections

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.

Chicken Avocado Salad

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.

http://www.tripadvisor.es/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g40044-d2432506-i66160757-Pollo_Regio-Bossier_City_Louisiana.html
Picture courtesy of: http://www.tripadvisor.es/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g40044-d2432506-i66160757-Pollo_Regio-Bossier_City_Louisiana.html

 

Chicken Avocado Salad

 

Latin American Cuisine~ Cooking Class Recipes

First thing I want to state, is that I am no authority on Latin American foods.  Although I grew up in a very Mexican household and learned some of the basic homestyle recipes from Mexico from my parents, Mexico is big and there are many regions that I still have not explored. I also know that I really enjoy the foods  from other parts of Latin America and I am eager to learn and to try recipes from all over the globe. The inspiration for this blog post came from the wonderful connections I have made in the past two years with many Latina Bloggers from many regions  of Latin America. They inspire me on a daily basis with their delicious food pictures and stories. On today’s blog post I have included some of the most popular dishes I have read about. I start in Costa Rica where  Sasla Lizano and Gallo Pinto are a staple to the daily menu. A fresh salsa, Chimol, form El Salvador. Hearty Arepas from Venezuela filled with Reina Pepiada and ending on a sweet note, Quesitos from Puerto Rico. A pastry filled with guava and sweetened cream cheese. There are many, many recipes with as many variations, but I tried to keep it simple , adding some ingredients that I like and with the ingredients that were available to me. These dishes will be on the menu at an upcoming cooking class that I will be teaching. It’s wonderful to be able to share the foods and recipes that I enjoy with others. Of course the next best thing would be to be able to visit these colorful places and enjoy the foods straight from the people of the those regions. Aprender de las madres y las abuelas. Buen Provecho!! I would love to hear back from anyone who grew up with these delicious foods!

 

Gallo Pinto (Black Beans & Rice)

Gallo Pinto~ Costa Rica
Gallo Pinto~ Costa Rica

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
salt to taste

You will also need
More olive oil
3 /4 cup diced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
3 1/2 cups rice
2 cups black beans with broth
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon coriander
3 tablespoon Lizano sauce or Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add 1 cup long grain rice. Saute and toast for 5 to 7 minutes or until rice become aromatic and beings to toast in some spots. Add the 2 cups of broth and all of the spices. Bring to a  boil, reduce to low, cover and cook for 14 to 18 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand.

2. In a another, large skillet, add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper, season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Fluff the reserved rice with a fork then add the rice  to the skillet with onion mixture. Stir well to combine. Fold in the beans with bean broth and all of the remaining ingredients. Taste for salt and cook just until warmed through. Garnish with cilantro. Yields 6 servings.

A typical breakfast in Costa Rica. Gallo Pinto Beans and Rice with and Egg, Plantains, Fresh Fruit, Salsa Lizano  and Sometimes a Fresh Salsa
A typical breakfast in Costa Rica. Gallo Pinto Beans and Rice with and Egg, Fried Plantains, Fresh Fruit, Salsa Lizano and Sometimes a Fresh Salsa
Papaya, Pineapple and Mango
Papaya, Pineapple and Mango

 

Lizano~ Costa Rican Salsa/Seasoning

Salsa Estilo Lizano~ Costa Rica. This recipe was adapted from  http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-lizano-style-costa-rican-salsa-176299
Salsa Estilo Lizano~ Costa Rica. This recipe was adapted from http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-lizano-style-costa-rican-salsa-176299

2 chile guajillo, stems and seeds removed
3 chile de arbol, remove stems, but not seeds
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon molasses
2 teaspoons vegetable or chicken bouillon, in a powder

1. In a medium skillet at medium heat, toast the  dried chiles for 3 minutes, turning a few times, so chiles don’t burn. To the peppers, add water, carrots and onions and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the blender.

2. Add all of the remaining ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt. If you are going to prepare the Lizano style sauce, I suggest you prepare it 2 days ahead. Store in refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

Salsa Lizano is a must at every kitchen table in Costa Rica! Used to season foods or as a condiment.
Salsa Lizano is a must at every kitchen table in Costa Rica! Used to season foods or as a condiment.

 Chimol~ Pico de Gallo ~ El Salvador

Chimol~ El Salvador. A fresh chopped salsa almost exactly as Pico de Gallo from Mexico, but with added radishes. In El Salvador, they would most likely not add the spicy chiles.
Chimol~ El Salvador. A fresh chopped salsa almost exactly as Pico de Gallo from Mexico, but with added radishes. In El Salvador, they would most likely not add the spicy chiles.

1 cup radishes, diced or sliced small
1 cup roma tomatoes, diced (I like to deseed the tomatoes)
1/2 cup red onion, diced or sliced thin
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
My Add-Ins:
1 red fresno chile pepper, seeded and diced
1 habanero pepper, seeded and minced
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all of the ingredients. Taste for salt. Cover and let set for 30 minutes. The longer it sits, the more red it will become from the radishes.

The chilehead in me could not prepare this delicious, fresh recipe without adding some heat from the habaneros.
The chilehead in me could not prepare this delicious, fresh recipe without adding some heat from the habaneros.

 

Reina Pepiada~Venezuelan Chicken Avocado Salad

Reina Pepiada~ Venezuela. This fresh avocado and chicken salad became very popular when Miss Venezuela enjoyed a fresh made arepa filled with this delicious salad. Reina means queen and Pepiada means curvaceous women.
Reina Pepiada~ Venezuela. This fresh avocado and chicken salad became very popular when Miss Venezuela enjoyed a fresh made arepa filled with this delicious salad. Reina means queen and Pepiada means curvaceous women.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
salt and pepper


1 large avocado, mashed
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped fine
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 full tablespoons mayo
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cooked and shredded

 

Directions

1. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeño. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. In a bowl, add the avocado and mash until smooth. Add the cilantro,  lemon juice, mayo, cooked chicken breast and cooled onion mixture. Stir well to combine and taste for salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use. Serve as a filling for arepas with extra avocado slices.

Although many recipes I read called for raw onions or peppers, I prefer them to be sauteed when added.
Although many recipes I read called for raw onions or peppers, I prefer them to be sauteed when added.
Reina Pepiada~ Venezuela. Delicious for arepas, salad topping, crackers or crostini.
Reina Pepiada~ Venezuela. Delicious for arepas, salad topping, crackers or crostini.

 

 Arepas~ Precooked Corn Flour Cakes

Arepa Reina Pepiada~Venezuela
Arepa Reina Pepiada~Venezuela

1 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of fresh cracked pepper
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
1 1/2 cups corn,instant dough PAN brand
1/3 cup cotija or parmesan cheese, grated

**You will need more oil or butter for cooking arepas

1. In a medium bowl, combine the warm water with salt, pepper and olive oil. Gradually add in the instant corn dough and mix with your hand until dough forms . Finally, mix in the cheese.  Dip you fingers in some water and roll 4 equal dough balls, flattening them slightly. Transfer them to a plate and cover with plastic wrap.

2. Preheat a large skillet or griddle pan to medium/high heat for 5 minutes. With some water near, wet your hands and gently flatten the arepa dough balls and shape. They should be about 4  inches in diameter. Add the 1 to 2 tablespoons oil or butter to the pan and cook the arepas for about 4 to 5  minutes per side or until you get some nice browned spots. If you cook them in a large skillet, cover them with lid during cooking time and the steam with help them cook through and puff out slightly.

3. As arepas come off the heat, grab one using a paper towel, Using a sharp serrated knife, slice open 2 /3 of the way, making sure knife opens up the center to make  a pocket. It easier to slice them when they are still warm. Fill with Reina Pepiada or your favorite fillings. Yields 4 servings.

The finish on the exterior of the Arepas with vary depending on what cooking surface you use. The above Arepas were cooked in a cast iron skillet and the ther prepared ones were cooked in a nonstick pan.
The finish on the exterior of the Arepas with vary depending on what cooking surface you use. The above Arepas were cooked in a cast iron skillet and the ther prepared ones, below,  were cooked in a nonstick pan.
An arepa corn cake filled with reina pepiada, a fresh avocado chicken salad.
An arepa corn cake filled with reina pepiada, a fresh avocado chicken salad.

 

Quesitos~ Guava and Sweet Cream Cheese Pastries

Not only popular in Puerto Rico, but many Latin American countries have their own version of this delicious pastry dessert.
Not only popular in Puerto Rico, but many Latin American countries have their own version of this delicious pastry dessert.

1 puff pastry sheet
8 oz. cream cheese
8 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
1 cup guava paste

*eggwash for sealing pastries

 

Puff pastry is ideal for this recipe, but since I had some yeat dough leftover, I used that instead. The guava paste is typically sold in a block where Hispanic foods are sold.
Puff pastry is ideal for this recipe, but since I had some yeat dough leftover, I used that instead. The guava paste is typically sold in a block where Hispanic foods are sold.
Sometimes rolling your dough out on a rectangular wooden cutting board is a nice guideline.
Sometimes rolling your dough out on a rectangular wooden cutting board is a nice guideline.

1. In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar and cream cheese until smooth, set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. On  lightly floured surface, roll out dough and cut 2X2 squares. Fill diagonally down the center with 1 tablespoon sweet cream cheese and  1 tablespoon guava paste. Seal with eggwash. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  Let cool and dust with powdered sugar

* You can cut the squares bigger if you like a 4X4 size would make a nice individual dessert.

Quesitos filled with guava and sweetened cream cheese. Often prepared with puff pastry, but I had a little bit of a sweet yeast dough leftover from a previous recipe that worked well. This recipe was adapted from TheNoshery.com
Quesitos filled with guava and sweetened cream cheese. Often prepared with puff pastry, but I had a little bit of a sweet yeast dough leftover from a previous recipe that worked well. This recipe was adapted from TheNoshery.com