Mexican Chicken Salad

Last night I made a couple of beer can chickens with a smoky rub …. enough left over that I thought it would make a perfect Mexican Chicken Salad tonight! This would be a great vegetarian dinner, just leave out the chicken….

Mexican Chicken Salad

Dressing:
1/2 tsp Mexican Chile powder
1/2 tsp Chipotle Chile powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried mustard powder
1/4 tsp dried chile flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 minced garlic cloves
Blend well and slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup grapeseed oil.

Taste it (with a sliver of lettuce) and adjust your seasonings to your preference.

Make a green salad packed with all your favorite ingredients, ours tonight included:

red leaf lettuce
roasted corn
garden peas (uncooked, and shelled)
roasted baby spring onions
cucumber
red and yellow peppers
toasted pumpkin seeds
toasted slivered almonds
(I wish we had avocado but there weren’t any available that were perfect..)

Garnish with:

shredded white cheese
cooked and shredded chicken
crushed tortilla chips
croutons
cooked and cooked Mexican rice
(Mexican rice is easily made substituting the liquid in your rice recipe with chicken stock, a bit of tomato paste, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.

We love salads like this – arrange the toppings around the salad and everybody gets to build their own at the table.

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde

This is great served as an appetizer with taco chips, drizzled over eggs and served as a topping for any meat.

 

 

1 pound tomatillos – husked and washed

1 large white onion, sliced thickly

4 cloves garlic

2 jalapenos

1/3 bunch cilantro

We like our salsa grill roasted, so everything but the cilantro gets a little time on the grill before hitting the blender.  Give it a zap or two until purified.  Taste for seasoning and adjust a bit if you need to – adding salt and pepper to your preference.

If you don’t have a grill handy you could either use a comal, as they do in Mexico, which is just a simple flat fry pan, or your own favorite fry pan.  Nothing wrong with just blending it all fresh either – try it both ways and see which you like best.

This can be processed in a hot water bath to preserve it for the winter, or put it in the freezer.  Either way works really well. Bring it to a boil on the stovetop prior to processing and use hot jars.  If you do a hot water bath, make sure your jars and seals are all sterilized and the seals are new – place carefully in hot water bath with 2 inches water over top of the jar and process pint jars for 35 minutes.

Chicken Chile Soup

Chicken Chile Soup

I’m not sure what is going on with the weather, but we are having an unseasonal amount of rain and grey skies.  Today just felt like soup and biscuits.  After a look into the freezer, I discovered some chicken stock, and chicken breast – perfect – I had lots of vegetables in the fridge so a hearty, warm soup was exactly what we needed.

6 – 8 cups chicken stock

3 chicken breasts, thinly sliced

1 tin (14 oz) tomato

1 dried ancho chile

1 dried guajillo chile

1 onion, minced

1 each red, green, yellow and orange pepper, roughly chopped

3 stalks celery, sliced

1 tsp ancho chile powder

1 tbsp regular chile powder

2 tbsp masa (corn flour)

Throw it all into a pot – leaving the ancho and guajillo chiles whole, and allow it to simmer – taste and adjust for seasoning – add a little salt and pepper.  If you like it spicy add more chile.

To dress the soup up a bit, garnish with chives, avocado and fresh herbs.

Salsa

Ringo En Orchard started as an apple orchard, and as times change, so does the land use!  We are so lucky to live here – beautiful apples, peaches and nectarines on the trees along with amazing fruit and vegetables growing right out the back door.   Eaten fresh all through the late summer and fall, this is a superb way of producing that delicious taste right through until they are fresh again.

16 cups peeled tomatoes (blend 4 cups, dice 12 cups)

9 cups mixed mixed colored peppers, finely diced

6 cups finely diced onions

2 cups jalapeno peppers, diced (if you like it spicy, leave the seeds in)

6 cobs of corn, corn removed

I chop some of the vegetables in the food processor, (i.e., tomatoes, jalapenos and onions) but a lot of the peppers, and some of the tomatoes I like to do by hand so I can see the little bits of peppers in my salsa! 

4 cups cider vinegar

8 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans 5.5 oz tomato paste

2 tbsp white sugar

2 tbsp kosher salt

4 tsp smoked sweet paprika

2 tsp oregano

Use a large, heavy saucepan so things don’t stick.

Combine all ingredients in pan and bring it to a boil, stirring enough so it doesn’t stick.  Once it does you will have a hard time keeping it from getting worse!  Once it comes to a rolling boil, turn it down to a simmer and allow it to simmer for about an hour – this will allow it to thicken up a bit.

 

Put into hot sealing jars and process in hot water bath for 20 minutes.

Mexican Green Rice

I love Mexican rice – for a big fiesta try making both this green (verde) rice along with red (roja) rice.  Want to create the Mexican flag colors in a bowl – make a batch of white (blanco) rice also!

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped white onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 cup chicken broth

3/4 cup Salsa Verde

1 cup long grain white rice

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Over medium heat saute the onions until soft, adding garlic for the last couple of minutes.  Stir in broth and salsa verde.  Add uncooked rice and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and allow to cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and remove lid.  Fluff rice with a fork and cover pot with a tea towel.  This allows the steam to release so your rice will be light and fluffy.

Stir in chopped cilantro.

Amazing – Simply Amazing – Baby Back Ribs

These ribs are fall off the bone tender but so full of taste that you need to account for one whole rack per person – even more for big eaters!  Make sure to serve with plenty of napkins – this will quickly become your family rib recipe.

Pile of heap of grilled ribs on a platter and watch them come running!

RUB

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp ground fennel
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika

BBQ SAUCE

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2  cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 can or bottle beer
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • zest & juice of 1  lemon or lime
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp soya sauce

4 racks pork baby back ribs, membrane removed

In small bowl, combine rub ingredients.  Place rib racks (whole) on 2 large rimmed baking sheets, and rub all over with seasonings, patting into meat.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Pour off any liquid and bake at 250 for at least 3 hours, until meat is tender, but not falling off bone.  (keep covered with foil)

Meanwhile, in saucepan, melt butter, add onion, garlic and thyme.  Cook until onion is very soft.  Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer quite a while, until very thick.  Continue tasting until you get a nice hit of flavor.

 

Grill or broil ribs, basting with sauce.  To serve, cut in between each rib and mound on platter.  Sprinkle with green onions, cut on diagonal.  Serve with extra sauce for dipping and lemon wedges – a generous squeeze right before sinking your teeth into these will just make them burst with flavour.

 

 

Mexican Version: 

add 1 tsp each:

Ancho chile powder and Mexican chile powder to both rub and bbq sauce and 1 minced chipotle chile to the BBQ sauce

Mexican Fiesta

Wow.  Sometimes I even surprise myself.  

Check out this Mexican Fiesta for Fathers Day …

Pork in Salsa Verde

Spanish Rice

Mexican Black Beans

Nationalist Guacamole

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Asparagus with lime, feta and almonds

It was amazing!  Try out the recipes and let me know what you think …