Cold Mexican Salad

My wife, Cara, asked me to make up a batch of my Cold Mexican Salad, so I thought, while I was at it, I’d share the recipe with any of you out there that might want to try it for your dinner.

tips bolaNow, for some reason, I like using Penne noodles in my salad. I use good cup to make fair quantity. You can try your salad with elbow macaroni, or maybe try the colorful garden twirls, if you prefer. Doesn’t really matter. Bring the noodles to boil as you prepare other parts of your salad.

Mix up a Mexican sauce with the following ingredients:

2 Tbsp. chili powder

1 1/2 Tsp. paprika

1 Tsp. onion powder

3/4 Tsp. garlic powder

1 Dash red pepper

For the salad ingredients I use:

1 cup Penne pasta

1 lb hamburger, browned

2 whole New Mexico Green Chili Peppers, braised and peeled

2-3 slices of an onion – chopped

1/4 cup water

1 cup corn

1 cup peas

1 can 16 oz. black beans – very important

about a cup of cherry tomatoes – cut into quarters

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup Ranch Dressing

Notice: I don’t use salt when I cook, you might – so I would suggest no more than a 1/2 tsp. if you feel you really need it.

Brown the hamburger in a skillet. Add the chopped onions, peppers and a quarter cup of water once the hamburger is browned – you don’t want softened onions and pepper by over cooking them since it’s a cold salad, but you do want the onions and peppers to mix with the sauce. Add the sauce ingredients and mix well on a low heat.

While that’s cooking, rinse in hot water the black beans, peas, and corn and let drain. I use the frozen peas and corn only because it’s easier and I don’t like the taste of the canned corn or peas. Fresh is ultimately better, but you know. Leave the mix in the strainer until your ready to drain the penne noodles.

When the noodles are done, pour them over the vegetables in the strainer. This will thaw any remaining frozen vegetable (if you used frozen). Add mixture to a large bowl with the cherry tomatoes (I use a storage container here so I can put the lid on and mix up the ingredients by shaking).

Finally I add Ranch Dressing to the mix – about a quarter cup, if you need to measure it. Stir and shake if you’ve got a container with a lid. Set the combined ingredients in the fridge for about two hours, or until thoroughly chilled. Makes about 4-6 one cup servings. Enjoy.

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