Karl’s Cal-Mex Salad

Jan is hosting the Dean’s lunch today. Her staff ordered enchiladas, but there are Vegan and lactose-intolerant deans who will not eat those. She asked me to come up with an alternative.

Karl’s Cal-Mex Salad

Karl’s Cal-Mex Salad

To go with the enchiladas, I decided to make a salad with a Cal-Mex flair. When I make my Chinese Chicken salad, I always leave the chicken on the side. For this salad I will also leave the cheese on the side—that solves the Vegan problem. To keep the corn chips from getting soggy, I will leave them on the side as well.

Karl’s Cal-Mex Salad

Ingredients

Chicken

Marinade

1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds

½ tsp. ancho chili powder
½ tsp. guajillo chili powder
½ tsp. Mexican oregano
¼ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
Pinch black pepper
2 Tbs. vegetable oil (I used soybean, but you could use corn)
2 Tbs. lime juice

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

Salad

6 cups Romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery
1 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 green onions, sliced thinly
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced

1 mango, separate uses
1 avocado, separate uses
1 Tbs. lime juice

Dressing

½ tsp. coriander seeds
½ tsp. cumin seeds

¼ tsp. ancho chili powder
½ tsp. guajillo chili powder
½ tsp. Mexican oregano
½ tsp. sugar
Pinch Kosher salt
Pinch black pepper
¼ cup cilantro, stems and leaves
¼ cup mango
¼ cup avocado
1 Tbs. Jalapeño chili, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 Tbs. lime juice
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
1+ Tbs. water

Directions

1. Toast the coriander and cumin in a dry small skillet until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

2. Use a spice grinder to process them into a powder.

Tip: I use a dedicated electric coffee grinder, but you are free to go traditional and use a mortar and pestle.

3. Place the ground spices in a small mixing bowl and add the rest of the marinade ingredients. Mix well.

4. Cut each chicken breast into two thin fillets.

Tip: Lay the breast flat on the cutting board and slice parallel to the board.

5. Cover the breasts with the marinade and refrigerate, covered, for two hours.

6. In a lightly oiled pan, fry the breast fillets until well browned on both sides.

7. Cool and shred or slice the fillets into small pieces. Reserve the chicken to serve separately.

8. Prepare the lettuce, tomatoes, celery, cilantro, green onions, red bell pepper, red onion and put them in a large mixing bowl.

9. Seed and dice the mango. Reserve one quarter cup and put the rest in a small mixing bowl.

10. Seed and dice the avocado. Reserve one quarter cup and put the rest in the small mixing bowl.

11. Add one tablespoon of lime juice and toss to coat.

Tip: The lime juice will keep the fruit from turning brown.

12. Toast the coriander and cumin in a dry small skillet until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

13. Use a spice grinder to process them into a powder.

14. Place the ground spices in a standing blender and add the rest of the dressing ingredients. Process the dressing until smooth.

Tip: Add as much water as you need to thin the dressing.

15. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and add the avocado/mango mix to the salad bowl. Toss to coat.

16. Serve the chicken, cheese and corn chips on the side, for those who wish to add them to their salads.

 

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Filed under California Fusion, Chicken, Poultry, Salads, Vegan, Vegetarian

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