Saturday, August 23, 2008

Good Ol' Days...Southwestern Cobb Salad

I whipped out the first cookbook I ever bought and made one of my favorite recipes. Martha Stewart...yeah, baby! Back before Martha did time and her magazine was still cool, I used to have a monthly subscription to Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Each year Martha came out with an annual cookbook with all the recipes from the magazine for the year. This gem comes from Martha Stewart Living 2002 Annual Recipes.

Southwestern Cobb Salad:
1/4 freshly squeezed lime juice, plus juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
4 large eggs
8 ounces thickly sliced bacon
1 yellow pepper
1 poblano chile (I used a serrano for more heat)
1 tomato, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted black olives
1 sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ripe but firm Hass avocados, peeled and cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1 fifteen-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small head romaine, torn in 1-inch pieces
Green Goddess Dressing

Combine 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup oil, the soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and the red-pepper flakes in a small bowl. Place the chicken breasts in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade into the bag and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Lift the chicken from the bag allowing the excess marinade to drain off. Place on the grill, and cook until grill marks appear and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Cool the chicken completely, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.

Place the eggs in a saucepan with cold water cover the pan and bring to a boil. (Note the bit about putting the eggs in COLD water and THEN bring to a boil. Alex pointed this out to me when I started out too and I shrugged him off...FYI, put the eggs in cold water and THEN bring to a boil)Remove from the heat. Let sit about 11 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold running water until cooled. Peel and coarsely chop the eggs; set aside.

Instead of cooking the bacon in a frying pan. I stole this idea from Ina Garten. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in 1 layer on the baking rack. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, until the bacon begins to brown. Remove the pan carefully from the oven; there will be hot grease in the pan! Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and serve warm. This method is the ONLY way I am EVER going to cook bacon ever again!

The recipe calls to roast the peppers, which I didn't do...too much effort. I am glad now I didn't roast the peppers. It would have made the salad to mushy in consistency.

In a bowl, combine the yellow pepper, tomato, olives, half the onion. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

In another bowl, combine the poblano (serrano) with the avocados, 1/4 cup cilantro, remaining juice of 2 limes, cayenne pepper (if using), and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Combine the black beans with the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and onion. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Arrange the romaine on a platter and serve with additional ingredients. Drizzle with dressing.

Green Goddess Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 sour cream ( I used a 1/3 cup of each mayonnaise, sour cream and plain yogurt - it is what I always do to cut back on calories)
2 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bunch chives, coarsely chopped (1/3 cup)
2 scallions, white and green parts coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon sugar - I would omit this next time
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days.

I would love to say that this is is a healthy salad recipe...but you can tell from the bacon, eggs mayo, sour cream...But hello yummy!!! And at least you get your serving of veggies!

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