Happy Labor Day everyone! I was trying to think of something different than my usual BBQ regulars. I knew we were grilling steaks and making a spinach salad but I wanted a pasta salad, because well, I love pasta. I decided to go to my Southern California roots do something with a Latin/Mexican flair. I was watching Simply Delicioso with Ingrid Hoffman and saw a pasta that she was working on and it gave me TONS of ideas. But you know that as a food blogger I can never leave anyone’s recipe alone, so off my little mind went with ingredients dancing in my head. I figured go big or go home, so I threw all of my favorites at this pasta, well not ALL of them, but most of them. Wow, who knew that my little thoughts would go so far?
I love it when my little mental foodie trips take me to a good place, and this of surely did! There is creaminess, spicyness, all of the things you would want from a great side dish. I know I have said we love things hot here, but trust me this is not too hot. You will love every bit of this pasta salad. I will bet money on it!! Kevin said that from now on if someone asks us to bring a dish to a BBQ this is the one we are bringing!!
1 pound curly pasta (rotini, cavatapi)
1/2 fat free condensed milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup diced ham
1 cup crumbled Queso Fresco (can sub feta) cheese
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves (a good handful), chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, diced
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, cook according to package directions. Drain, place in a large bowl and set aside.
While the pasta cooks, combine the evaporated milk, oil, Queso Fresco or feta, cilantro, lime juice and some salt and pepper in a blender. Puree until the dressing is smooth and creamy.
Place the drained pasta in a large bowl. Add the ham, bell peppers, onions, jalapeno, black beans, and avocado. Pour the dressing over the pasta and gently mix it into the salad. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours before serving.
Labor Day Cookout Recipes:
Starters & Snacks
Salads & Sides
This recipe was also share on Jagruti’s Cooking Oddysey’s Super Foods Super Power Event
I know today is supposed to be Food Star Friday but I am still a bit off kilter from the BlogHer Food conference last weekend. It was such a whirlwind and that seemed to carry over to this whole week. I promise Manic Monday and Food Star Friday will be back next week.
On to the food right? OK, here goes. This recipe is what happened when I was scrambling to come up with dinner. Like I said, this week has been crazy for me and cooking was no different. I am usually completely organized when it comes to my meals (hahaha NOT)! Why do you think I have Manic Monday? Because a lot of the time the manic one is ME. But this meal was actually a reward for being unorganized!
A while back my son brought me home some pepper jelly from Rose City Pepperheads in Oregon.
Now that I have tried their jelly I want to try all of them! SO much flavor with a wonderful balance of sweet and heatt. I am wondering what the Holy Habanero tastes like, I am feeling pretty brave lately so I will have to order that and give it a try.
This is a super simple recipe with a ton of flavor. Again we are outside on the grill, or rather Kevin is on the grill. But this can be done on a grill pan in kitchen, or even in the oven. Anyway you cook it I highly recommend you give this a try!!
This week for Food Star Friday I was able to combine a recipe for something I have wanted to make for quite some time, with one of my favorite things to do on the weekend. Today’s post is Tyler’s Ultimate Chicken Nachos! I mean what could possibly go better together than a big plate of spicy nachos and a night time NASCAR race? On top of that we had my Watermelon Blackberry Jargaritas to wash it all down!
Tyler Florence is one of my favorite Food Network stars. Yes, the fact that he is pretty dang cute doesn’t hurt but I really do like his food. I have made several of his recipes for Food Star Friday. They never disappoint.
This weekend was a strange one. Lately I have been just flying by the seat of my pants when it comes down to what we are eating. Not knowing how many I am cooking for, or what time they will be here, and honestly being a bit burnt out from the week, has just caused me to slack off a bit. For some reason I decided to jump on the ball and get a menu plan going!
I knew I had to come up with a drink for Tipsy Tuesday, and with my son (the bartender of all bartenders) being out of town, I knew I had to really plan something good to drink. I guess that got my creative juices flowing and away I went! I still have a few things left on the plan, including a couple of desserts! I know, I am so excited!! I never make dessert, so this will be a true treat.
Now on to the nachos. These were very very good. It takes a little bit of work but not a whole lot. I had preshredded my chicken when I brought it home from the store. I bought two rotisserie chickens because the recipe called for a 3 pound chicken, and the ones at my store were just a little over 1 1/2 pounds. By shredding it as soon as I got home it saved sooooo much time when I got down to the nitty gritty of making this recipe. I plan on doing that will all of my chicken that needs to be shredded. Just do it when you are already in the shopping/organizing/putting away mood.
These didn’t last very long. I would love to have some more right now with one of those jargaritas!!
- 4 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 2 jalapenos, stemmed
- 1/2 medium onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken stock, at room temperature
- 4 cups shredded Jack cheese
- 1 (1-pound) bag salted corn tortilla chips
- 1 (3-pound) whole roasted chicken, meat finely shredded, skin and bones discarded
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- 2 handfuls fresh cilantro leaves, hand shredded
- 2 limes, juiced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Sour cream and guacamole, for serving