Southwestern Layered Salad

Mexican Corn Bread Salad Ahh, layered salad. I heard about them for years, and never thought I would like them, until I made one, and then I loved ’em.

So this was sure to be a hit, and it was, and we ate every last drop.

One of the shocking things about a layered salad, is that if constructed correctly, it keeps pretty well for a few days in the fridge and maintains it’s crispness and doesn’t get soggy either.

So do think about trying it.


  • 6-8 cups of lettuce of your choice, but I think iceberg just does the best here. But you can use romaine and even a bit of leaf lettuce.
  • 2 cups of shredded cabbage
  • 1 can of rinsed and drained beans of your choice. Pintos, red beans, garbanzo, black, etc.
  • 1 can of corn, drained (frozen can be used as well)
  • 2 green chiles, roasted, seeded and chopped
  • 2/3 cup of black olives, chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped tomatoes (drain well)
  • 2/3 cup or so of scallions sliced, green parts included
  • 2 avocados diced
  • 2 cups shredded cheese of your choice–cheddar, Monterey Jack, etc.
  • 4 oz. of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1/3 c mayonnaise
  • 1 small can green chiles
  • salt and pepper


  1. Layer your veggies up to the cheese in any order you like, but start with the lettuce. Make sure you lay your tomatoes on a couple of pieces of paper towelling. Do this with the black olives too, to get them as dry as possible. Once they are as dry as possible, then layer them in. It’s best to end with the avocado so the dressing can seal it off from air which keeps it nice and green.
  2. Mix together the cream cheese, sour cream and mayo. Add the can of chiles, and mix. Add salt as needed and some pepper to taste.
  3. Spread the dressing over the top of the veggies making sure to get to the edges so you “seal” in the veggies well.
  4. Sprinkle with the cheese so that it covers the top.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.


NOTES: It’s best to use a straight sided bowl if possible. To serve you want to cut straight down, so each serving contains the full array of the contents. The salad is sturdy enough to usually hold its place so that the last serving has some of all of the ingredients, most especially the dressing. Serve with some tortilla chips on the side.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton


Potatoes, Chiles and Radiccio Salad

homefriesSalads are always great as a side and this is one that is really nice both in the winter and summer.

It’s Southwestern in design but is not particularly spicy, so don’t be afraid of it if you have no taste buds for hot.

Ingredients are readily available in the north. Down here we use Hatch chiles, but just use Anaheim or Poblano and you’ll be fine.

I’ve changed this recipe a bit from its original by Bobby Flay.




  • 3 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 small head radicchio, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 green onions, green and pale green parts thinly sliced


  1. If you have a gas range, lay the chiles on the grate and turn on the jets, turning as needed until chiles are nice and black on the outside. Place in a plastic bag and seal. Leave until cool. Remove and under cold water rub off the skins. Slice off the tops and slit down one side. Remove seeds and membranes and then dice up.
  2. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and set aside to meld.
  3. Dice the potatoes (you don’t have to peel) and boil until almost done. You want some integrity. Drain.
  4. Place in a cast iron skillet with canola oil which has been heated to fairly hot. Fry, turning as necessary until the potatoes are nicely browned on all sides.
  5. Remove the potatoes to a bowl. Add the radicchio, cilantro, scallions, chiles, and dressing. Mix gently and serve warm.


NOTES: This makes a great base for a meat salad…Just add your favorite grilled chicken, steak or pork roast slices and you have a great hearty salad meal.

SOURCE: Adapted from Bobby Flay

Pumpkin Chorizo and Black Bean Soup

Pumpkin Chorizo and Black Bean Soup 800 5669I kind of came to soup late. Raised on Campbell’s, I never really saw the value of soup much. I never thought to order it in restaurants. I certainly never made it. But something made me try one at one point, and like a piano following on your head, I was sorta hooked.

And I have not been disappointed. You can do so much and vary a soup so easily that, well I tell ya, pretty much give those cans of Campbell’s away and all the other cans of “gourmet” soups, that are easier to make and taste way better anyhow.

This is one of the better ones I have come across. I made it pretty much as directed by the author. You will not be disappointed. Fair warning. It has a “bit” of spicy kick to it. You can tame that as you desire.


  • 1/2 pound chorizo sausage, casings removed (omit for vegetarian)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 pinch cinnamon (optional)
  • 3 cups chicken-broth or chicken stock or vegetable-broth.
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree or 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle chilis in adobo, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Saute the chorizo and onion until the chorizo is done and the onions are softened and translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
  3. Add the spices and stir in well.
  4. Add the balance of the ingredients. except for the lime juice and cilantro and stir in well.
  5. Simmer for about 10 minutes until all is blended.
  6. Puree about 1/3 of the mixture using either an immersion blender or remove to a regular blender.
  7. Just before serving, add the lime and fresh cilantro, stir in and serve.


NOTES: If you want to reduce the heat, half the chipotles in the recipe or omit them entirely. You can substitute a milder chile such as a poblano or a jalapeño if you wish. I would however char the and peel any chili to provide a deeper flavor.

SOURCE: Closet Cooking

Related Recipes

Shoot the Moon Southwestern Shrimp

skewered-shrimp_4x3_lgAre there people out there who don’t like shrimp?

Good, then more for us!

I love shrimp, and I loved shrimp on the grill better than any other way. With a strong enough taste, they can stand up to some mighty sharp flavors paired with them.

This is one of those.

Those who don’t like spicy and hot need not apply.

The heat is however adjustable, but if you don’t like cumin and cilantro, well, my deepest  condolences, and MORE FOR US!


  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 2-4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped (for hotter shrimp, leave the seeds in)
  • 1/2 bunch scallions, both white and green parts, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic (2 cloves coarsely chopped, 1 clove minced)
  • 1 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • couple of turns of your pepper grinder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 – 1 lime
  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. Clean your shrimp and place in a plastic bag or bowl.
  2. Place all the rest of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and whirr up until it is a paste.
  3. Add this to the shrimp, mix well and place covered in refrigerator for a couple of hours.
  4. When ready to go, heat up the grill to sizzle.
  5. Skewer the shrimp on wooden skewers, touching but not jammed together.
  6. Place on the direct heat and cook just until done, about 3 minutes per side. When they pink up, they are done.
  7. Eat!


NOTES: I love shrimp done like this on a bed of pasta, but with this dish, I think I might do some Spanish rice.

SOURCE: Inspired by Griffin’s Grub


Patty Melt With a Southwestern Flair

patty-melt-01Sometimes you need a burger plus. Something like a burger, but not quite a burger.

So kick off the bun, and add some rye bread. And well, the recipe follows. ‘

Take your classic patty melt and send it down here to New Mexico and we will put our own spice to it. You won’t be disappointed if you try this one.

This is a user-friendly recipe, and even the kids will pretty much like this I think.

Makes for a great little Saturday light dinner with some homemade fries and some homemade coleslaw.


  • 1 lb of ground round
  • 1 med-lg onion, sliced
  • 2 Anaheim chiles or Hatch if you can get them
  • slices of Monterey Jack cheese
  • slices of rye bread
  • mustard of your choice


  1. Slice the onions and place in a saute pan with about 3 tbsp of butter, and cook slowly until nicely caramelized–about 30-45 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Place your chiles on an open flame or under a broiler and char the skins thoroughly. Scrap off the skins, cut off the tops and remove the seeds. Chop into a nice dice. Set aside.
  3. Take the ground meat and place between two sheets of wax paper.  Shape into a rectangle. Using a rolling-pin, roll until it’s evenly distributed and can be cut into six pieces of the same approximate size. (rye bread if used is long and you will use two pieces of patty for each sandwich.)
  4. Cook the meat until done to your preference.
  5. Remove meat to a plate and place two slices of bread in the pan and brown evenly. Place the 2 pieces of meat on each slice, then scatter some chiles over the meat. Add some onions. Then add three slices of the cheese on top.
  6. Place the top slices of bread on each and with care, turn over and saute until the bottom slices are browned.
  7. Serve it up with mustards of your choice.

Serves: 3 generous sandwiches



Southwestern Pulled Pork Sandwich

pulled-pork-sandwich-with-cole-slaw-and-picklesOh hold me back. I do love a GOOD pulled pork sandwich, emphasis on the good. For there is much bad, mundane, and otherwise passable pulled pork out there.

Good pulled pork takes TIME. No way around that.

But it does not take a lot of effort.

So, it’s a planned for meal which you can start early in the morning, forget about most of the day, and finish off late in the day for a great-tasting meal. Think relaxed picnic-type meal. Leisurely had upon the veranda.

Okay, so I’m day dreaming now.

Let’s get to the recipe.


  • A 3lb or so pork butt or shoulder. (Don’t worry, you can freeze the meat if you don’t that much pulled pork at one time.
  • For a rub: salt, pepper, chile powder, cumin, oregano, garlic, chipotle powder.
  • 3-5 green chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lg onion roughly chunked up (to be discarded after cooking)
  • 4 c chicken stock or a combination of beef and chicken
  • 1 1/2 c barbecue sauce  mine, your own recipe, or your favorite bottled variety
  • 2 c of coleslaw


  1. Make the rub. I’d think about a tablespoon each of salt, chile powder and oregano, a tsp each of pepper, cumin and garlic. The chipotle is up to you, depending on how much heat you wish, AND how much heat your bbq sauce might have.
  2. But the rub all over the meat, and let sit lightly covered in the fridge for a good couple of hours or overnight if you wish.
  3. Place the meat in a heavy-duty oven pot, with a couple of tablespoons of canola oil and brown on all sides.
  4. Add the chopped up onion and stock. Either cook on top of the stove on low or place in a 250-275° oven. Cook for a good 4 hours, more if needed. You can always tell when it’s ready–the meat will break off and shred easily with a fork. Make sure you seal the pot lid on tight, using a piece of tinfoil if needed to keep it from steaming out. You need the liquid to stay inside.
  5. Remove the meat from the pot, and cool enough to fork it apart into shreds.
  6. The green chiles can be prepared sometime during the time the meat is braising. Ditto homemade barbecue sauce and coleslaw, but don’t dress the coleslaw until just before eating to prevent it getting watery.
  7. Warm your buns or bread, toasting if you desire.
  8. Warm your bbq sauce is needed, and add the chiles to it. Then add to the shredded meat until you get the consistency you want. Nicely wet but not sloppy is my preference. You can do this well in advance of eating if you wish and let the meat have marinating time in the sauce.
  9. Put a nice pile on your bun, top with some coleslaw, and well, stop reading and EAT!

Serves: the full 3 lb roast should feed about 8

NOTES: if you want to add dill pickles to the sandwich feel free. That’s a bit more Cuban than Southwestern. Also, you may want to add a half cup of brown sugar to the marinade of the meat IF you don’t use a sweet bbq sauce, and if your coleslaw recipe is not sweet. My coleslaw recipe has a bit of sugar but not a lot, but my bbq sauce is both sweet and hot. My coleslaw  also has got a cayenne kick. So adjust the heat and sweet depending on your coleslaw and bbq sauce. If you use my recipes, then you will not need these adjustments.

South of the Border Rice



Oh Spanish rice, or Mexican Rice, or Tex-Mex Rice, or Southwestern Rice.

Whatever you wish to call it, it’s good.

I make mine a bit simpler than most, but I do have a reason for doing so. It’s because I love to add a tablespoon or so of fresh green chile salsa as a garnish on the plate, and that really livens it up! So if you don’t want to use salsa as a condiment for this dish, just include your favorite chile chopped up to the sauteing of the onion and green pepper and you’re good to go.


  • 1 c regular long-grained rice
  • 1/2 c of diced onion
  • 1/2 c diced green pepper, or red
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 c chopped cilantro
  • 1 15oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2/3 c chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • canola oil for sauteing


  1. Heat up about 2 tbsp of canola oil in a skillet and saute onion and green pepper until softened. Add the rice and saute until it is browned.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Serve with green chile salsa on the side.

Serves: 6

NOTE: Diced fresh or canned tomatoes can be used instead of tomato sauce if you desire. Adjust the liquid so that you have a total of approximately 1 2/3 c. Corn is also a possible addition. I’d say about a cup of kernels, frozen or fresh.