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


Southwestern Dressing

southwesterndressingThis year I tired of making my usual Italian Thanksgiving dressing and decided to change things up a bit.

Actually it turned out rather well.

The amounts are not exact, but if you stay close to the approximations all will be well.


  • 6 cups cubed sourdough bread, dried at least 24 hours
  • 2 cups crumbed and dried cornbread
  • 1 c chopped celery, finely minced
  • 1 c chopped onion, finely minced
  • 1/2 c chopped carrot, finely minced
  • 2 Anaheim, Hatch, or Poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 finely minced red sweet pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage of 2 tsp dried
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb chopped andouille sausage
  • 1 c corn, frozen or drained canned, or fresh
  • 2 – 4 cups chicken stock


  1. Place the breads in a very large bowl and mix gently.
  2. Place the celery, onion, carrot, sweet pepper and saute in a bit of olive oil until softened and translucent.
  3. Add to the veggies, the chiles and herbs and mix.
  4. Add the sausage and corn, mixing again.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. Pour into the bowl with the breads and mix gently.
  7. Add the chicken stock a cup at a time, and stir carefully each time, until it starts to cling together. Too much will make it soggy and mushy and not enough will make it dry. Err on the dry side, you can always add a bit more half way through the baking time if it seems too dry.
  8. Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes, until hot throughout.


NOTES: I used to pour all into a casserole and then pour the stock over, but I found it harder to judge the amount that way, and ended up with a pretty soggy dressing. So I suggest you do it in a bowl where you an stir and see a bit better how much you really need.

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

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


Aw Shucks Southwestern Pasta Salad

If ever there was a recipe that is not sacrosanct in terms of ingredients, this would be the one.

You can add, subtract, change the amounts, just about do whatever you want, to make it fit your tastes.

That’s the beauty of pasta. It adapts. It has the ability to serve as the foundation of so many other tastes, and blend them beautifully.

This is but one version you might try. Quite frankly, it was what I had on hand at the time.

The dressing, however, can be used as a standard upon which to choose the veggies you wish.


  • 2/3 of a box of pasta of whatever shape you prefer.
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1/2 c chopped scallions
  • 2/3 c chopped cherry tomatoes (or romas)
  • 1 c corn (frozen if fine)
  • 1/2 c Pico de Gallo (home-made preferred but commercial if you desire)
  • 2 tbsp Mexican spices (taco seasoning–homemade or commercial)
  • 2/3 c vinaigrette (using either lime juice or lemon as the acidic instead of vinegar)
  • 1/4 c mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes


  1. Cook the pasta al dente and then cool until no more than warm.
  2. Add the veggies of you choice or those above.
  3. Add the mayo to the vinaigrette and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the spices to the vinaigrette and stir until mixed.
  5. Place the pepper flakes on a cutting board and run a knife over several times until it is minced. Add to the vinaigrette.
  6. Pour over the salad, and mix.

Serves: 6

NOTE: You may wish to consider beans of any type, rinse before adding. Broccoli flowerets, cauliflower, lima beans, green beans, radishes, carrots, the list is pretty much endless. You might substitute a finely minced jalapeño or other fresh hot chile for the pepper flakes. Consider a pickled hot pepper. Note also that the addition of shrimp, seasoned ground beef, chicken, ham, etc., would make this a complete meal.

Roasted Garlic Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

I first discovered hummus when I lived in Detroit and lunched regularly in GreekTown. Ahh, what a delightful appetizer!

When I joined Justapinch, this is the first recipe I tried. Middle East, meet South West!

Mostly I loved the recipe, (which is why it’s included here) but I found it a bit bland and not very hot. (my jalepeño might have been a rare mild one). Other than that,  it was great.

I’m not sure why tahini, which is standard for hummus was not included. I sure think it would have no negative effect if you want to add it. So my only addition would be to make sure it gets a bit more heat from the chili (maybe a bit of chipotle?) and you can never have too much garlic!

Hope you enjoy it. Compliments of Jodie Scales at Justapinch.


  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 lg (or more) jalepeños, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt (Kosher or sea)
  • 1/4 bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 TBSP lemon juice (I would use more)
  • 1/4 c tahini if you wish


  1. Cut off the top of the garlic bulb and place in a small piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Place in a 375° oven for 35-40 minutes. Open and let cool.
  2. Place all the rest into a food processor and blend until fairly smooth. Squeeze out the garlic into the bowl, and add the rough cut cilantro and pulse until mixed.
  3. Serve with raw veggies or pita bread, or taco chips (unsalted).