Oh, the flavors! This salad is a party in a bowl, perfect for a main meal or a holiday gathering. There are so many layers of deliciousness in this recipe starting with an orange juice, cider vinegar, shallot and sundried tomato marinade for the chicken thighs. Then there are the healthy greens like baby spinach and a hefty helping of feta and mozzarella cheeses. The dressing is actually the drippings from the pan-grilled chicken, so it’s loaded with flavor through and through. This dish didn’t start out as a salad. It was actually originally a hot Tuscan skillet where the chicken breasts are stuffed with the cheeses, spinach and tomatoes. But I decided to switch it up and turn it into a refreshing salad with warm flavorful chicken tossed in.
There is the classic Salade Nicoise with its lovely composition of tuna, tomatoes, sliced eggs, olives, potatoes, haricots verts and anchovies–or variations thereof. The tuna is generally canned, and there is very little in the way of lettuce leaves. Then, there is the more updated trend, the Ahi Tuna Salad, with its delicate strips of seared fresh ahi tuna, arranged in overlapping slices and serve on a bed of lettuce often with a wasabi-soy- mustard drizzle or a honey ginger vinaigrette. Combine the best of both salads, add a rainbow of color and crunch, and you have a hearty, healthful main meal dish with the unusual twist of fresh tuna served, not in slices, but rather in cubes to get the sear on all sides. If your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthy and somewhat preservative-free, the Over The Rainbow Cubed Ahi Tuna Salad is your creative and crunchy kick starter in a salad bowl!
Today is Mexican Independence Day, the fiesta-filled holiday when Mexico celebrates its independence from Spain in 1810. This is a day of national pride, mariachi music and lots of great food. You can bet that Fajitas will be a favorite on the menu at restaurants and at home celebrations. Fajitas refer to grilled meat or chicken served with tortillas alongside grilled peppers and onions. Fajitas are so simple to make at home. A delicious fajita starts with a great marinade. For this recipe, I’ve chosen a simple combination of ingredients, but if you prefer more heat, you can always add some red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne. For the chicken, I prefer skinless boneless chicken thighs, but chicken breasts work well too. For the meat, you’ll want something with a little bit of fat like a skirt or flank steak. With colorful peppers always available, a combination of green, red, yellow and orange bell peppers make a beautiful presentation along with a large, sweet yellow onion. To give the fajitas a real authentic flavor, you can toss your flour tortilla into a hot dry skillet or griddle for just a few seconds to give it the char marks and delicious flavor. Of course, you’ll want to top off your fajitas with all of your favorite fixings’ like avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro, shredded cheese and sour cream. Plan ahead so the protein can marinate for several hours, then fire up the skillet or grill and get cookin’ south of the border style for your Mexican Independence Day feast!
Watch my How To Video for Fajitas here!
Simply put, Carne Asada means “grilled steak.” But because we use cuts like skirt, flank or sirloin steaks, let them bathe in aromatic marinades and top the meat with spicy seasonings, Carne Asada has and will always be a southwestern favorite! It can be served as a stand-alone entrée often served with a chimichurri sauce, or made into tacos, tostados or perhaps as a hearty salad served with avocado, tomatoes and queso. Carne Asada can be purchased already prepared in a marinade or you can make the marinade at home. This recipe combines a homemade marinade with a spice rub for maximum flavor. Cooking the asada is easy. It simply requires a hot grill or grill pan and, for best results, a meat thermometer. The key to a great carne asada is too cook the meat to about a 125-130 degree internal temperature and then let it rest for at least 10 minutes, during which time the meat will continue to cook a few more degrees. If making tacos with the carne asada, here’s tip for great tortillas. For flavorful, authentic tasting tacos, heat tortillas in a dry skillet or griddle for about 45 seconds on each side or until tortilla bubbles up and develops charred spots. Stack on top of each other to keep warm and pliable. If you’re looking for a shareable family-style Sunday supper, Carne Asada brings the flavors of the Southwest to life!
Watch my how to video for Carne Asada here!