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Mexican Salad

Spice up your lettuce with this delicious gluten-free spicy Mexican Salad...

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

The key to this zesty recipe is the pepper jelly.  There are quite a few varieties of pepper jelly on the market. You can also make your own pepper jelly by following the directions for pepper jelly in a packet of Certo pectin. Obviously there is a difference in both taste and heat between individual brands, so use half the stated quantity of pepper jelly to start with and then add more to your individual taste. Even if you used exactly the same pepper jelly as I did, your taste could want more or less heat. Also realize that the vinaigrette tasted on a spoon will taste far hotter than once it is mixed with a salad. The sweetness of the jelly mellows the vinaigrette and makes a vinaigrette with a sweet spicy but mild kick. Just enough to realize the heat without your nose running and lips tingling madly.

Gluten-Free Mexican Salad

Ingredients:

Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tbsp (30ml) gluten-free hot pepper jelly placed in small microwave safe bowl and melted in microwave 10-20 seconds. I like to clean, sterilize and reuse jam jars for these sauces as you can see what’s in them in the fridge. I buy Trappist Hot pepper jelly.
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) honey
  • Zest of 1/4 lime
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lime juice - about ½ to 1 lime. Half of a lime can produce only about 1+1/2 tablespoons of juice, you need to add more to total 2 tablespoons. The extra little bit of lime does make a difference in taste for me. 
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or more or less to taste)
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil (120 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) Koops Arizona heat mustard, labeled gluten-free
  • green of 2 green onions
  • about 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley and/or cilantro

Salad:

  • Deliberately leftover, 2 corn on the cob, roasted or bbq'd and niblets cut from cob
  • Shredded romaine or other lettuce, enough for 4 people
  • Tomatoes, either large cut up, or small grape or cherry
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, depitted and cut into small dice
  • Mexican cheese of your choice, shredded or crumbled
  • Gluten-free salsa of your choice for heat
  • ½ red pepper deseeded and cut into ½” dice - optional
  • ½ c cooked chick peas - optional
  • fresh cilantro chopped - optional
  • Whatever other salad ingredients you personally like
  • Tortillas – I like the crunch of Tostitos, labeled gluten-free, crushed a little
  • I got real lobster salad at the market – that was fabulous, but salad shrimp, cooked chicken, spicy sausage, pulled pork without sauce. Or an egg and it can be vegetarian

Directions:

1. Mix all vinaigrette ingredients together, lightly pulse with immersion blender to chop herbs and also thickens vinaigrette and leave for about 1 hour for flavors to blend together.

2. On individual plates or one large platter, attractively arrange lettuce and top with circles of tomatoes, avocado, red pepper and any other salad ingredients you think would be suitable. Top with crushed chips just before serving.

3. You can also leave shrimp, chicken, in 1/4 c vinaigrette for an hour to absorb flavor. Then pour shrimp, chicken and vinaigrette on top of salad.

Vinaigrette keeps in fridge for several days.  If you used olive oil it will appear solidified, like melted butter chilled.

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