Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nacho Salad

There are many variations of Cowboy Caviar but this one is very different. League President Ruth Ann Hogan named it "Nacho Salad". We worked up an appetite after inventorying 3,000 cookbooks at the Museum so this was a welcome lunch.

It was created by combining three recipes - Black Bean and White Corn Salad page 183, and Cowboy Caviar page 180, and my friend, Gina Day's recipe. Kathleen Fischer told me to make it the day before so the spices marinate. Served with tortilla chips it is perfect for a Super Bowl party or any gathering.

1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

1-2 bunch(s) cilantro, trimmed
3 (14 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (16 ounce) package frozen white corn
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1 (4 ounce) can diced chiles
12 black olives chopped
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
8 ounces (1/3 less fat) Neufchatel cream cheese
1/3 cup fat free Half & Half
2 ripe avocados mashed
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 hard boiled egg

Vinaigrette: Combine vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper, chiles in a jar. Shake well.

Salad: Combine beans, corn, onions and black olives in a salad bowl. Pour vinaigrette over and refrigerate for 2-12 hours.

When ready to serve, blend Neufchatel cheese, Half & Half and mashed avocados together. Spread cheese/avocado mixture onto large platter with sides. Drain salad mixture well, then layer over cheese/avocado mixture.

Top with circle of shredded cheddar cheese, circle of chopped cilantro and fill center with chopped hard boiled egg.