Monday, April 22, 2013

El Torito Salad

El Torito Salad
(I got this recipe from Geenie Chapman – my sister in law)

1 cup cilantro – coarsely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise     
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup anaheim chilies – coarsely chopped
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup pepitas – roasted and salted
1/3 cup cotija cheese – crumbled
1 clove garlic – grated or coarse chop
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
More cotija and pepitas will be needed in the salad itself.
1 bag of red or blue corn chips
Put the cilantro, chilies, and garlic in the food processor and give it a whirl.  Add the pepitas and cotija and whirl it again.  Last, add the mayo, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Finish the blending.  Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
For the salad, use romaine and cut into bite size pieces.  Chill the lettuce until ready to make the salad.  To make the salad, put the lettuce in a bowl.  Sprinkle in some pepitas and cotija and crumble in some corn chips.  Put the dressing on and toss.
My notes:  I always make the dressing just as it says here.  Once I put in extra cheese because I love it so much, and that made the dressing too dry.  It’s perfect just the way it is.  The brand of cheese that I buy is Cacique.  I get the pepitas at Trader Joes.
When you go to the store to get the chilies, you will see that there are a million different kinds of chilies.  The chilies are anaheim chilies sometimes called green chilies.  They are a lighter green than a green bell pepper and they are kind of long and skinny (like 6 to 8 inches long).  They are considered mild, but don’t lick your fingers or touch your eye while cutting.
My sister Carolyn makes this dressing in a blender and it turns out fine.  I think it’s a bit smoother in the food processor, but don’t skip making it just because you don’t have one.  If you do use a blender, it might be better to chop everything a little finer.
It’s a beautiful salad at Christmas time if you can get the red corn chips.  I can only find them around Christmas.
Last thing:  I’ve only made a single batch of this dressing once.  Everybody likes it so much that I make a double batch every time.  And if you make a double batch, buy two packages of cotija!!