Elote ‘Caesar’ Salad
Note: With a nod to one of Mexico’s most iconic street foods, this Caesar-inspired salad makes a delightful first course or side. The addition of grilled chicken, steak, seafood or tofu turns it into a satisfying main dish. Cotija is a Mexican cheese that’s firm and crumbly, like Parmesan. It’s widely available. From Meredith Deeds.
• 4 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed and rinsed
• 2 medium poblano peppers
• 1/2 c. mayonnaise
• 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
• 3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 garlic clove, finely minced
• 1/4 tsp. cayenne
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 2 to 3 romaine hearts, torn into bite-size pieces (about 12 c.)
• 1/2 c. crumbled Cotija cheese (see Note)
• Crispy Tortilla Strips (recipe follows)
To prepare the corn and peppers: Prepare grill for high heat. Place the corn and poblano peppers directly on grill and cook, turning occasionally, until corn is lightly charred on all sides and fully tender and the peppers are completely charred, about 10 minutes total. Transfer corn to a cutting board and place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
When corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob.
Using a paper towel, rub peppers to remove blackened skin, and discard. Remove the stem and seeds and chop the pepper.
To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper.
To assemble salad: In a large bowl, combine the romaine lettuce and half of the dressing. Toss to coat. Divide among serving plates/bowls. Top with corn, chopped poblanos, cheese and Crispy Tortilla Strips. Serve with extra dressing on the side.
Nutrition information per serving (with tortilla chips and all dressing):
Calories 530 Fat 36 g Sodium 730 mg Saturated fat 8 g
Carbohydrates 46 g Added sugars 0 g
Protein 12 g Cholesterol 30 mg Dietary fiber 8 g
Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1 carb, 1 high-fat protein, 5 fat.
Crispy Tortilla Strips
• Vegetable oil (for frying)
• 6 corn tortillas, cut in half, then cut crosswise into matchstick-sized strips
Pour enough vegetable oil into medium saucepan to reach depth of 3/4 inch. Heat oil over medium heat to 350 degrees.
Add about a quarter of the tortilla strips to the hot oil and cook until crisp and light golden, about 30 to 45 seconds. Using tongs or slotted spoon, transfer tortilla strips to paper towels to drain. Immediately season with salt. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips in separate batches. Cool.