Thursday, May 24, 2012

Black Bean and Ham Salad with Lemon-Lime Vinaigrette

I notice the loved ones in my life who live alone eat a lot of chicken.  As do folks on the South Beach Diet or any diet.  (I've been there.)  Maybe everyone who's not a vegetarian eats a lot of chicken.  Granted it's one of the most inexpensive and versatile proteins and is low in fat.   I'm on the bandwagon, too; I eat chicken often.  I roast a whole chicken probably twice a  month or more.   I occasionally buy a deli chicken on Tuesdays from Whole Foods.   I  like to make breasts on the bone for salads, casseroles (we call them hot dish in Minnesota and hot dish is singular or plural), sandwiches (though I don't eat a sandwich in two months unless it's a veggie burger on half a bun), or in omelets.

(Above:   Make my Greek Chicken Salad sometime.)

 I'm  a coq au vin and chicken and dumplings fan and, if you check around the internet I think you'll find I'm totally hooked on chicken noodle soup.  I'm embarrassed to say that as a kid, if I had a choice between my parent's homemade meals and chicken noodle soup (canned), I chose Campbell's.  I think it was the Kraft Mac and Cheese of the 50's and 60's.    I now can make a tasty approximation of homemade chicken noodle soup in an hour (or less) if I really concentrate.  I encourage you to master that pot of goodness for the day you (or someone) have a bad cold.  So good.

This is all to say, "Get off the chicken once in a while," to all of us.  Stop in the deli and ask for a nice, thick slice of ham.  Buy a ham steak.  Steal a piece from the cook when you're over for Easter dinner.  However you have to do it, get some ham and make my salad with lime vinaigrette.  It's leaning toward Tex-Mex and  you could add avocado, etc.  In fact, I make a huge vegetarian version of this for potluck cookouts or tailgates.  (That version adds rice and lots else for a huge bowl of food.)  This particular ham was some left from a ten-pounder I roasted for the end-of-the-year choir potluck:

Kurobuta Ham--lean, lip-smacking, not water-filled.  Worth the price.

We had lots of sides including corn pudding.  My choir is full of good cooks.  Choirs usually are.

Leftovers from this salad are tasty, filling, and will make you click out La Cucharacha (or something) on your pearly whites while you eat this at your desk for lunch.  Note:  you might have to re-season a bit next day, but the salad itself holds well overnight.  If you want to keep it 2-3 days, don't stir the tomatoes in; keep them separate.    Try this:
black bean and ham salad with lemon-lime vinaigrette 
   2-3 main-course servings or 6 sides
  • large can of black beans (26.5 oz currently), drained, rinsed, and drained again
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and minced finely
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/3 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup extra-sharp Cheddar, cut into small cubes (I like Tillamook or Cabot for value.)
  • 1 small zucchini, small dice
  • 1/2 cup ham cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 1/2 t each:  ground cumin*, kosher salt, fresh-ground black pepper, aleppo pepper (you can sub crushed red pepper for aleppo--use 1/4 t)
  • Pinch ground cayenne
  • Juice of 1 lemon, 1 lime  (could choose orange juice for one  or add orange zest--1/2 t)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1T red wine vinegar (or less to taste)
In a large bowl, mix together beans - ham.  Dust with spices and squeeze juices over all.  Drizzle olive oil evenly over the salad and mix well.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Add a little red wine vinegar and check seasoning again.  Add more if you like.  Serve at room temperature or cold.  Store tightly sealed in the refrigerator for 2-3 days (without tomatoes); do not freeze.

*You could sub chili powder for ground cumin, but I like the cumin here.

Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,


No comments:

Post a Comment

Love hearing from you! If you don't have gmail or a blog, you can choose "anonymous" from the comment pull-down menu. Sign your name within the comment box if you'd like. Thanks, Alyce