Here is a typical lunch for us.
Most of the components are self-evident, but the chicken salad was especially good, so I scribbled down the ingredients while we were eating it. As usual, I just tossed in whatever appealed to me at the moment.
White meat chicken breast (roasted the day before in the Nesco Roaster) and bacon
Cucumbers, shredded carrots, tomato bits, Pasilla pepper (roasted previously), peperoncini
Pecans, Pepper cheese, Mozzarella cheese, cranberries, tomatillo salsa, tomato salsa
Montreal Steak Seasoning, Garam masala, mild ground red chili, celery seed
I bound it all together with a couple of spoonfuls of Cole slaw dressing
If you don’t have any/all of the above, there are myriad other options. Here are a few I thought of, but did not add this time, either because I didn’t have them, or didn’t think of it in time.
Celery, Mexican scallion, bell pepper, shredded cabbage, boiled egg, small potato cubes, pickle relish (dill or sweet), other kinds of cheeses, other kinds of nuts, other kinds of dried fruits
The possible variations are legion. If you want a more “potato-y” salad, put in a lot of potato; likewise carrot salad or Cole slaw, or substitute any meat you have. I haven’t tried it with tuna, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be just as satisfactory.
One experimental thing I have been doing is: Once a week I try to remember to buy an item that I have not tried before. Here in the land of everything Mexican, there are so many possibilities that I would be foolish not to try them out.
This week I have sprung for two items: One a Mexican “cooking sauce” in a jar, and the other a condensed salsa in a can, which I opened and decanted into my own jar, so I no longer have the can label to show.
Both of these items were hot. The salsa more so than the cooking sauce, so I had to be careful with the amounts used. DH is much more tolerant of “hot peppery” things, so he sometimes puts these “hot” things on his food separately.
I must say, though, that I liked both of the items . . . in small quantities. Like the ground up mild chilis that I use so often, I dumped the cooking sauce into a lot of things I was making over the last week or so. Believe it or not, it was especially good in a gravy that I made from a roast that I cooked in the InstantPot. It didn’t actually have a taste in the gravy, but I thought it gave it a nice “body” with none of the overt harshness that might be detected from straight chilis.
To test, I put it in only the amount of gravy that I was serving with that meal, leaving the rest unsullied in the event it was a bust. But I found myself adding it to the gravy each subsequent time I served it forth. It seemed to go well with everything; didn’t detect any discord with any other foods served on those days.
Now we can’t really call just about anything I post as a “recipe”, but hopefully these guidelines will serve to make delicious use of whatever you have in the house without having to jump into a vehicle to go out to eat very often, as well as make good use of a little bit of this and a dab of that rather than feeding it to the disposer.
TIP: Almost anything can be plopped on a Triscuit and thence into one’s belly!
So . . . the moral of the story is: Even if you grew up on Midwestern cooking, you can branch out to encompass a lot of various cuisines. A lot of goodness awaits!! ;->
Such a nice combination of ingredients. Interesting to learn about all these Mexican foods. 🙂
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What surprises me is that it takes so little of an ingredient to add a real “something” to the dining experience. I got a small jar of mole, but a teaspoon (per serving) of it at a time really adds big flavor. I don’t think I would like it straight, though.
The second item here:
is what I use mostly. I have been using their chili paste (third item) for about 25 years. I mail ordered it when we lived in California, but now that we live practically in their backyard, I can get it at the local grocery stores.
The pasillas are coming in now, so I sautéed up some yesterday with a bunch of huge mushrooms and made a lunch omelet that wouldn’t quit. We are still talking about it! I remembered to take a photo, so maybe it will show up here soon.
When it comes to such condiments, usually a small amount indeed can make a big difference.
The chili paste sounds so good. I’ll see if I can get it here, or order it. Thanks! 🙂
I’ve inspired myself to take a day trip over to Tumacocori and visit the store in person!
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Sounds like a good plan! Would be interesting read about it. 🙂
The wheels turn slowly here, but we are trying to make a day trip of it one day next week. “There and back” on any given day is always a challenge! I’ll charge up my camera battery – just in case it actually pans out.
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So many useful tips, love Mexican food 🙂
Be brave – branch out a little at a time. Well worth the experimentation.
Unfortunately I cannot buy all the ingredients for Mexican food here, but it’s still very interesting, Judie. Have a nice day, virtual hugs Mitza