Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Caprese Salad Minus Becca

Becca is my cousin.

She was my first babysitting job; her parents paid for the gas in my1971 Volkwagen Rabbit, and all of my cassingles, including Bon Jovi and Richard Marx.

Becca is now grown-up and doesn’t need me to babysit her anymore. But she still comes over and we drink Diet Coke and solve the world’s problems.

Becca is moving to California on Friday.

My cousin Becca was schedule to come over and we were going to make Caprese salads for ya’ll. Gorgeous, easy, and perfect for summer, especially when tomatoes are in full force in my garden.

Becca and I had to cancel our plans, but I wasn’t about to let good tomatoes go to waste. So follow my stream of consciousness here for a sec.

When I was shopping for our little adventure, I thought about tomatoes. I know that Caprese salad literally means “of Capri” or coming from the Italian Island of Capri.

So while I was on tomatoes, I was thinking about how much I love Mexican food. And I thought, “wow, I wonder if we could somehow make a Mexican version of a Caprese salad…like with queso fresco or something…”

Of course, any excuse to use cheese other than cheddar is worth a go in my book.

So I plowed through the aisles at WalMart, looking for Becca’s caprese salad ingredients, and throwing in some extras for a Mexican version:

I got queso fresco (obvi), avocado, tomatillo, and cilantro.

Oh, and a yellow plate.

So…I really didn’t know what I was doing. I started just stacking stuff:

This is tomato-avocado-queso fresco-tomatillo. Not looking so good.

Then I tried to artfully arrange the pieces on a plate. Sort of “deconstructed” which is a term I love.

Pretty ridic.

So I went back to stacking. Left out the tomatillo, crumbled the queso fresco.

Ahh, much better.

Traditional Caprese salads have a balsamic vinegar dressing. So I just made a simple sauce of a can of chipotle peppers in adobe that I threw in the food grinder.

Dude, that stuff is spicy.

Then I tore off a couple of pieces of cilantro and threw them on as well.

Not Top Chef, but pretty awesome for me.

And the best part? It’s really yummy!

There ain’t nothing fancy about making this. It just looks pretty impressive, right?

You make one. Take it to work for lunch tomorrow. Impress everyone.

Mexican Caprese Salad

1 tomato

1 avocado

queso fresco

cilantro leaves

1 can chipotle in adobo

Slice the tomato and avocado. Crumble a little queso fresco. Grind the chipotles in a food processor until smooth. Stack the layers beginning with tomato, then some queso fresco crumbles, then the avocado. Repeat. Sprinkle with cilatro leaves and drizzle the chipotle sauce.

Warning: the Chipotle sauce is hot. I smeared it on the side so I could dip into it when I was ready. If you’re not into hot stuff, you can leave it off.

Count how many times I said “queso fresco”. It’s an embarrassing amount, but Dude, I really like cheese.

I should have pulled a Rachael Ray and called it “Q.F” or “Ques Fresc”.