Friday, February 15, 2013

Rancher Chopped Salad...

 I promised you a recipe inspired by my trip to Arizona and by a chopped salad my friend and I had at Cowboy Ciao.  Well, here it is.  What I especially loved about the Stetson Chopped Salad we ate in Scottsdale was the presentation -- layers of ingredients, and my favorite taste on the plate was the dried corn.  As soon as I got home, I looked up dried sweet corn for sale on Amazon.  Sure you can buy it, but it'll cost you half the ranch for a 16 oz. bag so I knew I had to figure out something different.  I Googled "roasting or drying corn kernels" and came up with many ideas.  The simplest one was to roast the corn in a skillet  which I tried tonight, and there were a couple other ways to dry-roast corn in the oven here and here.   I tried the second oven-roasting recipe using a cookie sheet, olive oil, frozen (or fresh) corn, and salt and it turned out beautifully.  Whatever you do, don't skip the corn.

The recipe that I concocted goes something like this:
Rancher Chopped Salad

Ground beef, browned with salt, pepper, chili powder
Black beans, drained
Avocado, chopped
Red or orange sweet peppers, chopped
Roasted or dried sweet corn
Leaf Lettuce or Romaine, chopped
Your favorite Salsa and Spicy Dressing on the side or over the top.
Tortilla chips or homemade tortilla chips

Cook enough beef and chop enough of the above ingredients to serve the number of people you are feeding.  You could layer this salad on a large platter like I did or on individual plates.  The idea is to make it look beautiful before you toss it all together with the salsa and dressing to eat it.

Spicy Dressing:

One part plain yogurt
One part sour cream or mayonnaise (or combination of the two)
Sprinkle cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to your taste.
Whisk together and pour over salad.

For the chips, I took two multi-grain tortillas, sprayed them with pan spray and salted them.  Then I put them in a 350* oven for 8 minutes or so until they were golden.

 Here it is on my plate, all jumbled together with dressing poured on top!  Ummm!

The chopped salad at the restaurant was not a spicy dish.  It did include Scandinavian smoked salmon for the meat part.  I could see my Rancher Chopped Salad made with a good pan-fried Talapia or Cod for a fish taco style salad.  You could even substitute shredded cabbage for the greens.  I am definitely going to do that some night.  I hope you try this salad or make up your own version of it.  Just don't forget the roasted corn!  It's the very best part!


  1. Jody I am totally trying this!! It looks delish and the roasted corn sounds so good. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Oh, that looks really yummy. Very fresh but with meat. I have a difficult time not making everything kinda spicy. We are in the land of TEx Mex and I think we could pretty much each fresh and spicy all the time.

  3. Now this looks so good. Colorful, different textures, a blend of veggies and meat.

    Thank you.

  4. I love roasted sweet corn Jody. About the only place to buy it reasonably is Arizona. I'll have to try this one. It looks delicious.

  5. I used to make Taco Salad, which I could eat a mountain of myself, but my husband didn't care for it. It had basically the same ingredients you show here, and I wonder...would he like it better arranged so beautifully, such that he could mix up his own salad? He loves Tex-Mex, so it seems he should. Thanks for the great idea! Glad you're back to the computer. :-)

  6. That looks fabulous! :)

  7. Oh, this looks delicious! My Jenny would like it, too! Thank you!
    Yum! Yum! Yum!
    Roasting corn sounds like a good thing to do and a good food to eat!
    Thank you, good cook!

  8. Looks real good and I like the sound of that dressing recipe, too.

  9. Oh that looks so good! I am thinking some diced green chili would be awesome as well....but I am a green chili addict..thank you New Mexico for that compulsion!

    THis will be supper sometime this week for sure!


  10. ohmygosh, that looks fabulous! The presentation is lovely and I like the chips; bet this whole thing tasted wonderful.

  11. Yum! I'm on an avocado binge lately so my eyes went right to those creamy delectable chunks.



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