In a previous life, Nick and I used to frequent a place called Tio’s Tortas. I affectionately refer to it as “Uncle Sandwich,” which is a blatant and deliberate mistranslation (although I’m not sure “Uncle’s Sandwiches” is any less silly). At any rate, this place made about 14 different kinds of tortas, or Mexican sandwiches, which were piled high with delicacies such as smoked sausage, refried black beans, and chiles rellenos. Plus they had a great condiment bar filled with house made condiments. These included chipotle ketchup, jalapeno mustard, roasted garlic, red onion confit, zucchini pickles, and a variety of mayonnaise-based sauces. For 4 to 6 dollars you could get a substantial and satisfying meal, and beers were less than 2 bucks!
Anyway, one day we noticed that they had added an option to their torta menu: you could choose to have the ingredients of any torta served over rice or as a salad. The salad idea took off in our house, where we would grill Hatch chili sausages and serve them over lettuce with leftover black beans, caramelized onions, and whatever else we had lying around (or had managed to sneak home from Tio’s). Mmmm… sausage salad.
Well, we recently decided to revisit the Tio’s salad, when we were fortunate enough to be in possession of some delicious leftover beef chili verde and refried black beans. We almost always have a head of lettuce in the crisper and a couple of tomatoes in the fruit basket, but I thought the salads needed something more. Corn popped into my head and I headed to the store. Malheureusement, the fresh corn here totally sucks. It’s starchy and waxy and sticks to your teeth like paste. So I bought a can. Sue me. I also picked up some gorgeous piquillo-looking peppers and some long green ones that I hoped would pack a punch.
I got home and set about putting together a corn salsa for the salads. I drained the corn and dumped it into a bowl, followed by some diced onion. I thought one of each pepper would look pretty as well as giving just the right amount of heat. When I cut into the red pepper, I got a big surprise – no ribs or seeds!
Nonetheless, the corn salsa looked great and tasted just as good. It would actually stand on its own as a salad, but I had bigger ideas.
Indeed, it was even better sprinkled over a salad loaded with slow-cooked beef, black beans, tomatoes, crème fraîche, and chipotle vinaigrette.
Apologies for doing two salad posts in one week, but I think this is miles away from Tuesday’s refined Mediterranean salad. Don’t you?
Originally published on Croque-Camille.