Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Twist on salsa

Maybe you've noticed from my recipes that I don't cook Mexican-style foods.

Outside of the occasional Old El Paso taco dinner kit, I just don't experiment. Why? I don't like many of the spices in Mexican dishes, and I especially don't like salsa. Not only do I not like to eat it, I don't even like to smell salsa when my husband puts it on his eggs or my daughter eats it with a plate of chips. I buy it for them, but I don't eat it.

But earlier this semester, my daughter needed to make a dish for a project in her Spanish class at school. Last year, we had much success with a Mexican-styled rice that I've made several times now for the family (me included), so I was game for a new project. She wanted to make salsa and found a recipe that used black beans, black-eyed peas and corn.

We liked the idea of using fat-free Italian dressing in the recipe, although the ingredient surprised us, but we immediately decided to eliminate the black-eye peas and double the black beans instead.

We also used a bag of Steamfresh corn instead of canned corn because we like it so much, and we bought mild Rotel tomatoes and green chilies instead of spicy. I make a slow cooker dip with Rotel, ground beef and Velveeta, and it's not too spicy for me, so I reasoned it would be OK in our salsa as well.

It takes about five minutes to make this delicious salsa. So even if you didn't have plans to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in any way today, you can now. Just stop by the grocery store at lunch and pick up the ingredients.

The mixture of colors, tastes and textures has a lot to do with why I like this recipe so much. It's totally different from anything else I make, and it's so nice to be different every now and then. The crunch of the corn and green beans is such a nice balance with the tender beans. And the spices from the dressing and tomatoes were perfect for my taste. If you like things spicier, buy the spicy version of the tomatoes.

This is a chunky dip and needs a sturdy chip for dipping.

We made the salsa again a few weeks ago for a second Spanish class meal. Anna's teacher requested the salsa again. I took it as a compliment.

This recipe makes a whole lot of salsa and would work very well for a party.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 12 oz. bag Steamfresh Super Sweet Corn (cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (I’ve used both yellow and purple)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (gives color but fine without it)
  • 2 10 oz. cans mild Rotel tomatoes with green chilies; drain one only
  • 1/2 cup fat-free Italian dressing (I use Wish Bone)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
In large bowl, combine rinsed beans, corn, onion, bell pepper and tomatoes (drain one can only). Mix in Italian dressing and garlic powder. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, but it’s delicious as soon as you make it!
Serve with a sturdy chip.


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