MEXICAN CHEF'S SALAD
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast or other chicken meat
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
1 small onion, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon each ground coriander, chili powder and oregano
2 Tablespoon hot sauce or salsa
2 ripe avocados, peeled and cut into bite-sized chuncks
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 cup diced Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
20 or so cherry tomatoes
4 cups shredded lettuce
2 or 3 hard cooked eggs, sliced
1 bag taco chips
creamy jalapeno dressing
Put the chicken in a skillet, cover it with cold water, and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring it to a simmer, then cook the chicken for 20 minutes without boiling it. Remove it from the heat and let the chicken cool in the poching liquid. When it is cool enough to handle, slice the chicken into pieces no longer than about 1 1/4 by 1/4 inches wide. Set aside.
Gently heat the oil in a large skillet, adding the onion. Saute it for several minutes, then stir in the cumin, coriander, chili powder, and oregano. Cook these spices over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for one minute. Stir in the chicken and cook it, while stirring, for 2 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl. Cool it, then stir in the hot sauce and season to taste with salt.
To assemble the salad, pile the chicken in the center of a platter. Sourround it with concentric circles of avocado pieces (tossed in lemon juice to prevent browning), cheese, cherry tomatoes, and an outer border of shredded lettuce. Arrange the egg slices on the lettuce. Serve the taco chips and the creamy jalapeno dressing on the side. Serves four to five.
CREAMY JALAPENO DRESSING
Prepare about an hour ahead of time to let the flavors mingle.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup pickled jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of salt
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Transfer to a serving container. Cover and refrigerate the dressing until needed.