Photo by Jessica Leibowitz
This is my favorite kind of salad because it has so many elements and, from the creamy avocado to the crispy homemade tortilla chips, they all have different textures. I have cheated here by using leftover or rotisserie chicken. You could substitute leftover cooked pork, shrimp, or beef too. You could also just use bought tortilla chips if you really want to speed up the recipe.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total preparation time: 25 minutes
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Four 6- or 7- inch corn tortillas
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro (stems and all)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 chipotle in adobo sauce plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small head romaine, lettuce
1 Hass avocado
3 medium plum tomatoes (about ¾ pound)
One 14 1/2-ounce can black beans
4 ounces queso fresco, soft goat cheese, or Monterey Jack
2 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Stir together 1 ½ tablespoons of the oil, the chili powder, cumin and ¼ teaspoon salt. Brush one side of each tortilla with the mixture and cut each tortilla into 12 wedges. Arrange the wedges in one layer on a baking sheet and bake them for 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp.
While the tortilla chips are baking purée the remaining ½ cup oil, the cilantro, lime juice, chipotle and adobo sauce, and sugar in a blender; add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the cilantro dressing to a large bowl.
Tear or cut the romaine into bite-size pieces (about 4 cups), cut the avocado into cubes and chop the tomatoes (about 1 ½ cups). Drain and rinse the black beans and crumble or grate the cheese (about 1 cup). Arrange the, romaine, avocado, tomatoes, black beans, cheese, chicken and tortilla strips in stripes on a platter. Serve the cilantro dressing on the side.