Milk and cheddar cheese are the
primary ingredients in a Mexican Chef
Salad. If you enjoy thick and rich salad
dressings, give this salad a try.
These days, spectacular tasting foods usually come with a warning label, and that label is
called a 'list of ingredients'. Restaurants are now required to include calorie counts and
nutritional values for all of their meals. Sort of takes the fun out of eating, doesn't it? It
seems the only place you can truly craft a meal from scratch without having to label it
properly (or be forced to read its nutritional value) is when preparing a meal at home.
The best part of making food at home is having the freedom to pick and choose foods
based on your palate, and not from a set of restrictions and guidelines as established by
some higher power. When it comes to cooking at home, YOU are the higher power! Cook
what you want and eat what you want. One such recipe that's laden with fat and calories
that won't often be found in restaurants but can be cooked at home easily enough is a
Mexican Chef Salad. This recipe is for cheese and milk lovers - calorie counters beware!
You'll need to wash, rinse, and tear up a head of iceberg lettuce. Tear it into small pieces
and toss them into a large bowl.
Next, cook 8 ounces of chicken and 8 ounces of ham (or purchase your ham pre-cooked,
which might be easier). Cut the ham and chicken into long strips (AKA 'julienne strips'). Lay
the strips directly on top of the iceberg lettuce.
You'll need to wash and rinse your vegetables next. My preferred ingredients are: 2 green
onions, 4 medium sized Serrano peppers (use jalapenos if Serranos are too hot), 1 carrot, 1
stalk celery, and 2 jumbo tomatoes.
Cut the tomatoes, drain their juice, and then chop them into small chunks. Chop the stalk
of celery, and shred the carrot. You'll need a 1/4 cup of green onion, so chop those up as
well. For the Serrano peppers, cut off the stems and dice them. Very important: be very
careful when handling the Serrano peppers! Do not rub your eyes after preparing them. In
fact, after you cut them up, wash and dry your hands thoroughly before proceeding.
A word of caution: Serrano peppers are much hotter than jalapenos. Instead of using 4 of
them for this recipe, you can tone down the heat by using just 1 Serrano. They definitely
have a strong kick. You've been warned!
Dump the chopped and sliced vegetables on top of the ham and chicken strips. Toss
Now shred some cheddar cheese. Two cups worth. I prefer medium cheddar, but you can
get whatever kind you want.
In a medium sized saucepan, heat one and a half cups of whole milk, and then slowly add
the cheese. You must keep stirring as you add the cheese. The cheese will melt, and the
texture of the milk and cheese combination will thicken. Keep adding and stirring until the
texture is smooth and thick, then remove the pan from the heat. It's important that you
don't set the heat too high and that you keep stirring during this process as the milk and or
cheese can burn easily.
Now pour the warm cheese sauce on top of the salad, and toss several times until
everything is coated with cheese sauce. The final step is to garnish with tortilla chips and
The following ingredients will serve up to 6 people:
8 ounces cooked chicken, chopped into squares
8 ounces cooked ham, chopped into squares
1 large head of iceberg lettuce, torn into small pieces
1 shredded carrot
1/2 cup of chopped celery
2 jumbo tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
4 medium Serrano peppers, chopped (substitute jalapenos if you're scared of heat)
2 cups of tortilla chips
1 cup whole milk
2 cups shredded cheddar (medium)