Here I go! My very first recipe blog post. Why am a doing this? Because, I enjoy cooking so much that I feel it is just a natural part of me to share delicious recipes, and being able to photograph the beauty of food is the cherry on top for me. I read a LOT of blogs devoted to food, recipes, kitchen equipment and everything in between. I love gadgets, nice cutlery, and the latest crazes. As long as I can sustain my current waistline I will continue on this journey and feature recipes that everyone else can eat but me. (I really do mean that.)
My first recipe to showcase is Mexican Pasta Salad. I chose this as my first food entry because, well..it’s good and everyone seems to enjoy it. The ingredients are fresh and delicious and the final dish is colorful and is the perfect fit to any potluck or picnic. I have quite a few pasta salad recipes that my family enjoys but this is my “go to” pasta salad dish because most will have it as a meal rather than a side dish, at least in my house. This spicy (not too spicy) pasta has a little kick to it thanks to the Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch salad dressing. This dressing is sometimes hard to find but you can purchase it on Amazon at a reasonable price per bottle. I have at least two bottles in my pantry at all times. The fresh vegetables add a colorful hue to this tasteful dish and the cilantro gives it a nice earthly undertone.
Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch salad dressing
12-16 ounce box of farfalle pasta
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 cups frozen sweet corn
1 large or 3 small orange peppers (you can also use a red or yellow)
1 cup diced olives
1 to 2 cups diced cherry tomatoes
8 ounce mild cheddar cheese, grated
4-6 green onions
Cook pasta according to package directions. When making pasta salad I like my pasta ala dente. Don’t forget to rinse your pasta once it is done cooking. This stops the cooking process and gets rid of some of the left over starch. Cool to room temperature or put it in the fridge for an hour or two to cool off.
Why farfalle pasta? Because I love how the ingredients settle in the creases which yeilds a burst of flavor in every bite.
If you usually purchase pre-shredded cheese, try grating cheese fresh from a block. Pre-shredded seems dry and lacks flavor compared to shredding it yourself. There is a difference, I promise.
Now the tomatoes. Whenever I have to add diced tomatoes to a fresh dish, I choose cherry (or grape) because there is less skin which gives off more flavor. Just a fresher taste in my opinion.
Chop up your cilantro into fine pieces. This adds such a nice tone to the salad. You can add more or less, whatever you like.
Go ahead and dice your olives and peppers. Slice the green onions.
Once that is all finished, add the veggies, including corn, and grated cheese to the cooked cooled pasta in a large bowl.
Next, pour the entire bottle of dressing on top and mix all together. Like I mentioned before you can purchase Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch salad dressing from Amazon or you can look for it at your local grocery store. This dressing is so good and I use it in place of regular ranch dressing on my green salads at home.
There you have it! Mexican Ranch Pasta Salad, and the best part, the next day it tastes even better after the ingredients meld together. Let me know what you all think! I am really curious to know if you like it!