Monday, 22 September 2014

Mexican Pasta Salad

This past weekend we celebrated my daughter, 'Missy Moo's' 11th birthday.  I know right?!  My baby is ELEVEN?!?  Not possible.  I could have sworn she was a pig-tailed 4 year old just last year!  Now she's a wonderful girl who, while fairly quiet to non-family members, is a spunky gal who can hold her own in the attitude department (just like her dear old 'ma, apparently) and I adore spending time with her.

In order to celebrate, we had a gaggle of extended family over.  When I asked my girl what she wanted for her birthday supper she excitedly said 'TACOS!!!'.


I will admit that I wasn't jumping for joy at the thought of serving up tacos. But as it was Missy Moo's call we went with it and actually tacos is a meal that works well with a group of 13 people (six of which were 5-14 years of age).  We had a taco bar set up in the kitchen complete with three pounds of taco meat in the slow cooker (cooked earlier in the day) and loads of condiments from sour cream to green chilies, black olives, salsa, corn, black beans and two kinds of cheese ...  Ya, it was an epic taco bar.  El Epico.

But me being me I couldn't 'just' serve tacos - I had to have a couple of side dishes to round off the meal.  Missy Moo disagreed (since she typically isn't a fan of salads, sides or otherwise).  Tacos were enough for her but I pulled rank on this one.  Listen Missy Moo, I love you more than chocolate, reading and poutine, you know I do.  But I housed you for nine months and handled your three hour 'OMG intensely' painful drug-free labour from hell with the panache of a woman in the worst PMS mood swings you can believe (just ask Nanny and Dad) so I think that, while we're celebrating your birth, I deserve a salad or two! 

So, along with Caesar salad (ya, not so Mexican but a definite kid pleaser) I decided to make a Mexican pasta salad.  I loved it and I got positive comments from the adults who tried it.  It has a slightly spicy kick to it (depending on how much green chilies you use) and I loved the black beans and corn for the colour as well as various other add-in sundries.  Easy to make ahead of time and totally tasty I will definitely be making this salad again in the future.

8oz rotini pasta, uncooked
1/4 cup sour cream (possibly more - see ** note below)
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice (I large lime, juiced)
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 1/2 tsp taco seasoning
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tsp canned green chilies (or to taste)
1/2 cup canned corn kernels (or fresh, roasted kernels)
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup black olives, sliced

1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1 cup Mexican shredded cheese (or regular marble cheese)
Fresh lime wedges

In a large saucepan, cook pasta until al dente.  Rinse pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the sour cream, lime juice, seasonings and garlic in a large bowl.  Mix well.

Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the garnishes) into the sour cream mixture.  Rinse the pasta with water and add to the other ingredients.  Stir well.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.  Before serving stir well and top with green onions and shredded cheese (and squeeze a lime wedge over your serving, if desired).

** Note: You may have to add a bit more sour cream if the pasta has absorbed too much of the sauce (this was the case with mine).

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