BAT salad

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Appetizers, January 2015, Main Course, Pasta, Salads

 

Disclaimer: No actual bats were injured or ingested in the making of this dish.

BAT is an acronym. Erins English Lesson #124. An acronym, as defined by Webster, is an abbreviation formed from the initial components in a phrase or a word. Usually these components are individual letters (as in NASA or laser) or parts of words or names (as in stupid combos of stars names like Brangelina). BAT stands for bacon, avocado and tomato. 3 of my favorite things in a pasta salad.

When I initially found the recipe it called for a ‘ranch dressing’ as the sauce on the salad. I tried it. I didn’t like it. At all. But that was to be expected since I don’t really like ranch. lol. So I made up my own the next time. I have tweaked it and tweaked it to come up with this….

Ingredients:

1 box of small pasta (My fave is Ditali)

1 ripe avocado

diced tomato (I prefer to cut up grape or cherry tomatoes)

1 package of cooked bacon, chopped

2 stalks of green onion, chopped

salt & pepper

Dressing:

1/2 cup of mayonnaise (Hellmans)

1/2 cup of Miracle Whip

1 Tbsp of Jalapeno Lime Aioli (from Costco…this is not necessary but adds a little tang and a little heat and I love love love it on everything)

2 Tbsps (or more….) of dill pickle juice. I like the PC Hot & Zesty. You could also sub in any acid….lime juice, lemon juice, vinegar.

1 tsp dried dill

a generous amount of salt and pepper

 

Boil and drain your pasta as per package guidelines for al dente. With the Ditali its perfect at around 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the sauce. Taste and adjust to your preferences. I like lots of pickle juice and lots of S&P. Some people like a thicker sauce (like me)…others prefer it thinner. If you are ‘one of those people’ then you can thin this sauce with a little milk whisked in.

sauce

 

Add your cooked and cooled noodles and chopped bacon (reserve a sprinkle to top salad), tomatoes and diced avocado.

(Trick….I find if you halve the avocado and remove the pit, all you need to do it score the flesh with a knife in a criss cross pattern and then scoop out with a spoon)

Stir together and adjust spices to your liking. I throw in some Crazy Janes Mixed Up Peppers (I NEED TO GET TO THE STATES>>>I’M ALMOST OUT!!!) and more salt…maybe a little more dill….a splash of celery salt. Whatever.

Toss in the green onion and give it a mix.

Sprinkle with remaining bacon and start shoveling it into your face.

It makes a great side dish…with just about anything, but beside or with chicken right in it?? Mmmm mmm.

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5

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It’s also super fab all by itself! 😉

 

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I love this. I make it and eat it all of the time. Usually alone. It’s almost shameful.

Enjoy!!

love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick

little LITTLE brown chicken

 

 

Chilled Couscous salad

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Salads, September 2011

 

I will start off by saying I have NEVER made couscous in my life. I have eaten it a time or two and it was good but I had no idea how to make it. I was craving a pasta salad, one I have made many times and I thought to myself “Why don’t I substitute the fusili for that couscous that has been hanging out in my pantry for a year?”

I didn’t see the harm in giving it a try. First I had to figure out how to COOK the couscous! I turned to my trusty friend, Google. You see I bought the couscous at the Bulk Barn so there wasn’t any box with instructions on the side. Google came through for me yet again!! 2 cups of water and 1 1/3 cups of dry couscous and you’ll have a shish-load of couscous at your disposal!

Boil the water in a saucepan with a sprinkle of salt. Remove the pot from the heat once it boils and add the couscous. Stir, cover and let it stand for 10 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and scrape into a mixing bowl. Put it in the fridge for 1 hour to cool.

Meanwhile chop up your veggies. I used red and green pepper, sweet onion, tomatoes and fresh parsley. If I had some cucumber I would have thrown that in there too. The pasta salad I usually make has a Mediterranean type feel to it.

For the dressing I used 1/2 cup of Roasted Red Pepper and Parmesan salad dressing and 1/2 cup of Sundried Tomato and Oregano, both by Kraft. You could use whatever type strikes your fancy but make sure it is an oil and vinegar type of dressing. Otherwise its going to be too heavy and one of the nicest things about eating this salad (other that it TASTES great of course) is how light and fluffy it is. I also like some feta cheese in this pasta salad.

Once your couscous has cooled sufficiently add it into the veggies and mix well.

Add to a separate bowl only as much as you want to eat immediately. Once you add the dressing it would get mushy if kept too long. Just with the pasta and the veggies it will keep in the fridge nicely for a few days. Add some crumbled feta cheese.

Add your dressing…just until moistened.

Dress it up with a sprig of fresh parsley and you are GOOD TO GO!!

 

I was quite impressed at how well my favorite pasta salad translates into a couscous dish. It was really really good and i’m sure with different veggies, a different dressing, etc. it would be just as good. I have the feeling there will be some couscous experimenting in my future!! Mushroom and Balsamic, Shrimp and Italian dressing…the possibilities are endless!

Enjoy!

love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick