Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Southwest Macaroni Salad

This is such a nice alternative to your same old store bought macaroni salad. While it may be more convenient to run to the deli department and pick up a pound or two, this one will by far be more of a crowd pleaser! I love to serve this with my BBQ chicken or a nice ribeye.

1 pound macaroni elbows or corkscrew shaped hollow pasta

1 cup frozen corn, defrosted

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 small red onion, chopped

4 ribs celery, chopped

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

8-ounce brick Monterey pepper jack cheese, cubed

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, eyeball it

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it

1 and ½ cups of store bought tomatillo salsa (mild, green)

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

Bring water to a boil, salt it and add pasta.

While pasta water is coming up to a boil and cooking, combine corn, pepper, onion and celery in a bowl with pepper Jack cheese. Season the veggies with salt and pepper.

Run pasta under cold water to cool it and drain it well. Add pasta to vegetables and cheese.

Place vinegar in a small bowl and whisk in extra-virgin olive oil, then fold in salsa. Pour sauce over salad and toss to coat evenly. Garnish salad with cilantro and serve.