I just made the easiest and tastiest black bean salad ever. It has a nice heat from the chipotle peppers. Then you get a sweetness from the honey, and a nice citrus bite from the lime juice. It was the perfect balance of flavors. I really could not believe the flavors that were coming from something that was so simple to make, and that was just the side dish. The main dish was actually grilled chicken breast that was marinated in the same base that is used in the salad. Because of state regulations I can’t have a grill in, at, or around my apartment so I do what I usually do when something is called to be grilled; use a grill pan or just cook it in a sauté pan.
I made some modifications to the recipe to appeal to my taste. I marinated the chicken for 1 hour and I increased the avocado to 2, instead of 1, because I LOVE avocado. I did not use to, but age has made that little fruit so more appealing. Also, when I was a kid I had a bad incident with cilantro and haven’t really liked it since. My family and I were at some type of Vietnamese restaurant and we got summer rolls. I turned to my father and asked him how they were and if there was a lot of cilantro in the rolls. He said no, so I decided that I would try one. Of course, I got the only one that had a huge amount of cilantro in it, and was completely turned off from cilantro from that day one.
Any recipe that contain cilantro I would avoid. Until I moved away from home and missed the breakfast tacos and fresh salsa that we use to get at Cliff’s, which has since gone out of business. I was craving the fresh salsa and two sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast tacos that I would order every time that we went. The best part aside from the salsa was the fresh tortillas. Once I moved away from home and to the east coast no one made fresh tortillas. My remedy to this problem was to make my own tortillas and salsa. So I was forced to get used to cilantro because it was a key ingredient in the salsa, which was more or less a pico de gallo.
Point to that entire story, is that if you do not care for the strong flavor of cilantro, it is okay because it melds well with everything in the dish. Even if you have to reduce the amount to 1/4 cup still use it do not take it out. With that said, here is a picture of the chicken and black bean salsa with a side of brown rice, and the recipe from Cook’s Country June/July 2005 Issue.
Courtesy of Cook’s Country June/July 2005 Issue
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
2 chipotle chilies, roughly chopped, plus 2 tbsp adobo sauce
1 tbsp honey
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 (16 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed very well
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1-2 ripe avocados, sliced thin
Lime wedges for serving
Light grill. Whisk lime juice, cilantro, oil, chiles and sauce, honey, garlic, cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper together in a small bowl.
Toss chicken with 1/4 cup of lime juice mixture in a separate large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator while grill continues to preheat. Reserved another 1/4 cup of the lime juice mixture to pour over the chicken when serving
Toss beans, scallions, red pepper, and avocado with remainning lime juice mixture in a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Grill Chicken over very hot fire until well browned on both sides and cooked through, 8 to 13 minutes. Transfer chicken to serving platter and drizzle with reserved 1/4 cup lime juice mixture. Serve immediately with black bean and avocado salad.