Dress veggies in sweet, sour and spice
A TOPOPO Salad is a mountain of a Mexican salad, made with layers of shredded lettuce and chicken, plus other add-ins. You might find it served in a fried tortilla shell.
Heidi Hughes is nostalgic for the salad served at the old Bueno Nalo restaurant in Waimanalo. She asked for a recipe for the dressing. "It was so delicious and nothing I have tried tastes the same."
I couldn't lay my hands on that exact recipe, but I did find several others. Problem is Hughes remembers the dressing as having an oil and vinegar base, and everything I found was based on sour cream.
But with Cinco de Mayo this weekend, it seemed worthwhile to put this version forth.
The typical Topopo Dressing is a spicy sour cream mixture. Lemon or lime juice is a given, which makes for a tart blend that needs tempering with some sweetness, in this case from honey. The spice comes from chili peppers and hot sauce.
Where the recipes vary is in the details beyond those basics. Onions, tomatoes, salsa, even tequila show up on occasion. (The tequila doesn't improve things that much, but in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, add some if you like.)
For this version, I started with the ingredients common to most recipes, then added and subtracted other items until it tasted right to me. The ingredient list got a little long, but except for pimentos you probably have this stuff around.
Serve it over a mound of veggies, or as a dip. Add a margarita and toast the Fifth of May.
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon minced pimentos
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
Pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon tequila, optional
Combine all ingredients and whisk together until smooth. Makes about 3/4 cup.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per 2-tablespoon serving: 70 calories, 6 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, no fiber, 2 g sugar, 1 g protein.
CAN YOU HELP?
» Anyone with a line on Bueno Nalo, please get in touch. There's a cookbook in it for you.
» Also, while we're on the subject of long-gone restaurants, Gary Pang is looking for the recipe for Hana Broasted Chicken sold at the shop of the same name that used to be near the corner of Sheridan and Makaloa streets. Anyone?
Send queries along with name and phone number to: "By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana, No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. Or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org