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Chef Andy – Ride ‘em cowboy!

By Andy Mueller

In trying to keep with my “no-cook summer,” I’m constantly looking for ways to take advantage of fresh summer produce without turning on the oven or stove, unless absolutely necessary.

Local Chef Andy Mueller

The exception to the rule is firing up the grill, because we have a lot of cookouts to host or attend in a short amount of time.

This recipe for Cowboy Caviar is perfectly at home in your backyard next to a big platter of brats and burgers, and it travels well for any impromptu invite that might catch you off guard.

My guess as to why it’s called “caviar,” is the same reason we call cod or haddock “poor man’s lobster.”
It doesn’t look or taste like lobster, but attaching the upscale name to it elevates the impression we have and makes us feel like we are eating something elegant.

Nothing even remotely resembles the extremely-high-priced delicacy harvested from sturgeon, salmon and other species of fish.

The same goes for cowboy caviar.

The only thing I see that they have in common is they are served raw with a vehicle like tortilla or pita chips, and people go crazy for it.

Many versions of cowboy caviar exist, but most have a few ingredients in common, like beans, corn, peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes, onions and a zesty vinaigrette to punch up the profile and keep you wanting more.

You can embellish this recipe by adding things like avocado, different types of peppers and changing up the type of beans you use.

This one calls for black beans, but you can use black-eyed peas, and instead of using golden hominy, substitute fresh corn when in peak season, which is just around the corner.

This cowboy caviar comes together in less than 15 minutes and once it hits the table, you’ll see why it’s one of my favorite summer sides.

Enjoy this recipe for cowboy caviar and beat the heat with this awesome summer treat.

Cowboy Caviar
In a large mixing bowl add:

• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Generous amount of fresh cracked black pepper
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• Juice of 1 lime
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Whisk until sugar is dissolved, then add:
• 3 roma tomatoes, diced
• 1 small bell pepper (any color you’d like), diced
• 1 medium jalapeno, finely diced
• 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 15 oz. can golden hominy corn, drained and rinsed (sub sweet corn if you prefer)
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 small red onion, diced

Mix ingredients to combine, making sure to evenly distribute the vinaigrette with all the ingredients.
Can be served immediately or chilled overnight to maximize flavors.

Be sure to stir the caviar often.

Serve with tortilla chips or pita toasts.

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