My Freshman year, one of our roommates started to make this amazing chip dip. It had all the good stuff: avocado, beans, corn, tomatoes, lime, and cilantro. We got to the point where we were making it at least every Friday night and devouring it with lime-flavored tortilla chips while watching Hillary Duff in every chick flick available.
This fact is also a good indicator of how much socializing we did outside of our dorm: not much. No regrets!
That was 12 years ago I've been fiddling with my version of it all the while. I've searched around for recipes to try out, but always come back to my dorm-roots. Similar recipes often come up as "Cowboy Caviar," but it's also been called "Shrapnel Dip," or "Fresh Summer Salad." Whatever name you attach to it, this really is one of my very favorite summer dishes. I only recently started making it with a light vinaigrette instead of just lime, and I like it even more.
You can use is as a side dish for a Mexican feast, bring it to your next BBQ (it'll be a hit!), serve it on the side with scrambled eggs, top it on a salad, or do what I did my first trimester with RG--eat it for three meals a day with a huge bowl of tortilla chips.
Do yourself a favor and make it with fresh corn. Otherwise, use a good canned corn if you can't spare the 15 minutes it takes to prepare fresh corn. And I'll try not to judge you for that massive error in judgment...
Crazy-Good Cowboy Caviar
2 Ears of corn on the cob, shucked, and steamed (10 minutes in a pot with a little water at the bottom)
(Can substitute with one can of quality corn)
2-3 Ripe avocados
2-3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 white or red onion, finely diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced
Cut the corn off the cob into a big bowl. Assemble all the ingredients, except the lime, on top of the corn. Do not mix! Make the following vinaigrette.
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 Tbs Vinegar (white vinegar is best, but you can substitute with other kinds)
Citrus from one lime
Juice from 2 limes
1/4 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
Wisk ingredients in a small bowl.
Poor Vinaigrette over assembled salad. Gently fold the salad so everything is covered, but not mushy. Taste test and add more salt and extra lime, if desired. When done, squeeze the remaining 1/2 to full lime over the top of the salad, and cover the bowl. (This is so the avocado stays vibrant looking!) Serve immediately or refrigerate until it's time to eat.
Get ready to be the hit at your next BBQ!