I love elegant dishes that are deceptively easy to create. This is one of those dishes. The best part is that it doesn’t require any fancy equipment. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the fancy garnishing tools, and if money were no object, I would buy every gizmo and gadget under the sun. One such tool that I would love, is a ring mold. You just can’t beat the simple elegance that a ring mold can help you create. But if you are like me, and have yet to purchase the ring mold in your amazon shopping cart, you can do this…
Just use a sharp knife and gently cut the bottom of a plastic cup. Simple, easy, and this really works. So let’s get started.
First, make the chicken and rice (or as my Colombian husband would say “arroz con pollo”). Start by melting two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Add the rice and cook about two minutes over medium heat, or until slightly browned. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the chicken broth, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and salt; bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, cover and lower heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Try to refrain from lifting the lid while cooking the rice. After 30 minutes, stir in cooked chicken and frozen peas and carrots. Recover, and let rest for 10 minutes.
While rice is simmering, heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat for 3 minutes. Once the oil is hot, add the pineapple, bell pepper, corn, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Stir occasionally. You don’t want to stir it too often. You want the mixture to caramelize a little bit and look like this…
Next, make the avocado-tomato salad. But first, make sure there are no toddlers in your kitchen or this could happen to you…
Ok, back to the avocado-tomato salad. Simply mix the diced tomatoes and avocado and season with salt and pepper….Easy.
The easiest way to dice the avocado is to first slice it in half…
…and then slice it diagonally both ways. Like this…
Then scoop out the avocado with a spoon.
Next, its time to make an amazing cilantro-lime dressing. Don’t skip this. You would be doing yourself a disservice. This sauce brings everything together with its smooth, creamy, full of lime flavor. It truly is amazing. Ready?
Grab a food processor that your wonderful parents bought for you (thanks mama and daddy), and add all the delicious ingredients. Process until smooth (about 1 minute) and add to a Ziploc bag. Cut the corner tip of the bag and use it to pipe a zig-zag pattern on your plate like this…
As you can see, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Carefully set your cup on the plate.
Add a layer of the avocado-tomato salad
Make sure you pack it in tight. Next add the chicken and rice mixture
And finally, add the tropical salsa.
Again, make sure that everything is packed tight in the cup.
Then slowly lift the cup
Tada! Isn’t that amazing?
Now garnish with a few extra cilantro leaves