Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad, this is a must have dish every summer. I can’t imagine summer without it!

This is a tried and true version, I always hope for leftovers the next day. You should consider making a double batch.

Macaroni salad is a great dish to out ahead of time. To keep the macaroni from absorbing all of the dressing, don’t toss everything together until about an hour or so before. The drier your pasta is, the less it will absorb so make sure your macaroni is drained well first.

If you want to cook the macaroni more than an hour serving, toss with a little olive oil after draining. If it starts sticking together, run it under warm water to break it up.

Any type of short pasta works great macaroni salad. Penne and fusilli are among the favorites, I just use up the type of pasta I have on hand to keep it simple.

Macaroni salad works well with most any vegetable you want to add. Try adding broccoli, pimento peppers, tuna, hard boiled eggs, and bacon.

Macaroni salad goes great with any grilled food. Try serving it along a burger or grilled pork chops.



For the pasta salad
3/4 pound elbow pasta, cooked
2 stalks celery, chopped thinly
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
1 medium carrot, shredded
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

For the dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine elbows, celery, bell pepper, olives, and carrots.

Dressing: In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper and stir until combined.

Pour dressing over pasta mixture and toss. Garnish with parsley before serving.

Shredded Mexican Chicken

This is an easy to make, great tasting main dish that can be used as a key ingredient in most any Mexican style dish that calls for meat.

2 pounds chicken breasts
olive oil
1/2 cup medium salsa
3-4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 4 ounce can mild diced green chilies
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke

Rub chicken breasts liberally with olive oil and place in the bottom of your slow cooker.

Cover the chicken with the salsa as much as possible.

Sprinkle the brown sugar over everything, keeping it as even as possible.

Add the diced chilies to the slow cooker.

Add the tomatoes, spreading them evenly across the chicken.

Measure the remaining dry ingredients into a small bowl. Once mixed, sprinkle the spice mixture over all the chicken.

Drizzle the Liquid Smoke over the mixture.

Cover and cook on high for 2-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours or until chicken is tender enough to shred.

Remove chicken to a cutting board, and let rest 5 minutes before shredding (there will be liquid remaining). Return shredded chicken and let cook on low for an additional 20 minutes to absorb some of the liquid/juices.

Shredded Mexican Chicken

Shredded Mexican Chicken

Serve as taco meat, for nachos, burritos, enchiladas, etc..

(I shredded the chicken with 2 forks in the Crockpot itself, much easier than messing around taking it out only to put back in.)