Thursday, May 9, 2013

One to Share

Don't you just love family get-togethers and holidays? Everyone brings something wonderful to eat and share. Especially in the summertime.  Barbecues and cookouts bring people together.

An old-fashioned dish that used to be very popular in Texas is Pea Salad.  The traditional way is with mayo, peas, red onions and cubes of cheddar cheese, sometimes pasta, sometimes ham too.  It's so good this way.  But sometimes we need to update recipes a little.  Not that the original way is bad, but we change with the times.  This version that I made has all of the original goodies, but I also added in some extras.  A splash of pepperoncini peppers make this salad pop, and, my personal favorite, Ranch.  It's a creamy, delightful little salad that's sure to be a big hit at your next get-together.  I'll put "optional" next to the un-original ingredients in case you want to try it the old way.  But the new way is oh so good.  And it makes a lot, so it's great for sharing, if you make it to the get-together without eating it all.

Do you like Ranch as much as I do?

1 lb shell pasta (optional)
1/2 red onion, thin sliced
2 C mayonnaise
2 C ham, chopped (I used deli ham)
12 ounces cheddar cheese, cubed
1/2 C pepperoncini peppers, chopped (optional)
1 1/2 C frozen peas
1/4 C parsley (optional)
1 packet Ranch dip mix (optional)

Cook the pasta according to directions.  Drain and run cold water over it to cool it quickly.

Mix the Ranch and mayo together with a whisk.  Add in all of the remaining ingredients and the pasta and gently stir to combine.  Serve cold.

**NOTE:  If you are making this salad way in advance, you should probably double the mayo and maybe even the Ranch.  The pasta absorbs much of the sauce in the refrigerator after time.

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