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New Mexico Chalupa-Style Salad

1 cup dried pinto or pink beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small dried red pepper, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil or salad oil
red leaf lettuce
sour cream, for garnish
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla chips and radish roses, for garnish
green chile salsa

2 soft-ripe avocados
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash hot pepper sauce
dash seasoned pepper

To prepare salad, bring beans and the water to a boil in a 2-quart
saucepan; boil briskly for 2 minutes; then remove from heat and
let stand, covered, for 1 hour. Add onion, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon
of the salt. Bring to a boil, cover; reduce heat and simmer,
stirring occasionally, until beans are tender and liquid is absorbed
(about 2 1/2 hours). Let stand until lukewarm. Combine lemon juice,
olive oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

To prepare guacamole, mash with lime juice until mixture is soft
but still chunky. Lightly mix in onion, tomato, cilantro, salt,
hot-pepper sauce, and pepper.

Halve, seed, and peel ripe avocados. To serve, line each of 4 plates
generously with red leaf lettuce. Spread a fourth of the beans in
center of each plate; cover each portion with a fourth of the
guacamole, a dollop of sour cream, and 1/4 cup of the cheese.
Garnish each serving generously with tortilla chips, add a few
radish roses, and offer salsa to add to taste. Salad Yield: 4
servings. Guacamole Yield: 2 cups.


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