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The Houstonian's Southwest Caesar Salad

2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and torn into 1 1/2-by- 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 C. Spicy Caesar Dressing (recipe follows)
3/4 C. cooked black beans
3/4 C. roasted corn kernels
1/2 C. pumpkin seeds (pepitas) from a Mexican squash
1/2 C. cotija cheese (Mexican white cheese) or other queso fresco
Multicolored tortilla chips, baked or fried, for garnish

Spin or pat lettuce dry; place in large salad bowl. Add dressing; toss lightly. Add beans and corn; toss again. Divide mixture among 4 chilled plates. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and cheese. Garnish with tortilla chips.

Spicy Caesar Dressing
1 egg yolk
1 T. minced garlic
2 t. Dijon mustard
2 anchovy fillets, minced
1 1/2 t. coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. ground cumin
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 t. cold water
1/2 C. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 C. canola oil
1 1/2 T. Thai chili paste
juice of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/2 lime
3 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In the bowl of a food processor, combine yolk, garlic, mustard, anchovies, pepper, salt, coriander, cumin, Worcestershire and water; process until smooth. With motor running, pour oils in a slow, steady stream into egg mixture. When all oil has been incorporated, add chili paste, lemon and lime juices and Parmesan; process until smooth.

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