Many years ago, my husband and I decided we wanted to watch the movie, Zodiac, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. We went down to our local Redbox machine to pick up the movie. We grabbed a six-pack of beer, some snacks and settled in to enjoy the film. About thirty minutes into the movie, one of us commented that it was odd that we hadn’t seen Jake Gyllenhaal yet, but we kept watching. An hour past; no Jake. We kept watching. Then, the screen went black, in the moment just before the credits rolled. And somehow we were still expecting Jake Gyllenhaal’s appearance. He never appeared. Turns out that we had rented The Zodiac, starring nobody you know. The length of time it took for us to discover our mistake leaves some room for concern.
And then there are movies whose titles sound similar, yet whose content is nothing alike. This can also lead to some interesting mishaps, like the time our father intended to record The Goonies for my young sisters and I to watch as children. Had he truly recorded The Goonies, we surely would have enjoyed watching the movie together. But, my well-intentioned father had not in fact recorded The Goonies. What he had inadvertently recorded was a horror movie about small toothy monsters called Ghoulies. The movie opened with a terrifying scene which gave us nightmares for weeks afterward and caused me to discard my once favorite nightgown, which was creepily similar to the one worn by a short-lived character in the opening scene; the opening scene which will forever be burned into my mind.
Note to self: Double check that I have in fact recorded Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for the kids to watch and not Mickey Mouse’s House of Torture and Pain.
Watching tv can be tricky. Good food doesn’t need to be. This family-pleasing pasta salad marries sweet summer corn with tender broccoli and crispy bacon in a spicy ranch dressing. It’s a perfect balance of flavors and textures which would make a great summer side salad for your next picnic or barbecue. There’s no room for confusion here. This is good stuff, people!
Spicy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- 1 pound small pasta, cooked al dente according to package directions
- 2 cups broccoli, lightly steamed and chopped
- 1 cup sweet corn kernels
- 5-6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
For the dressing:
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 5-6 chives, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2-3 tablespoons diced chiles, fresh or canned*
- 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (plus more, if desired)*
To make the dressing: Stir together the sour cream and mayonnaise, until smooth. Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, dry mustard powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir in the chopped chives, diced chiles, chile powder and cayenne. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired.
Toss the pasta, broccoli, corn, and bacon with the dressing. Refrigerate until serving.