Tuesday, May 29, 2012

RECIPE: Pico de Gallo

If you tried the guacamole recipe I posted yesterday, you might want to whip up this easy, fresh salsa recipe to go with it. After all, the only thing better than a fresh batch of guacamole is a batch of pico de gallo to plop on top of it. Besides, it will give you something to do with the other half of that red roasted pepper you made the night before.

Wifezilla's Pico de Gallo
6 medium vine ripened tomatoes - seeded and chopped
2 roasted jalapenos - chopped
1/2 large roasted sweet pepper - chopped
1/2 medium Vadalia (or other mild, sweet variety) onion - chopped
1/4 cup garlic chives - minced (or clove of garlic)
2 tbps (or more) fresh cilantro - minced
Juice of 2 limes
Celtic sea salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate  for 20 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Fresh jicama slices topped with guacamole and pico de gallo

If you are a bit of a wuss about hot foods, you can use less jalapeno pepper, but consider just not including the seeds and pulpy veins. The seeds and the pulp they are attached to is where most of the heat from a hot pepper comes from. If you leaves those parts out you reduce the heat but still retain the jalapeno flavor. If that is still too hot for you, only use 1/2 a jalapeno and use a whole roasted sweet red pepper.

You may notice this recipe and the guacamole recipe both recommend garlic chives instead of a garlic clove. There are two reasons for this. 1) I have a garden with several rather prolific garlic chive plants and 2) as I have gotten older, garlic has turned on me. While I love the flavor, garlic gives me heartburn. Garlic chives are a great way to get a garlic flavor without the garlic side effects.

About the onion... I recommend Vadalia variety because it is mild and it is very easy for the onion flavor to overpower the flavor of the tomatoes. If you can't find Vadalias, try Maui Sweet or Texas 1015s. If you use a red onion or other stronger variety, reduce the amount of onion to about 1/4.

One more thing. Cilantro. You either love it or hate it. There is a reason why and it has to do with genetics.

"Lots of people love the herb. Just as many, it seems, hate it. There appears to be no middle
ground, and the reason for that just might come down to genetics. Scientists have yet to isolate the cilantro-hating gene, but a Philadelphia researcher who put twins up to sniffing the herb is hot on the trail.
"The twin study we've done implicates genetics to be involved," said Charles J. Wysocki, a behavioral neuroscientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center who, for what it's worth, is not a cilantro-hater.
"I love cilantro, but I also like the smell of skunk," he said.
If human DNA really does account for why some people think the herb has a fresh, citrusy flavor and others think it tastes like soap, that could also explain the existence of IHateCilantro.com and its ability to attract 2,809 members..." (more)
If you happen to be one of those poor genetic mutants who, through no fault of your own, can't appreciate the fresh flavor of cilantro, use regular parsley instead. 

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