Friday, November 18, 2011

Fresh Salsa: Pico De Gallo

Salsa: Pico De Gallo

One Hot Habanero

    Hello everyone! Boy, it's been a while hasn't it? My apologies! Here is a recipe oft requested.... Fresh Salsa. This is a recipe i learned from my grandma. In the summer months where i grew up, she would have a garden of tomatoes ripe and ready- and she would pull out her old heavy stone molcajete to grind it together.  She said that her mother gave it to her when she got married, along with a traditional terra cotta bean pot, rolling pin, and cast iron Colmal (flat pan for cooking tortillas) Anyway, This is a family recipe that i'm delighted to share with you all.
    The photos came about for this post after i moved. I live in a strange place where authentic foods are seemingly hard to find. I tried a salsa here that may have been one of the worst i ever had. So i decided to make my own. This recipe can be a tiny bit time consuming, so i don't make it as often as i would like to. it's not complicated, just a lot of chopping. You can use a food processor if you have one, but try to mince or dice rather than liquify the ingredients for a hearty texture.

     What to use salsa for?
    Well, I sorta doubt anyone would really ask this question, but I wanted to share some of my favorite uses for salsa anyway. Of course you can serve salsa with your favorite tortilla chips. I love to have my morning omelette rolled with salsa inside. I have also really liked making corn quesadillas with a dab of salsa inside. You can top your tostadas with it, as shown in the blog post here.  A favorite snack of mine lately has been homemade nachos, which is simply chips with grated cheddar, a bit of salsa, tucked under the broiler for a few minutes. So many more uses! 
    An additional note: I made this batch using one very hot habanero pepper. Please take care when chopping spicy peppers! The hot oils could penetrate delicate skin and cause intense burning for some people. I've seen this happen once and it was rather traumatic. If you feel your skin may be delicate, wear gloves. Also, if your knife isn't incredibly sharp you also risk squirting pepper juices into your eyes. Please be careful if this is the case. 

1 lb Roma tomatoes, peeled or 1.25 lbs of your favorite seasonal tomatoes
1/2 of a large yellow onion
1/4 bunch of fresh cilantro
2 large cloves of garlic
1 Habanero pepper*
1 lime or 1/2 lemon Juiced; or 1 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp salt, more to taste

Chop all ingredients as shown.Add lime juice and salt.  Mix together well. Move to an airtight container and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Enjoy with chips or on your favorite foods.
SERVING SIZE: Makes One Pint, Lasts in the fridge for about 2  weeks.  

 *OTHER FLAVORS: You can make this recipe as hot or mild as you like. If you feel timid about spiciness, Try starting with a jalapeno without seeds. Always taste and adjust after you have allowed the salsa to sit for at least 4 hours. Medium Hot spicy- try jalapeno with seeds, or substitute a serrano, a slightly hotter pepper. All peppers have a different flavor and personality. Experiment to find what you like!
ALSO: If you chop an avocado into a bowl and add a few tablespoons of salsa, you have fresh, easy guacamole!

FASTER: Like i have stated above, You can make this recipe faster if you use a food processor. I don't really like using- but have a go at it if you want.

HEALTHIER: This recipe is pretty darn healthy. All fresh ingredients, raw, vegetables, etc. Just watch the foods you put it on!

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