February 2, 2010

Reba's Recipe Pico De Gallo (Fresh Tex Mex Salsa) & 5 Ways to Use It

Here in San Antonio, you can get lots of great salsas - reds, greens, even some browns that are tasty.  Having one's own original salsa recipe is almost as traditional as having one's own barbeque sauce recipe here in this part of Texas.  And, sure, you can buy Pace Picante Sauce all around the country now -- but all of this stuff is pureed, blended, even cooked.  With pico de gallo, you get something different: chopped, fresh, amazing stuff.

Pico De Gallo - Reba's Version

4-6 fresh tomatoes, chopped  (use a couple more if you use Romas and make sure you drain them since they carry lotsa water) (you cannot used canned here - gotta go with fresh)

1 medium sweet onion, chopped (I use either Vadalia or Texas 1015)

1 large jalapeno or serrano chili pepper (seed them if you don't like it hot, hot; choose jalapeno over serrano for less heat, as well - a serrano can be full of fire)(oh, and use green ones - if they've gone red, they're scary hot)

1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped fine (leaves, no stems)

Squeeze of fresh lime juice -- if you've got it.  No worries. 

Once you've chopped all these things up - and I think by hand is best, so you can insure that the pieces are all about the same size, then you've got something I'm sure they serve in Heaven.  What can you do with pico de gallo?  Oh, my.

5 Ways to Use Pico De Gallo

1.  Serve it as a dip with tortilla chips.  Go crazy if you want, and get a couple of packs of corn tortillas, cut them all in fourths, brush some veg oil (or canola) on them, lay them out separately on a baking sheet, toss some salt, and bake your own.  Or just buy a bag.  Just make sure the chips are hardy enough to handle the weight of the Pico as you pull it up from the bowl on the chip.

2.  Mash up 3-4 ripe avocados and combine with the Pico.  Voila, very wonderful guacamole.

3.  Scramble with some eggs, together with some Pico, and you've got Eggs a la Mexicana.  If you put some oil in the skillet and fry up crumbled pieces of tortillas chips, then add your eggs and Pico to cook, along with some shredded cheddar cheese and you've got another dish: a version of Chilaquiles.

4. Grill a couple of chicken breasts.  Throw a bunch of the Pico de Gallo over the top, serve with some rice and a nice salad.  Amazingly good.

5. Take a flour tortilla, a couple of big tablespoons of Pico de Gallo, and go wild with leftovers.  Here, we'd call them tacos, but if wrap works for you, fine.  Wrap it is.  Cut up leftover pork chops, throw that into the pico tortilla.  (Avocado slice here, fabulous.)  Stir together leftover beans and rice, maybe some cheese, and layer that into your Pico Tortilla.  Heck, throw in some salad blend from one of those boxes, add a little ranch dressing, and go to town with a Veggie taco, ... er, wrap.  (Ranch does go well with Pico. Try it, see what you think.)

Okay, now I've gone and made myself hungry.  I'm off to buy a taco.  At Taco Cabana.  With a side order of fresh Pico (yepper, here you can even get it at the drive thru.  I love San Antonio!!!).
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