Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day 235 - Pico de Gallo

It's quick visit from the Paladinis! Tracy, Mark, and the kids came up north for a Bar Mitzvah this weekend, and I hosted a mini-gathering of Tracy's "people." What could I make for a casual afternoon shmoozefest? Pico de Gallo!

Pico de Gallo (p. 179)

This is what, in the past, I would probably have referred to as salsa, but now I can see the difference between this and most other salsas. Pico de gallo is all raw, uncooked, whereas many salsas have that cooked-through consistency.

You can pretty much guess what's in here, because you can literally see the ingredients: tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, onion, cilantro, and garlic, all chopped or minced. The only things you can't see are the salt and lime juice.

There's some work involved here with the chopping, even more so today because I made a double batch. But it's not terrible. The thing I should mention is that the window for eating this is quite small. Martha says it should sit in its own juices for an hour at room temperature before serving, and it should be consumed on the same day it was made.

As someone who doesn't like spicy foods, my first thought was to put in way less jalapeño than in the recipe, even though I was removing all the seeds and ribs for less heat. I started out with a third of the amount in the recipe, and I tasted it right after it was made. It was plenty spicy.

But something happened when the flavors melded, because when I tasted it an hour later, there was very little spice to it. So in the end, I added the other two thirds of the peppers, ultimately following the recipe's proportions exactly.

And it was a perfectly delicious, typically flavored pico de gallo. My only complaint had to do with all the liquid. Between the tomatoes and the lime juice, this is a very juicy salsa. I started serving it with all the liquid, but I finally wised up and drained it. I'm sure it's nice for it to sit in the liquid to develop its flavor, but once that's done, I think it's OK, nay better, to serve it drained. Makes it easier to enjoy.

Jeff: A
Martha: A

Here's the gang at one point in the afternoon. Clockwise, from top left: Benny P, Tracy P, Dana E, Mark P, Adinah A, Jenny T, and Samantha P.

I also cut up one of my leftover poached pears from pavlova night. Isn't this so pretty??

Until we eat again....

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