Friday, February 23, 2007

Uncle Albert's Pico de Gallo

This is from El Cab's Uncle Albert. It makes about a gallon of salsa and it is hot, so beware.

Finely chop the following and combine in a large ceramic bowl (metal or plastic might react or melt).
the corrected version-- basically the more peppers you add, the more onions you need (the milder version). All quantities are approximate.

5 or 6 large tomatoes
5 tomatillos
2 large white onions (1)
2 large red onions (1)
2 large yellow onions (1)
1 bunch cilantro
5 jalapeno peppers (3 or 4)
3 serrano peppers (2)
1 habanero pepper, chopped super-super fine
3 fat cloves of garlic, grated or chopped super-fine
juice of three lemons or limes
quantities of salt and pepper

Safety Tools
latex gloves

Wear disposable latex gloves to chop the peppers and use a separate cutting board that you can put in the dishwasher. The acids are powerful. You think you have washed your hands, and then oops, you rub your eyes and all of a sudden your world is consumed with an unquenchable fire. You gnash your teeth, you think you are in hell, you wish you were dead. It is all preventable with just a few precautions. Use the whole pepper, seeds and all, except the stem.

As you are chopping things up and adding them to the bowl, stop every ten minutes to sprinkle the mixture with lemon juice and salt. This prevents the ingredients from oxidizing, and something alchemical happens, you can actually smell it shifting from a collection of various vegetables, to a strong, intense note, an odor that is more than the sum of its parts, the smell of perfect salsa magic. If you skip this process, I take no responsibility for the pathetic mess you'll make.

According to El Cab, this salsa will stimulate your circulation and cleanse your liver. Be sure to eat it all within 48 hours, as the salsa is volatile and does not age gracefully.

How to Pronounce "Salsa"
Both ss are soft. No "z" sounds.

The N*ster's Salsa For Normal People

2 large tomatoes
1 white onion
1 lemon or lime
1 or 2 jalepenos
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro
salt and pepper

Finely chop it all up and combine in a bowl.

The N*ster is an amazing cook. She was the first person to teach me how to make salsa. She also showed me how to make fried chicken and many many other delectables, on both sides of the globe.


El Caballero said...

You want twice as many onions, and most would want to reduce by a third the amount of jalapenos and serranos. Also, lime can be used instead of lemon.

Camille said...

Oh, oh, the onions. But didn't we put in more peppers? Or are we not "most people"?

Fritz said...

I'm weird -- I like the tomatillos and peppers are essential; not necessarily for the heat but for the taste. But I dislike heavy cilantro -- in most salsas the cilantra is overpowering.

My chili recipe is simple:

* Around a pound of whatever meat is on sale. Tonight, this happened to be leftover ribs from the other day.
* An small onion
* A pepper (serrano or jalapeno)
* Three or four or five tomotoes.
* Garlic.
* Salt and pepper to taste.
* Optionally, a can of kidney beans.

Cut all ingredients into smallish pieces; press or grate the garlic. Brown the meat, onions, pepper and garlic. Throw in the other ingredients and let it stew for an hour or three. Enjoy.

Camille said...

yee haw! thanks, Fritz

Camille said...

With Uncle Albert, there is no danger the cilantro will overpower anything. It provides a nice bass note, and holds down the riotous onions and peppers.

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I blog about life and soup, but mostly soup.