Saturday, April 14, 2012

How I Make My Pico De Gallo

In the past year I learned to cook. I had to, there was no choice. What is surprising is that I've learned to enjoy it significantly.
I love cooking now.
Being from Texas, and having spent large swathes of time hanging around Mexicans, and Mexican Americans-I've learned to love and appreciate Mexican food above most other ethnic foods.
I also love Italian food. But I'm just notthere yet.
I eat Pico with most everything that I make, sometimes I serve it cold, which is the traditional way, and sometimes I throw it into the mix with what I'm cooking. It doesn't matter, the stuff is awesome, and altogether healthy.
If you don't like Pico, or Mexican food-then I just don't know what to do with you. Please never ask me to cook for you. :-)

A Bachelor cooks for himself.

You have to start with the onion and the tomato. I use the Romain Tomatoes because they have moremeat and less juice. I do not have a preference for onion as of yet, but I seriously recommend that you keep your onions refrigerated, as this will lessen the "crying effect," that we all know and love when it comes time to chop your onions.
Pico De Gallo should be based on something close to equal parts onion and tomato as it's base-after that, everything else is a matter of preference.
It's my opinion that it just isn't right to have Pico without Chile peppers. Typically, jalapenos are used. I love jalapenos, I love their flavor-how could anyone not love them? It's true, sometimes they are hotter than usual-it's also true that sometimes they are so mild that they aren't hot at all.
Use thin gloves when you chop your jalapeno peppers. I can't tell you how many times I've had to rub my eyes, etc-and learned to regret it!
The Serrano chili  pepper is another option. The Serrano has a great flavor as well, and it's a lot different from the flavor of the jalapeno. Be advised, the Serrano pepper can be FAR hotter than a jalapeno pepper.
Use thin gloves when you chop your Serrano peppers, else wise, you are tempting fate!
I love cilantro or coriander! I love it, I love it, I love it! Who hasn't heard that leafy green vegetablesare awesome for one's health? I can't imagine Pico without cilantro. Cilantro does have some freshness problems though, but in order to combat them, and keep your cilantro fresh you need to only chop it, and freeze what you don't use initially. What you have left over is going to be just as good next time around so long as you keep it frozen.
Garlic is your friend, and is also something that should be in the mix. Use as much of it as you want, but the more garlic you ingest, the better. Fresh garlic is always best, and it keeps well in the refrigerator Lately, I've taken to using minced garlic that is pickled. I don't mind the vinegar at all-but it's not a very traditional flavor for Pico.
Recently, I saw garlic that was minced and in olive oil in the store-I can't wait to see how the olive oil impacts the flavor of my Pico!.
Lime juice is another essential ingredient, and it serves to keep everything fresh because of it's acidic content. Limes are a staple of Mexican cuisine, and I just don't recall what I did before I started putting lime juice on everything. Limes come in a few different varieties, and all of them are great.
Optional ingredients: You may, or may not want to add salt, pepper, or tomatillo sauce to your mix.
Experiment, add it to your dishes, and enjoy!


  1. You are incorrect, Mr. Freezing cilantro destroys the liquid in it and thus makes it slushy and way less desirable than fresh. One would do well to always use fresh or dried herbs. Chef Boy R Psims.

  2. That may be true Mr. Patrick Sims - but when one buys cilantro in Kaufman, Texas - one gets a big honkin' slab of it, and one tends to have trouble getting it all used in time.

    So some freezing winds up being the order of preservation of already purchased and not supposed to go bad cilantro!

    There is some sort of cilantro available in a little squeeze tube - but I do not much trust it, but have used it.