Superbowl Appy With a “Kick”

When I first imported myself into southern Alberta from Mesa, Arizona, I was sure I would die within weeks.  Not from the sub-freezing temperatures, gale-force winds, or absurd quantities of snow to be shoveled…

…but because of the lack of decent Mexican food within a seemingly million-mile radius.

Do me a favor: Google™ the phrase “Lethbridge Alberta Mexican food,” and have a good laugh with me.  There is one (read it: 1) Mexican-themed restaurant [El Comal] to service a population upwards of 80,000 people.  Some might say it tells a lot about the food preferences of southern Albertans, but I’d like to think better of these people; maybe folks here suffer from heartburn more than average.  In which case, I would never blame a person for trying to avoid acid indigestion.

At any rate, there seems to be a serious shortage in this city, and I am setting about to change it.

See, where I come from, no party can be considered even marginally tolerable without tortilla chips and salsa on the table in abundance.  Surely—surely—such is also the case up here…right?  Either way, given the fact that the Superbowl is approaching in just a few weeks, I am determined to help each and every one of you make your party a smashing success, by imposing my ideals and standards onto you.  They’re guaranteed to work, or your money back—er, rather…they’ll just work and that’s final.

The recipe I’m presenting today is called pico de gallo (pronounced PEEK-oh day GUY-oh), and directly translated means “rooster’s beak,” [but that’s kind of creepy so we’ll just think of it as a fresh, chunky uncooked salsa].  It is a simple, straightforward recipe that costs well under $10.00 to make, and is completely customizable.  For example, if you can’t handle the heat, omit some—or all—of the jalapeños; if you’d rather taste lime over lemon, by all means, use limes.

Don’t these ingredients look happy about their fate?  They should be—on the hierarchy of condiments, pico definitely ranks #1 for deliciousness.

I generally serve pico de gallo simply aside a bowl of tortilla chips, but it’s also delicious mixed into guacamole, as a garnish for nachos, or in place of dressing on taco salad.

Pico de Gallo

Serves 4-6 (can easily be doubled or tripled to suit your needs)

Approximate 20 minutes prep; 1 to 12 hours chill

Ingredients:

4-5 tomatoes (avoid Walmart’s™ pithy ones at all costs; I prefer Costco’s)

1/4 c. white or yellow onion

1/4 cup cilantro (available in most produce sections, but Walmart™ tries to pass flat-leaf parsley off as cilantro, so again, beware)

jalapeños (fresh or canned, optional)

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 tsp. garlic salt, (or to taste)

Method:

1.  Finely chop tomatoes and onions; mix in large bowl.

2.  Roughly chop cilantro; add to bowl.

The stems of cilantro are completely edible, but I usually chop off the bottom inch for quality assurance.

This is what I mean by “roughly chop.”

Mmm…can’t you almost smell the fragrant savour of it?

3.  Dice jalapeños finely (Use 1/2 a pepper for a moderate kick.  Start with less and add more as necessary).  Incorporate into mixture.

4.  Squeeze juice of 1 lemon (fresh or bottled) into bowl; mix well.

Don’t worry if you haven’t got a cool lemon spout like me—they’re totally unnecessary.  I just like to use mine for the thrill of it.

5.  Starting with 1/4 tsp, add garlic salt to taste. (Remember most tortilla chips come salted, so don’t overdo.  Taste with chips before adding any more salt.)

I embrace sodium of every kind, so I started out with 1/2 tsp. of garlic salt.  Also, see my stainless steel measuring spoon?  I searched long and hard for just the right set, and I’m glad I did.  They make me happy.

6.  When pico has reached desired flavor, cover and chill for at least an hour (but up to 12 hours) in advance.  Flavours will intensify over time, but after 12 hours tomatoes can tend to become rather soggy.  Pico will keep for several days refrigerated, but is at it’s party-serving peak on day one.

Don’t be fooled by the pained expression on my face—this stuff is what dreams are made of.

Enjoy!

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in cooking, do what I say, It's All Good, photos and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Superbowl Appy With a “Kick”

  1. anna says:

    Mmmm, not that I didn’t just eat dinner a few hours ago, but this has made me unusually hungry.

  2. Carmen says:

    Yum, I love pico de gallo. I rarely make it but love it. So why don’t I make it more? Who knows. Oh, and too bad you didn’t warn me sooner about Walmart passing off parsley as cilantro because in my rush I accidently bought parsley instead of cilantro because it said cilantro, but when I got it home I realized it was parsley. Arrgh! Totally mislabeled. Anyways, I am over it now…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sounds delicious! I’ll have to give it a try.

  4. Thais says:

    my dear husband makes a killer salsa. I’m so sorry you’re mexican foodless. I live in Texas… I’m basically in Mexico. We love it.

  5. Katie says:

    AMEN SISTER! When I left Florida for Connecticut, I almost moved home when I discovered that apparently Mexican restaurants are illegal or something up here. There are NO restaurants! And the ones that they do have are more gourmet and expensive. I want the extra large cheese dip with a side of a $5 combination platter, you know???

    What’s wrong with these people?!?!

  6. Camille says:

    Anna– Indulge yourself—there’s always room for a little pico!

    Carmen– I’m sorry about your Walmart™ woes. My life has improved tenfold since I stopped shopping there, and I can still keep my groceries under budget without their “deals.”

    anonymous– Do, and let me know what you think!

    Thais– Texas sounds glorious right now, as does any sort of Mexican food on the cheap.

    Katie– Oh, Katie. The one (1) restaurant up here charges $10 for a burrito and only brings out ONE SERVING of chips and salsa (and calling it “salsa” is being generous). We’re living very similar lives, my friend.

  7. Lauren says:

    Mmm…Pico. Love it.
    My brother went on his mission to Alberta. He said the lack of Mexican food was insane. Someone tried to make him chimichangas, once for a meal. And they buttered the tortillas! Hahahah! No deep frying. Ah. I love it.
    Love your “pained” face.

  8. raygon says:

    YUM! thanks for sharing.

    And Rexburg must have the same kind of population as Alberta. The Mexican food place here is called Gringos (that should tell you something) and their hottest hot sauce tastes just like ketchup. YUCK! You cant get good Mexican food around here either. Once again, poor us. Thanks for sharing that yummy recipe.

  9. raygon says:

    By the way, would you stop ignoring me and answer my email! you kill me!

  10. Holly Decker says:

    great. now you got me wanting mexican food.

    good thing i am going to Mesa NEXT WEEK!!!! oh baby. i just had to rub it in, because every time you go i get jealous.
    i will eat some for you :)

  11. Camille says:

    Lauren– What part of Alberta did your brother serve? I hope he liked it.

    Raygon– You’re very welcome. You and me, we’re so sad with our cold weather and lack of Mexican food, huh? Poor us. Oh, and I just emailed you back. Did you get it?

    Holly Decker– Well, you succeeded. I’m very sad that someone else is going to Arizona and not me. Don’t just eat SOME for me—eat LOTS!

  12. anonymous says:

    yummy i must make this today!

  13. Sarah says:

    I am so glad that you liked my brief explanation of AI. I meant to do that a long time ago and never did. So that was my semi-quick version of it. I might have to use your salsa recipe!!! Thanks for posting it! I have a salso maker that I’ve been wanting to use but didn’t have a recipe that I knew was good. I trust your taste buds.

  14. NobodyNose says:

    Haha this post reminds me of Saturday night when my sister went to Filibertos at midnight! Oh btw, I decided to become a walking Cliche and start a blog. If you have it in your heart, take a look: ratalienose.blogspot.com

  15. Geneva says:

    Lemon spout? I need that!

  16. Jacque says:

    The tomato is my favorite fruit. I once rode in the car with my Parents, from Etown to SLC, and Mother had an endless supply of sliced tomato to serve, with bit of salt and pepper. Still my fave, (well, easy), ‘mato fun.
    Lovin’ the salsa verde too.

    (Me love the salsa verde too).

  17. DeeMarie says:

    YUM!! I love homemade pico de gallo!! I think I have chips and regular salsa. That will have to do. :)

  18. mom of one says:

    Can’t you just picture yourself sitting on a mexican beach now…

    if it makes you feel better the low in FLORIDA is 20 degrees! although i guess you might be excited about 20 degrees…

  19. niki says:

    loved this post! the smiley face was a crack up and i really need one of those nifty lemon spouts.

  20. Jess says:

    OMG, I know exactly what you mean. Let me preface this by saying my Hubby is from Texas, where Mexican food is ALL they eat. When we moved to CT, we thought we would die when the didn’t even know what queso was. Luckily, we are back in AZ right now and eat all the Mexican food we want…for now! :)

  21. Jacque says:

    Does this blog ever might happen to get over the climate talk, the what actually is sameness ‘tween CanadAmerica?
    I’ve decided to not visit the south, so i’ll aggravate authour a bit more.

  22. Granamama says:

    Pico is the best—next to Lion King, which I don’t ave to avoid because it IS on my diet. WHy not do a blog about diets and which ones REALLY work. (Remember—my goal is to get a new job as a weight consultant. Lots of love.
    Granmamama

  23. Tisha says:

    I LOVE Mexican food and sadly, you are so right. There is absolutely nowhere to get any around here. Its quite depressing, really.

  24. Jacque says:

    Authour, PLEASE disregard everything said in my most previous comment. I plead permanent insanity, and a general bad, really bad, attitude. I am one stupid
    crackpot. If you can pretend i don’t exist, i’ll promise not to be such an ass.
    Sorry, sorry, sorry.
    My life is a freakin’ joke. Somebody needs to disconnect me from here, i guess that would be me.

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