Thursday, August 07, 2014

Pico de Gallo

I tell you what, I have really been making some good progress getting things done around here this week.

I had/have a (mental) list of things I want to do, and I have accomplished most of those, plus a few more things I hadn't even planned on doing.

But despite everything I've gotten done, yesterday I still felt like a failure because of the one thing I didn't do.

We'll likely never get the yield from the garden now that we would have had we not left and it dried up, but since we've been home and watering it, we've gotten some tomatoes and a couple of peppers.

(I thought the peppers were Sweet Banana, that's what they look like to me, until it dawned on me that I hadn't planted any Sweet Banana peppers.  I got my picture I had drawn of the garden where I labeled what was planted where and it says they are Serrano Chili peppers.
There's also a Serrano Chili plant at the end of the row with some small dark green peppers growing on that don't look much like these, so...*shrug*.)

So we had these tomatoes and peppers, and I needed to do something with them before they rotted, and decided I'd make a batch of Salsa (Pico de gallo).

I have no idea how to make Salsa, so I went on the internet to look for a recipe. Gosh, there are sooo many different recipes, using many different varieties of tomatoes and/or peppers.
I don't eat tomatoes or peppers, so I don't know the difference in them as far as taste or sweetness or what they're good to be used for or anything else, so it took awhile but I finally came across a likely looking recipe I thought I could attempt.

I'm not a great cook, or very knowledgeable about things like substituting this for that, or adjusting measurements. Usually I have to follow a recipe to.the.letter.

So I was nervous about this. Scared. I didn't want to mess it up.
If I didn't start, no way I could mess it up, right?

Well, except, the tomatoes and peppers were going to rot anyway if I didn't do something, so I finally said, Just do it! If it turns out gross, oh well, rotted veggies is gross, too!

First I cut up my tomatoes into little cubes. I had a mixture of Cherokee Purple and Beefsteak tomatoes. I have no idea if either of those are suitable for Salsa or not. 

Then I cut up my Serrano Chili peppers into tiny little pieces and added them to the tomatoes.

Next the recipe called for cutting up fresh Cilantro. I haven't ever used fresh herbs before, and my Mom used dried spice in a jar, so I went with that instead. 
I didn't know how much to use so I added a teaspoon full.

Next it wanted a whole clove garlic, chopped. Fresh garlic is another thing I'm not experienced with, but I had minced garlic in my fridge so I added a teaspoon of that.

Then a chopped onion.  I have chopped onions before, but I had frozen chopped onions I'd gotten on sale in my freezer so I just used those for ease. I just added "some", didn't measure the amount.

Then it said, "taste and season with lime juice and salt". 
I knew I wouldn't like it without salt at all, it was questionable if I would even like it with salt, on account of I usually don't like raw tomatoes or peppers at all.
So I went ahead and added the amount of lime juice and salt it recommended in the recipe (even though all the other measurements were off, I don't know, it seemed like a good idea at the time.)

Walmart didn't have any limes, so I got this thing of Reconstituted Lime juice.

I was just going to let it sit and "soak in it's juices" (aka, wait for J to come home and taste it) but I was curious to know if it was terrible, or if I could actually taste something it needed, or needing adjusting.
So I girded my loins and gave it a try.

My "taster" is a lot like my nose. I don't know if it was good, but it wasn't bad. So I thought that was something.

I thought maybe it tasted a bit bland, but I didn't know if it needed more Cilantro, or salt, or juice or what.  But I don't like raw tomatoes anyway, so it might have been that I just didn't like their taste.

I got Ryan to try it, but he's a lot like me, we're not "foodies", we eat to survive, not for enjoyment.
He also didn't know if it needed anything, or adjusting. He said it didn't taste bland to him, though, especially with the salty corn chip he dipped in it.

So-kay, I called it a success and jar'ed it up (not canned, just jar'ed and refrigerated. J will probably have it eaten in a week.).

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