Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pico de gallo & mexican coleslaw

Pico de gallo:

When we first moved to Seattle 10 years ago, we stayed in a hotel with a great little restaurant down the street called Todo Mexico that served an amazing pico de gallo with their chips. We'd often go just for that taste, and it took us a few years to realize that you could order it as a huge side dish to go, and maybe another year to think to try to make it ourselves.

Other places I've had pico de gallo it's either been a lightly seasoned tomato topping, or a heavily jalapenoed tomato salad, but what I love about Todo Mexico's is that it's instead marinated in lime juice. Below is a rough approximation of the quantities I use, even though I rarely measure.

2 cups fresh tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
1/2 cup sweet onion, finely diced
1/2 cup green cabbage, finely diced
1/2 (loose) cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp green pepper Tabasco sauce (optional)

1) Mix all ingredients together and serve with chips. Voila!

Mexican coleslaw:

This is a much more recent addition to our repertoire. Just a few months ago we got addicted to it at Puerto Vallerta here in West Seattle. It's mostly cabbage and vinegar so you'd expect it to taste like sauerkraut, but instead it's like a tangy spicy crunchfest. This is great because it's not at all labor-intensive to make, and it keeps for a long time, making it easy to always have on hand for nachos, soft tacos, gorditas, etc.

1/2 head cabbage
1 large tomato
1 4-oz can diced green chiles
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1) Coarsely chop the cabbage and tomato, and toss in green chiles.

2) Stuff tightly into a bowl with an airtight lid available, add vinegar and water, and let soak in the refrigerator for two hours, covered.

3) Drain liquid (you can reserve it to make another batch later if you want to), toss with salt, and either serve right away or store lidded in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can eat it straight with chips or use as a counterpoint topping for most Mexican dishes (soft taco recipe coming soon!).

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