Spring brings great hope to my Tex-Mex lov’in taste buds.
Yes, my gustatory receptor cells know the salsa garden is planted and fresh cilantro is already being harvested. Ah, the scent the taste of fresh cilantro!
Here is my dilemma this spring: The lime supply is not sufficient.
I should not, will not, cannot eat Tex-Mex without lime and the cost of limes has tripled in price. They are sometimes teeny tiny, Key Lime size, and I can only express one to two teaspoons of juice from them. Other times the stores do not have any in stock.
Have you heard about this inconvenience?
The explanation for this disruption is one more reason to abhor the Mexican drug cartel industry. The drug cartels decided they need more money so they set their financial ambitions on lime groves. They are using armed force to take over hard-working farmer’s lime groves and the cartels are ambushing and robbing produce trucks on the way to market. In response to the crime, some farmers are burning down their groves and not giving in to the cartels.
Add to this the Huanglongbing, citrus greening disease, in Mexico, the California drought, and Florida’s poorly sanctioned diseased lime crop policy enacted shortly after Hurricane Andrew over a decade ago. (Read more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/25/lime-shortage_n_5191607.html)
This is why I am forced to pay $1.00 for an almost microscopic lime. Which makes me thankful that our family’s finances allow me the ability to feed my habit—my drug of choice; lime—because I’m a lime junkie.
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Today I am sharing how I make my favorite Pico De Gallo recipe. Some cooks use yellow onion, some use any type of tomato but I only use white onion and Roma tomatoes.
Because the heat and taste of onion can vary from crop to crop, I cut a piece off and inspect it by smelling it and tasting it. This is a necessary evil because not much is worse than taking the time to chop all your ingredients, mix your recipe and find out a bad onion spoiled the flavor of the entire dish. I use equal parts tomato, onion and fresh cilantro but if the onion is too strong I cut the amount back to ¼ to ½ depending on the onion’s strength.
This recipe can be made as small or large as needed.
In my house we consider Pico De Gallo a nutritious meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner and it is eaten as such; with tortilla chips. Yep, that’s it—nothing more—just Pico. I hope you don’t have a problem with that.
Homemade salsa is also served as a meal option. The salsa recipe will be posted soon.
Pico De Gallo Recipe:
6 Roma tomatoes, rinsed then core the top, chopped
1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped
1 large bunch of rinsed cilantro, chopped; remove long stems at the bottom of the bunch
1 large lime—juiced, you may use zest too if you like it
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
*Optional-2 seeded, deveined Serrano peppers, minced
The importance is equal amounts of tomato, white onion & cilantro. I add lime juice until I can taste it mixed throughout the entire batch. Sometimes I make it with Serranoes, sometimes hot by NOT removing the seeds and veins. Serrano peppers, to me, have the best flavor of all the Mexican peppers. My daughter occasionally likes to make Pico with 2 large chopped (yes, chopped not minced) Jalapeños in the mix.
Serve with restaurant style white corn tortilla chips warmed in the oven for 3 minutes @ 350 degrees.
Eat plain with chips or as a topping on your favorite Taco, Fajita, Burrito, Quesadilla, Chalupa, salad, meat or casserole.