Homemade is Better—Pico de Gallo & Guacamole

Merry May readers, may the 4th be with you, happy Cinco De Mayo, and watch out for revenge of the 6th!  Some Star Wars humour for you there as I am, after all, a dad, and need to get the occasional dad joke in.  For this week, I had planned on writing about the sourdough starter and sourdough pretzels, but I decided to abandon it for some festive Cinco De Mayo recipes.  I’ll give you a double=header this week because these recipes complement each other so well!

A pre-recipe pointer.  A lot of recipes call for terms like dice, julienne, or slice.  So how do you do that?  Youtube is an excellent source for learning knife skills.  But I teach my kids (ages 10, 10, and 6) how to use the proper tool for the job.  When dicing, which means cutting into cube shapes, you want the sharpest knife possible.  Cut your tomato in half from tip to stem or visa versa, then place the cut end on a cutting board and slice the tomato horizontally

about 90% of the way through, leave the stem end intact.  Now make vertical slices from left to the right across the tomato.

To get your dice cut from the bottom tip of the tomato to the stem.

Most other things that need dicing work similarly, some you will modify, others will be the same.

Pico De Gallo

Ingredients

3 Roma tomatoes
1½  jalapenos
½ a red onion
A handful of cilantro
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp of your favourite Tequila (optional)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper

Directions
  1. Dice your tomatoes and onion very small and put them into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add ½ a tsp of salt.
  3. Put on rubber gloves for the jalapenos or be sure to wash your hands a lot after working with them. Getting jalapeno in your eyes is not fun, trust me.
  4. Slice the stem end of the jalapeno off and remove the seeds. Slice the pepper lengthwise into thin strips then dice.  Put into the bowl.
  5. Grab your handful of cilantro and chop it as much as you feel like. It should be close in shape.  Put it in the bowl.
  6. Mix your Tequila and lime juice and add it to the mix.
  7. Add in the cumin, the remaining salt and pepper.
  8. Mix it all up and taste it! It’ll be better in 24 hours—if it lasts that long.

Guacamole

Ingredients

3 ripe avocados – diced
2 Roma tomatoes – diced
½ a jalapeno – diced
2 cloves of garlic – diced
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp olive oil
A handful of cilantro – roughly chopped
½ red onion – diced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp kosher salt
1 oz Tequila

Directions

You have 2 options here.

  1. Option 1: You can make it chunky in which case you dice the avocado, tomato, jalapeno, garlic and onion. Roughly chop the cilantro then add everything else except the Tequila to a mixing bowl and mix.  Taste it, then add more of any ingredient you think it needs.
  2. Option 2: Add all the ingredients except the Tequila to a food processor and pulse it about 5 – 7 times. Even though you are using the food processor, you will still need to chop up everything, just not as finely.  If you add it all whole, the guac will not mix properly, and then you are left with chunks of tomato or avocado or whole garlic.
  3. You may be wondering when you use the Tequila. That’s the celebratory reward for making these yourself!  Take that shot and enjoy your salsa and guac with your favourite Taco Tuesday meal or nacho chips!
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