Pico de Gallo
(It's time to get chopping!)
- Cherry or grape tomatoes, tomatoes on the vine (save one for your guacamole) and plum tomatoes
Rinse the tomatoes. Cut the stem end off of the vine tomatoes and the plum tomatoes. Chop to a medium dice. The tomato pieces should be about 1/4 of an inch.
Chop to a very fine dice, smaller than the tomatoes
Rinse cilantro and then spin or shake very dry. Strip the cilantro leaves from the stems and chop finely.
Peel and chop very finely.
Combine all of the chopped ingredients in a bowl with salt to taste and then divide into two separate bowls. Cover one bowl with plastic and refrigerate.
Rinse under cold water. Cut off the stem end and slice open lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and membranes and discard. Finely chop jalapeno pepper. While you are chopping rinse your hands and be very very careful not to touch your face or eyes. Add 1/2 of the jalapeno pepper to the bowl of other chopped ingredients and thoroughly mix. Taste the pico de gallo. I think that 1/2 of the pepper is sufficient, however, you may like your salsa a little hotter. Remember you can always add more but if you put too much in you can't take it out!!! When you have reached the desired heat, cover with plastic and refrigerate.
The Morning of your Celebration
Sue is not kidding about not touching your face when you are chopping that pepper. Once, I inadvertently touched my eye when chopping a scotch bonnet pepper and ended up having to plunge my face (eyes open) into a sink full of iced water to alleviate the pain. It was horrible!
You can't get around having to cut up those jicamas. But, all that carrot chopping may not be your cup of tea. If you have a food processor (or can borrow one), you can shred the carrots yourself using the shredder attachment. (See below.) It will take you 5 minutes. Better yet, try checking your grocery store for bags of shredded carrots.
Also here's hint on pouring honey. If you measure and pour your extra virgin olive oil first and then using the same spoon unwashed measure your honey, the honey slides right out of the spoon!
Jicama and Carrot Slaw
Peel the jicamas. Your first attempt at peeling a jicama you may find difficult. Try using a potato peeler, if that's not working use a paring knife (be careful though!) If that's not working don't bother trying to peel it, just the follow these directions. Scrub the outside of the jicama with a vegetable brush. Cut it in half (top to bottom). Place it cut side down. Now slice it into 1/4 in slices (discard the ends). Lay the slices flat and just cut around the inside of the skin to remove the flesh. You will see where to cut inside the skin. There is a sort of stringy fiberous layer that you don't want to use. Now cut those pieces lengthwise about 1/8 inch thick and then in half about 2 inches long. (You want strands that are about as thick as linguine and 2 inches long.) Place in a bowl.
Peel the carrots (easy!) Cut in half crosswise, cut in half length wise. Lay the flat side down and slice 1/4 inch strips then cut the strips into strands. Toss in bowl with jicama.
- 4 tbsps fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
Whisk ingredients together and taste for desired saltiness or sweetness. Adjust according to taste. Toss with carrots and jicama, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Also, to get beautifully chopped vegetables like this you must make sure that your knife is very sharp, especially for tomatoes. If it isn't sharp enough, you are just going to get aggravated and end up with mush.
Everyday Divas Celebrations
with Mimi and sue