Make Pico de Gallo the easy way
DEAR MELBA: Here's a recipe for Pico de Gallo in response to one of your readers.
Pico de Gallo, meaning “rooster's beak” in Spanish, is also known as Salsa Fresca. Whatever you call it, this simple salsa is uncooked and can be made quickly and added to practically any dish. As you learn to make it, variations are limited only by your imagination.
Pico de Gallo
1 small white onion, diced and deflamed, or 4 green onions, thinly sliced
1-to-2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, diced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, minced
2 large very ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
Dash of salt
To deflame the onions, which will help the pico keep longer without fear of aftertaste, toss the diced onions in a small mixing bowl and cover with water and a couple dashes of apple cider vinegar. Let the onions soak in the solution while you do the remaining knife work.
For a milder version, remove the white membrane that surrounds the seeds within your hot peppers.
Once all the ingredients are diced, preferably in a uniform size, strain the onions and combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Cover and let stand at least 30 minutes so flavors have a chance to blend.
Dave Cathey, Food Editor, The Oklahoman
DEAR MELBA: This is the easy way to do Pico de Gallo: Buy a jar of sliced jalapenos with juice. Dice several tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are best. Dice 1/2 yellow or white onion. Add cilantro if you like — fresh or dried. You can also add one or two fresh raw jalapenos for a hotter kick. Store in a glass jar in refrigerator up to a week or so.
Pam Hopper, Oklahoma City
DEAR MELBA: When Joyce Allton asked for recipes for Snowball Salad, it reminded me of this Snowball Cake that is delicious. She might like to try it, also.
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
4 tablespoons cold water
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
1 baked angel food cake
3 packages whipped topping mix
1 cup shredded coconut
• In medium mixing bowl, soften gelatin in cold water. Add boiling water. Stir and let cool. Add sugar, lemon juice and pineapple, chill.
• Prepare two packages of the whipped topping as directed on package. Combine with chilled gelatin mixture.
• Break cake into small pieces, about 1-inch cubes. In 9-by-13-inch dish, alternate layers of cake pieces and gelatin mixture. Chill overnight or at least 6 hours. To serve, prepare remaining package of topping as directed on package and spread over cake. Sprinkle with coconut. Makes approximately 16 servings.
Mary Joyce Swanda, Apache
For a more snowball appearance, arrange cake pieces and gelatin mixture in a large round bowl. And, almost everything is better with a cup of chopped pecans added.
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