Pico de Gallo

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Living in Texas I have grown quite fond of Mexican and so-called Tex-Mex cuisine. I love it. So, as I was preparing this mujaddara it occurred to me that a fresh pico de gallo to eat it with  would be the most compatible pairing. I mean, mujaddara is supposed to be eaten with a salad of fresh tomatoes and onions, right? I just happened to have a few jalapeño peppers in the fridge waiting to be consumed. So, here is the one perfect, healthy, balanced meal!

The mujaddara recipe is on a separate post. Here is the pico de gallo recipe.

INGREDIENTS: This quantity will yield 6 servings or up to 8

  • 3 medium onions (about 5 ounces each)
  • 3 jalapeño peppers
  • 3 medium tomatoes (about 5 ounces each)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (optional)
  • 2 limes

METHOD:

  1. Peel the onion and chop finely in the processor or by hand.
  2. Cut the jalapeño in half and scrape the seeds and white membranes off and discard.
  3. Place the peppers in the food processor and pulse a few seconds till chopped fine.
  4. Place the cilantro (chop off the stems) and pulse a few seconds.
  5. Quarter the tomatoes and pulse in the food processor as well.
  6. Squeeze the lime (or lemon) juice over the mixture. Refrigerate and serve.

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17 Comments

  1. Larry
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Your Mexican food looks better than what I have been getting here in San Juan del Rio, Queretaro, Mexico. I have been down here teaching English since July 14th. I only teach four hours a day Monday through Thursday. One class is at a company and the other three are at a university. I moved into an apartment about three weeks ago so I am starting to feel right at home. I can probably get you a job here teaching French for one hour a day for 100 pesos an hour if you ar interested. It is the easy life here but the town is a little boring. I am only staying here until December and will then go home for Christmas and then probably come back somewhere else in Mexico or to some other country for another semester. Happy belated birthday. I see that you have redesigned your website. It looks good. I hope everything is going well with you. How are Alice and Nick.
    Hasta luego
    Larry

  2. Joumana
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Is this place near the beach? or a river? sounds lovely, but then I think all of Mexico is fascinating. Thanks for the job offer, I will give it careful consideration. Nick and Alice are doing great. I am going to Lebanon again in December.
    Take care, Joumana

  3. Posted September 22, 2009 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    I’M WONDERFUL. :D

  4. Dana
    Posted September 26, 2009 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Bonjour Joumana,

    Thank you for your kind words. It is a tough two step dance: taking care of a child and having a full time job but I strive to provide my family with the healthy lifestyle that my Mom instilled in our family. This blog has been a great inspiration and has motivated me to park my italian,mexican etc cookbooks and embark on a Lebanese culinary adventure.

    I will share with you this recipe for mjadarra hamra; it is a southern speciality and my favorite among the different mjadarra variations. These ingredients yeild two servings.

    1 cup of small lebanese lentils or french lentils
    1/2 cup of course burghul
    1 small onion minced finely

    1. Wash the lentils and put in a saucepan with enough water to cover the lentils and maybe 4 more extra inches. Bring to a boil. Let the lentils cook till they are al dente. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid. Setthe lentils aside.

    2. In the same saucepan, saute the onion in some vegetable oil till it turns a beautiful red-brown color. Add the reserved cooking water and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. The onions should be very tender by then.

    3. Strain the onions or altenatively place them in a blender and process till they are melted in the water (I do that only when I have time, but that’s how my Mom prepares it).
    4. Add the lentils and burgul to the now brown cooking liquid in the saucepan and bring to a boil. Let simmer uncovered till the lentils are cooked to your liking and the liquid has evaporated.

    This dish is typically served at room temperature with some pita bread, onions, and minty cabbage salad.

    Sahtein.

  5. Joumana
    Posted September 26, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Dana
    Thanks so much for this recipe! I have been wanting to try this for some time! Several people I have met have told me that this is their favorite way to eat mujaddara! I have been looking for the right type of lentils though; I think (correct me if I am wrong) that brown lentils are needed, because they don’t break up into a mushy porridge the way the green ones do. I found a huge bag of them at Sara Bakery, and I really wanted a small portion for now! In any case, you are motivating me to make it asap! This weekend I was planning to make a dish that a fellow I know in Beirut told me about, ” kammoonet al-banadoora”: his mouth was watering as he was telling me about it. It is apparently a specialty of his village in the south near Nabatiyeh.

  6. Dana
    Posted September 26, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    funny Joumana, cause I was going to share with you the recipe for Kamoune next; I hail from Nabatieh as well;-) As for the lentils, my mother in law was visiting us thsi summer and she brought a long some brown little lentils. They stay firm when cooked and do not get mushy.

    As for kamoune, u can use it to make kamounet banadoora or kamoonet batata. We also use it when prepraing kibbe and kibbe naye. There are so many variations as people tend to miz and match herbs, but here it goes:

    1. 1/2 cup of fine burgul or more.
    2. a few sprigs of italian parsley
    3. a few sprigs of mint
    4. some cumin seeds(hence the name cumin)
    5. fresh or dried basil and marjoram
    6. a spring onion

    Sometimes, we add a small piece of orange rind or a small piece of red pepper for variation.

    In a food processor, place the burgul and the herbs. Pulse will the herbs are ground finely and are mixed with the burgul. The burgul grains will turn green in color.

    To prepare kamoonet banadoora, use ripe heirloom tomatoes (2-3), peel and cut into large chunks. Add about 3/4 cups of kammoone and mush with ur hands or a food processor till tomatoes and kamoone turn into a loose paste. Season with salt and add olive oil on top. This makes for an excellent light dinner with some labne and zaitoon ;-)

    btw, I was at the farmers market this morning and bought the most fragrant, sweet pears. I am going to puree and freeze some for my son but I am at a loss as to what to do with the rest. Any ideas?

    Cheers,
    Dana

  7. Dana
    Posted September 26, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    pardon the mangled words; baby likes to play with keyboard :)

  8. Joumana
    Posted September 26, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    So exciting! thanks so much!!
    Pears: in a salad, with some pecans and spinach or watercress. I like to make a pear sorbet, if you have an ice-cream maker, it is a snap.
    Also this summer in Beirut we got some pears (probably from our orchard in Deir el Kamar, in the Shoof) and I made a cake that my mom loved. I got the recipe from Marlene Mattar, she calls it Norwegian Pear Cake. It is a small yellow cake with cut up pears inside. Let me know if you are interested I still have the recipe and even took pics.

  9. Dana
    Posted September 26, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    the yellow cake sounds delicious. Please do share the recipe. I am also thinking of a steak au poivre sliced thinly on a crusty baguette with pears, tender greens ( a new kind of greens I just found today at the market) and some brie. Have a yummy weekend!

  10. Joumana
    Posted September 27, 2009 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Thanks! I am intrigued by the new kind of green you found! Your upscale sandwich reminds me of the one my friend’s daughter concocted for a cooking contest and won first prize for with figs/pepper/caramelized onions and manchego cheese (Mezzetta and she won 25K)

  11. Dana
    Posted September 27, 2009 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    hmm, the farmer said that it is called “tender greens”. It has long green tender leaves- maybe looks a bit like collard greens; it tastes like dandelion but mellower ( a nice bite but not too bitter). He said that it is best eaten raw. I have prepared it in a simple salad with red onions sliced thinly, tomatoe and lemon dressing. The farmer had a bunch of other greens that I havent heard of before; sorta reminded me of that aub book you mentioned earlier. The farm is called “good earth farm” and has a stand at mckinney’s farmers market. Its produce is both local and organic. I bought also a small pumpkin there and will try your savory pumpkin dip ;-)

  12. Joumana
    Posted September 27, 2009 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    How exciting Dana! I wonder if you could get him to grow purslane (bakleh) for fattoosh! When I see (rarely) it in the stores, usually places like Fiesta or the middle-eastern stores it is so old and wilted! Plus you could tell him it will grow like a weed! I am going to check them out online and see if they have a stand somewhere closer to me.

  13. Dana
    Posted September 27, 2009 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    bakleh would be perfect for fatoosh or fatayer. I will ask him next weekend and will let you know. I might as well suggest that he grow mulberry too :)

    Cheers!

  14. Joumana
    Posted September 27, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Perfect! I have been looking for a farm that grows mulberries and found none, except one in the Bay area. Hey, I think I found some bakleh at the Vietnamese market.
    I checked your farmer online and the farm has a CSA program and they sell lamb that they raise.

  15. Dana
    Posted September 27, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    True. I am looking into their CSA program. I like the idea and it is much nicer than buying lamb coming all the way from New Zealand. Where is this Vietnamese market located? Have you tried the Korean market, HMart, in Carrollton? I heard that it is clean and has a good selection of asian grocery and fresh seafood.

  16. Joumana
    Posted September 27, 2009 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    My friend Phoebe has been telling me all about it this HMart; she lives in Carrollton. For me it is out in the wilderness, so to speak. The Vietnamese market is inside a mall called “Saigon Mall” and it is on Jupiter and Beltline, I think in Garland? or Richardson? in any case, it is very clean and they have a huge seafood market, with live fish and live clams and crabs and so forth. It is fun to watch the people congregate in front of the fish cutter and babble in all these different languages.

  17. Posted December 14, 2011 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Même avec les photos j’ai du mal à imaginer le goût….

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