Pico De Gallo: The inaugural installment in my survey of salsa

Or: “Making myself feel better about getting take-out by adding one homemade element”

So Mom and Dad, I know that when we spoke on the phone today I said my next post would be about the lovely borscht I made a few weeks ago. But then I had a look at what was left in this week’s Box of Wonders and saw among other things four jalapenos, a bunch of grape tomatoes from somewhere down south, and an onion. I don’t know about you, but to me that says salsa. But what kind of salsa? I had a slide show of choices running through my head, but in the interest of time and the possibility of consumption in conjunction with the take-out I am getting tonight to eat while watching the hockey playoffs starting in twenty minutes, I went with pico de gallo. In case you don’t know exactly what pico de gallo is (which would not be uncommon: when I worked in a restaurant that served it, I explained it to at least three or four customers per shift), it is distinct from other salsas in that none of the ingredients are cooked. Its most basic incarnation is just finely chopped tomato, jalapeno, and white onion with some lime juice. You see why it sprang to mind. Most recipes include some cilantro. Some include green bell pepper, but that is really just filler, and I like my salsas the way I like my crab cakes: with as little filler as possible!
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Frittata/Spanish Tortilla-thing

The seemingly endless stream of kale has tapered off lately, and I instead find myself looking for drawers and shelves and nooks in which to store the backlog of potatoes that has been building, insidiously and inexorably, over the last few weeks. I really didn’t notice it happening and then suddenly I was thinking of taking a few handfuls of purple fingerling potatoes to give my friend’s wife when we all met up at a bar to celebrate her birthday. Because nothing says, “30 is the new 20” like a bunch of multi-colored potatoes. Alternatively, I was considering hooking them all up with copper wires and using them as a power source to light my house in case of electrical outages.

Seriously. Everybody knows that kid who won the science fair with the potato battery.

Seriously, look at the link. It’s possible. Everybody knows that kid who won the science fair with the potato battery.

Potato batteries feel a little survivalist though, and the point of this project is to cook things, not live off the grid in a sod house where all the furniture is made of surplus World War II K-Rations to save space.

Not easy to construct a bed frame out of these babies.

Not easy to construct a bed frame out of these babies.

So, right. It may be short-sighted folly, but I think I’ll trust the lovely folks who administer Boston’s electrical distribution system to keep things up and running, and go ahead and use my potatoes for culinary purposes. Won’t my face be red when the zombie apocalypse comes and I’m left with candles. Obviously I’ll keep a few russets around to load my potato cannon when the first wave of free-range undead comes, but beyond that we’re going to go ahead and cook the vast majority of the available potatoes. Continue reading