Salsa has frequented our family's dinner table since I was able to hold a knife without seriously hurting myself or anyone. My mom would make it for us, whenever she was home for a vacation, with fresh ingredients bought from the local market, and we'd enjoy it with any fried or barbequed food plus a lot of white rice. I think she got the recipe from one of her foreign friends and had freshly squeezed orange juice as one of the key ingredients.

I've always wanted to try Salsa and chips after watching an episode of Food 911 where Tyler Florence helped some roommates throw a small Mexican themed party at their apartment. He also made Guacamole just by adding fresh Avocados to his basic salsa, it was one of my favorite episodes. Anyway, since my mom was abroad most of the time, I had to take matters into my own hands and took on the role as the official Salsa maker of the family which was fun because I love knives and handling food. Over the years my mom's salsa recipe changed, mostly because my Dad couldn't get all of the ingredients and I had to make do with what I was given. I simplified it until it turned into what the Mexicans/Latins call "Pico De Gallo" which I found out after about more than a decade of making it, thanks to 30 Minute Meals by Rachel Ray.  

Pico De Gallo by Mrs. D

Freshly squeezed Calamansi Juice (1/2 kg Calamansi or Philippine Lemon)
Patis or Fish Sauce
5 Large Red Onions
10 Large Ripe Tomatoes
5 Green Chilis
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

After extracting the juice from all of the calamansi in a big mixing bowl, pour in the amount of fish sauce based on how sour or salty you want it to be. Personally, I do equal parts of calamansi to fish sauce, but that's just me. Add the pepper and mix, then finely mince the onions and add it to the bowl. Make sure the onions are covered in the calamansi-patis mix for them to pickle. Pickling the raw onions will remove some of the bitterness and sharpness from them and make them easier for even our kids to enjoy. You can use this technique for salads as well.

Next, finely mince the tomatoes and just dump them on top of the onions without mixing it to let the onions pickle some more. Make sure all of the ingredients are in uniform size when minced, that goes for the Green chilis and Cilantro as well. Mix all of them together, adjust with more salt or pepper if you want. Chill it first then serve as a side dish for meals or with chips while enjoying a movie at home with the family.

Try this simple yet awesome recipe that will bring a Mexican twist to family meals. You don't have to go out and eat at authentic Mexican restaurants anymore just to have your salsa fix, just like us, definitely stretching your peso!;)

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Article published on July 25, 2014

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