Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pico De Gallo

I love spicy food in general and this one is the ticket. I've sampled it in Mexico many times and in Mexican restaurants galore. If you're one of my non USA readers you may not be able to get the ingredients.

One thing I love to do is go to grocery stores around the world. Even within the United States regionally there are differences. Up in New York where I stay between trips not only is the Mexican food generally lousy but the stores don't carry much selection of Mexican food ingredients.

Several years ago I was making a visit to Germany to stay with a friend. They requested I bring them salsa saying it was hard to get if you could find it at all.

Enough of that and hopefully if reading this leaves you craving pico you can find the  ingredients.

The first I ever ate pico de gallo was down in San Antonio Texas in 1985. My mother's cousin Bill Baker  made it for us. I've been eating it ever since.

For me lots of cilantro is critical. You may call it coriander. In the states coriander is just the seed and the green part is cilantro. If you grind the seeds you wind up with cumin. Just chop the tender leaves up nice and fine. Where I live in Texas you can get it in any grocery store for about $0.50 a bunch.

Next chop up some onion. The finer the better. Doesn't look like I did a very good job in that area.  I guess I was too excited to get it all together and start eating it!

Chop up some tomatoes. I like the Italian Roma variety because the are less juicy and more meaty.

Ah yes, the heat. Again in Texas these guys run about $0.50 per pound. If you prefer you could use a hotter pepper or a milder one. By removing the seeds and white veins you can cut the heat down. Leave them in if you want to jack it up. Funny but just writing this is making my forehead sweat.

OK pretend that piece of fruit is green not yellow! Yes, use a lime or two if you have them. I only had lemons in the refrigerator and didn't feel like running out for them. Sorry about that purests, you could use the bottled variety too.

Garlic salt to taste. You could use fresh garlic or garlic powder seperate from the salt but I find the ratio in the garlic salt to be good. If you do use fresh garlic be sure you mince it very fine because you want the flavor to come out evenly. You can manipulate the quantities of any of the ingredients as your taste buds deem perfection.

Get a bag of tortilla chips and dig in!! Thank you cousin Bill for turning me on to this treat!

If you know Bill, or have someone who has inspired you in a culinary fashion, or if you just like Pico De Gallo you should send him or her a message telling them about it, they will enjoy your appreciation.

P.S. Try to not eat the whole bag of chips, notice I dip it liberally!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Being the world traveler and not to mention spending alot of time on Long Island I've never had a Knish. What is it? A bread filled with a mashed potato mixture. I personally think it was created by a poor Jewish mother trying to fill up her children not to mention how can you go wrong with portable mashed potatoes!!

Here's how I made them. I must confess I was motivated by one of my favorite blog sites.

I made an egg based bread dough.

I boiled some potatoes while working the dough.

I used whole wheat and probably wouldn't next time. It was a bit heavy.

I chopped some onion and a low fat cooked sausage. 

I cooked the onions and then added the sausage to it.

I then combined the cooked potatoes to this mixture.

I bathed the sausages in a beer. Makes it real yummy as the beer cooks down covering the sausage.

I guess I should own stock in neufch√Ętel cheese. But here again I used it in this recipe adding it to the potato onion sausage mix.

I used some of my favorite seasonings to add some depth.

Mixed it all together and added some steamed carrots just to sneak in some veggies.

A bit of mustard to sharpen it.

Now the real work begins. I did get better an tried a couple of different techniques I had read about.

After cutting it into rectangles I placed some of the filling on it.

Rolling the dough into a tube while pinching the ends I pulled it into the little loop.

This was method two I called the sausage roll. Making a longer tube I then squeezed it off and twisted the segments into separate pieces. Then I separated them and made the little loops.

Bake them at 375 until nice and brown. Not bad. Give it a try.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Space Shuttle in NYC

Pretty amazing sitting on top the Boeing 747. When airborne the shuttle's wings provide enough lift to support its own weight. An amazing craft. Salute! Go see her in Manhattan sitting on her new home on the Hudson river, the

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

Go take a visit!!!!  Grab a hot dog from the guy on the corner!