Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dinner Date: Authentic Pico + Tortilla Chips

Now that I'm home, I'm hoping home cooked meals are going to become a more common occurrence. My parents are both amazing cooks and if I'm half as good as them, I'll be set. I haven't done much cooking the past few years in New York. My theory has pretty much been as follows: why would I cook, when I can go to a restaurant where they'll cook for me? It makes sense, no? But I'm ready to kick the restaurant habit and get in the cooking game. Thus: Dinner Date.
A couple of nights ago, they whipped up fresh pico de gallo and homemade tortillas for the three of us. It was so delicious! They have a garden in our backyard that they got most of the ingredients for the pico from, and the freshness really went a long way. The pico had just the right amount of kick to it, and I was so impressed that they were making their own chips! (Next step is making our own tortillas- but that's to come yet.)
I was so impressed with the dinner, I decided to share it here! Yum!
If you whip up your own pico and chips, send me pictures!!

Let's start with the pico!
Seeding your tomatoes is key here because it eliminates all that goopey tomato juice that no one wants in their pico. Also, seeding the jalapeno eliminates some of the spice. I'm totally down for spicy pico, but when you get a few of those jalapeno seeds at once, your mouth will be burning for days. Not worth it!
Once you have all the ingredients, pico is actually pretty easy to make. Finely chop all of your ingredients, including the cilantro, and combine in a bowl. What your'e really for here is even color distribution- if it looks too red, add more onion. The green from the jalapeno and cilantro should balance each other out. The fresher the ingredients, the better it will usually taste. If you taste test and it seems to be missing something, add more salt. That usually does the trick!
The tortilla chips are a little bit more complicated, but with within the realm of do-ability (much like Nick Jonas.... He's 18, God guys! It's legal!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut each tortilla into 4 wedges and arrange the wedges in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
Combine the oil and lime juice. Mix well and brush lightly onto both sides of each tortilla wedge.
Combine the chili powder, cumin, and salt in a small bowl and sprinkle on both sides of the chips.
Bake for 7 minutes the rotate the pan and bake for another 7-8 minutes until the chips are crisp, but not too brown.
Then sit back and marvel at yourself. You're now an honorary Mexican!



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