Authentic Pico De Gallo

pico de gallo Ahhhh. . . . .   Pico de Gallo.  There's almost nothing you eat that couldn't be improved with a little pico.  When it's made properly, it enhances the flavor of anything it's paired with.  Made improperly, it is more of a distraction to good food than an enhancement.  If you want to know how this salsa is made in the heart of Mexico, read on.   Ingredients: 8-10 Roma Tomatoes chunked:   Note: You can use whatever type of tomatoes you have, but if you're not using Roma Tomatoes you need to clean the seeds and juice out of the tomato you're using before cutting into chunks. 6-8 Green Onions chopped:  You will want to use the entire green onion, including the white root part and the green upper part. 6-8 large cloves of garlic finely chopped:  This is a recipe where you don't want to use garlic powder or dried garlic.  Use fresh ingredients only for the best results. 1 white onion chopped:  Again, you will see people using yellow and red onions in pico, but in Mexico you will only see white onions.  Also whenever raw onions are served in Mexico, they are de-flamed first.  See instructions below on de-flaming an onion. 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro chopped:  This is another area where people have trouble with pico.  The cilantro stems are bitter.  A little bitter adds to the complexity of the flavors, too much is not good.  So squeeze the bunch together and chop the leaves.  There will usually be 3"-4" of stems left over when all the leaves have been chopped.  That's what you want to see.  Throw those stems away.  They don't taste good in anything. 1-3 fresh, green jalapeno peppers finely chopped.  What you need to know about the heat in jalapenos (the picante in pico) is that it comes primarily from the seeds and the veins inside the chiles.  Yes there's some heat in the flesh of the chile, but the bulk of the fire comes from the seeds.  If you like your salsa hot, leave the seeds in.  If not, remove the seeds and veins inside.  Most people can handle the heat of 2 peppers if the seeds have been removed.  Most people will complain about the heat of one pepper where the seeds weren't removed. 1 lime juiced:  Don't get crazy on the lime juice.  It adds a great "under" flavor, but will quickly take over if you use too much.   Instructions: Take one tomato, two cloves of garlic, one jalapeno (seeded),  half the lime juice and 1/2 cup (or so) of water and put in the blender and run until liquefied. To de-flame the white onion, put the chopped onion in a colander and run COLD water over it for 30-40 seconds while shaking the colander so that all the pieces of onion get rinsed.  Onions are high in sulfur and they have an unpleasant "bite" if they're not rinsed.  Rinsing doesn't remove the flavor, it only removes the excess sulfur.  Once they are de-flamed, you get all the rich onion flavor and none of the unpleasant bitterness.  If you've ever eaten pico in Mexico and then come home and tried it (only to find out it isn't the same) the difference is likely that the restaurant didn't take the time to de-flame the onions.  If you're cooking the onions you don't need to (or even want to) de-flame the onions.  De-flaming is only done when onions are going to be eaten raw.  This is true for all colors and varieties of onions (except green onions, of course.) Take the de-flamed onions and put in a large mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients and toss them together to mix.  Pour the liquid from the blender over the top and toss again.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Let sit at least 2 hours in the refrigerator before eating for best results. Serves 8

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