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Salsa Fresca and Guacamole

Monday, July 30, 2012

Recipes for Salsa Fresca and Guacamole adopted from Smitten Kitchen and Budget Savvy Diva, respectively.

Salsa fresca (aka pico de gallo) and guacamole have to be the most popular Mexican chip and/or taco accompaniments out there.  Both recipes are insanely easy to put together, granted your dicing skills are up to par.  And if not, this is a great dish to practice on!  Although there are many variations of each recipe, the use of onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and lime are commonly shared between both recipes and give them the Mexican freshness that we all love.


Salsa Fresca:
2 large fresh ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 large white onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3 ripe avocados
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
5 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt, to taste


Salsa Fresca:
Begin by slicing off the top and bottom ends of each tomato, cutting in half lengthwise, and discarding the seeds so that only the outer wall of the tomato is left.  Slice and dice the tomato.  Continue to add the remaining onion, garlic, pepper, cilantro, and lime juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and store in the refrigerator several hours before serving.

If this is your first time using avocados, fear not - it's a very easy process granted you know the right steps.  Start off by gently cutting into the avocado (lengthwise) with a sharp knife until you hit the pit.  Carefully rotate the avocado while keeping contact between the blade and pit, until you've come full circle.  Set down your knife and twist until the halves separate.  For the half with the pit, you can either use a spoon to get it out, or else the more common practice is to hold the half in your non-cutting hand, and safely strike the pit with the heel of your knife, and twist the pit out.  Lastly, run a spoon in-between the skin and fruit until the fruit comes out clean.

In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to mash the avocado.  Mix in the red onion, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, lime and lemon juices, and season to taste with kosher salt.  Depending on your preferred guacamole texture, you can either leave as-is (and then refrigerate before use), or else run half (or all) of the guacamole through a food processor to get a more uniform texture.

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