Did you know that pico de gallo actually translates to rooster’s beak? I didn’t either. Um…. ok… that makes no sense. I tried looking up why this is and the guesses are as ridiculous as the name!!
1. Back in the day, pico was eaten with the thumb and forefinger so it looked like one was pecking at the pieces like a rooster.
2. The chilies give it a spicy kick that it feels like a rooster pecked you on the tongue.
Ridiculous! All of it! Silly!
I love love love pico de gallo. I can eat it by the spoonful. I will sit down with a bowl and chips and not get up until it’s finished. I cover all my Mexican dishes in it like a fiend. When I go to Mexican restaurants and ask for extra pico, I get really sad when they bring me 1/4 cup of the stuff. I wanted a BOWL of the fresh wonderful goodness!
As you can imagine, I am very particular about pico de gallo. Sure it’s simple enough to make at home – dice tomatoes, onion, chilies, and cilantro. But we’ll get to that another day. Today I want to talk about the really good stuff. In my neck of the woods, there is a little restaurant called Ranchitos. MM and I love it. They have simple basic Mexican fare, good service, and the food comes fast. I have yet to have tried something on the menu I didn’t like. I’m sure you can guess where this is going: their pico is to die for! They also give me a plenty for my chips and meal when I ask.
The other day, MM and I went for dinner. I whined about how my pico is never as good as theirs and that they should sell the stuff, they’d make a killing! MM furrowed his eyebrows and said “It can’t be that hard to make, why don’t you try?” I guess I’ve always been a little intimidated because there is so much going on in this version. I knew there had to be several ingredients that were hiding in there. The next think I knew, we were picking at the unknowns… like roosters! Bit by bit, we sorted it out and I made a list.
The next day I got the ingredients and threw the together as best I could. Holy Wow!! This was the best pico de gallo I’ve ever made!! Sweet, spicy, crisp, amazing!!!! I had to share with the world! It not exactly Ranchitos, but it’s pretty damn tasty!
- 6 tomatoes (roma or vine)
- 2 tomatillos
- 1/2 medium yellow onion
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded
- 5 slices tamed pickled jalapeno
- 1/4 green cabbage head
- 1 tbsp Salt
- Vinegar (white or apple cider)
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Hand dice 4 of the tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapeno, and pickled jalapeno.
- Use a food processor to nearly puree the other two tomatoes.
- Add everything to a large bowl and toss.
- Use a food processor to finely chop the cabbage. Add to the large bowl.
- Use a food processor to finely chop the onion, cilantro, and garlic. Add to the large bowl.
- Add 2 tbsp vinegar, 1 tbsp lime, and salt to taste.
- Toss and chill.
Use on your Mexican plates, eggs, salads, wraps, or just by itself with chips!