Pico de Gallo with fresh made Tortilla Chips

Pico de Gallo, tomatoes, onion, cilantro

Pico de Gallo is a delicious, healthy, versatile condiment to use any time of the year.  It is especially delicious in the summer months when tomatoes are in season.  The freshness of the tomatoes, cilantro, onion, and lime go great with tortilla chips, on tacos, on top of nachos, or with your favorite grilled meats.

You can use store bought pico de gallo, but this is so simple to make you won’t want to use store bought again. Not only is it great to serve at a party or barbecue, but because it is so easy to make you will want to keep it on hand to serve at home any time.

Here it goes…

Ingredients:

2 – cups dices ripe tomatoes
1/2 – cup diced onion
1/2 – cup cilantro
1 – jalapeño or Serrano pepper (optional)
1 – lime
1/2 – tsp. salt

Directions:

Dice the tomatoes, using a knife instead of a food processor so that the tomatoes are in small pieces and not crushed into a liquid sauce by the blades of the food processor. This will make a nice chunky salsa.

Chop finely the onion, jalapeño, and cilantro (we like a little heat, but if you do not you don’t have to use the jalapeño). Place all ingredients in a bowl and squeeze the juice of one lime over the tomato mixture and sprinkle the salt.

Mix well and set aside for about 30 minutes to let the flavors develop. 

Refrigerate it if you are not going to use it the same day; however, remove it about one hour before you want to use it to allow it to return to room temperature.  I always serve the pico de gallo at room temperature because it tastes best that way.  

Serve with fresh made tortilla chips . . .

It is very easy to do and the result is well appreciated.

Cut the corn tortilla in half and then in half again, making four triangle shaped pieces.  Heat a little canola or vegetable oil in a large skillet.  Place the triangles pieces in a single layer in the skillet and cook until golden brown, then flip and cook the other side. It only takes a couple minutes, so do not walk away from the stove.

Remove to a paper towel and sprinkle with a little salt.  Continue cooking the rest of the tortillas.

Serve immediately.

Enjoy!




French Onion Soup

  • French, Onion soup, Gruyere

French Onion Soup is so hearty and delicious, it is hard to believe it is made of such simple ingredients. Onions, a good quality beef stock, a little wine, and gruyere cheese and you get a special treat.

French onion soup has always been one of my favorite soups, but I find that it can often be very salty. To avoid this, use a stock that is unsalted or at the very least low-sodium.  This way you have control over the amount of salt to use.

The soup is easy to make, but it does take time to caramelize the onions.  Don’t be in a hurry, the reward for your patience is a delight to your taste buds.

Ingredients:
3 lbs – onion
1 tbls – olive oil
2 tbls – butter
4 cups – beef stock unsalted
2 cups – chicken stock low sodium
2 – bay leaves
2 tbls. – flour
1/2 tsp. – sugar
1 tsp – salt
1 cup – red wine
1/2 tsp – black pepper
French baguette
12 oz. – Gruyere cheese

Directions:
Slice the onions in a food processor. In a large, heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter. When the onions are all sliced, add them to the pot along with 1 teaspoon salt. Stir the onions, and cook about 2 minutes.

Once onions start to soften place the lid on the pot, and cook on a medium-low flame for about 20 minutes until the onions become soft. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent the onions from burning.

Next add the sugar to help the caramelization of the onions. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the onions become golden brown. This will take about 15-20 minutes. Stir often.

In the meantime, combine and beef and chicken stock in  a small pot and heat on the stove until ready to use.

Sprinkle the flour over the caramelized onions and stir.

Cook about 3 minutes. Next, deglaze the pot by adding the red wine. Stir, scraping all the brown bits from the bottom. Cook about 1 minute to burn off the alcohol, then add the hot beef and chicken stock mixture. I prefer to use both beef and chicken stock for a more complex flavor.

Add bay leaves and black pepper and bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook about 30 minutes. The soup will thicken a little with the help of the flour. When the soup is done, taste and add salt if needed.

Turn on the broiler of the oven. Slice the french bread into 1/2 inch thick slices. Drizzle a little olive oil and toast.

Ladle the onion soup into oven proof crock soup bowls and add the toasted french bread.

Top off with grated gruyere cheese.

Place the crocks on a cookie sheet and place under the broiler. Do not walk away, this does not take long. Cook until the cheese bubbles and starts to brown on the edges.

Carefully remove the entire cookie sheet from the oven. Wait a couple minutes for the soup crocks to cool a little. Handle using oven mits, and place the crocks on a plate to serve.

Enjoy!

 

French Onion Soup, Gruyere Cheese




Frittata with Bell Peppers and Onion

Frittata con peperoni e cipolle

Frittata is basically an Italian omelette. It can be made on the stove top or in the oven. The frittata makes a great main dish or can also be used as an appetizer. There are countless combinations of vegetables, meats, and cheeses that can be used to make the frittata flavorful, such as asparagus, spinach, mozzarella cheese, sausage, bacon, and many other options.  It also makes a good vegetarian option.

Today I am making the frittata on the stove top with bell peppers and onion, the way my mother did.  She used to make this meatless meal for us on Friday’s during Lent. Serve it with a salad and some crusty Italian bread and you have a delicious meal. I hope you enjoy it.

Ingredients:
1/2 – red bell pepper
1/2 – orange bell pepper
1/2 – medium onion
6 – whole extra-large eggs
1/4 – tsp. salt
1/8 – tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 – cup parmigiano cheese
1 – tbls. olive oil

Directions:
Slice the red and orange peppers lengthwise into 1/4″ thick slices and set aside. Peel the onion and cut it in half. Place the flat side down and make thin lengthwise slices of one-half of the onion.

Add one tablespoon olive oil to a well-seasoned 8″ iron skillet (or a non-stick skillet) and heat oil on a medium flame. Once the oil is hot, add the peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Now add the onion, stir and continue to sauté the onion and peppers until they start to brown about another 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and stir occasionally.

In a large bowl, add 6 eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. Whisk the eggs thoroughly, then pour them over the peppers and onions. Make sure the egg is evenly distributed in the pan.

Sprinkle evenly, the grated parmigiano cheese over the top of the egg mixture.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Let cook about 8-10 minutes.

Run a knife or spatula around the edges of the skillet to loosen the frittata from the sides. Place the skillet lid upside down on the counter. Pick up the skillet, and with the help of the spatula, lift the frittata out and slide it onto the lid. Be very careful with the hot skillet.

Using an oven mitt, pick up the lid by the handle underneath. Now take the skillet by the handle (be sure to use an oven mitt) and turn it upside down on top of the lid.

Flip it over to return the frittata to the skillet. Return the skillet to the flame and cook about 2 minutes more.

Remove the frittata onto a round platter. It should slide out of the pan with ease. You can use the spatula to help guide it.

Serves 4 people.

Buon Appetito!