We had some friends over this past Sunday to watch the Patriot’s game and Justin and I used the opportunity to whip up some of our favorite football watching’ snacks.
Justin made some incredible (seriously, it was amazing) brisket. He prepped it with a rub and let it cook for a few hours at 250 degrees, then he sliced it and we made sandwiches with Russian dressing and sauerkraut. It blew away any reuben that I’ve ever had. He also made some really delicious ribs using the same method. So good! They were such a huge hit and I’ll be sure to get some step-by-step pictures next time he makes them.
We also had some pulled chicken (really easy crockpot recipe: 3 chicken breasts, a bottle of BBQ sauce, a small diced onion, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally. An hour before serving, remove the chicken, shred it, put it back in the crockpot and stir everything up. Serve over rice or on a bun.), some pasta salad and a couple of staples: Pico de Gallo, guacamole and mexican dip.
These are pretty basic dishes; they are nice because they don’t require any cooking, but there is a good amount of chopping involved. With a lot of chopping comes a lot of pictures (and this post is looking like its going to be pretty long already!) so I’ll share the steps for the mexican dip next week. For now, here is how you can create some tasty Pico de Gallo and guacamole at home:
Start by gathering your ingredients. The Pico de Gallo can be made with any kind of tomato but firm plum (or Roma) tomatoes work best. They are easy to cut and they contain very few seeds.
Note: I apologize in advance for using a red cutting board. I understand now that it probably wasn’t the best move when trying to demonstrate how to cut a tomato…
Slice the tomato in half and cut the half into wedges.
Rotate the cutting board 90 degrees and slice them in the opposite direction, dicing them into small pieces.
Continue until all of the tomatoes are diced and put them in a large bowl.
Next, grab an onion, peel it and cut off the ends. Here are a few tips on how to dice an onion without winding up weeping onto the cutting board:
Turn the onion onto one end and start to cut thin slices, stopping about 1/2 an inch from the bottom.
Turn the cutting board 90 degrees and cut thin slices across the onion in the other direction. Keep a firm hold on the onion so that it doesn’t fall apart.
Turn the onion on its side and start slicing down from what is now the top of the onion to the bottom. Is this even making sense?
The result is a pile of little tiny onion pieces and (hopefully) dry eyes! Toss the onion in with the tomatoes.
Chop the end off of a jalapeño and slice it in half.
Use a spoon to scoop the inside out of the jalapeño.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to NOT use your thumb to scrape the seeds out like I did the first time. You will end up touching your eyes, nose and mouth with said thumb and it will burn like the fiery depths of a volcano for days. Just don’t do it, okay?
If you like your Pico de Gallo with a little kick, include the seeds. If you want it mild, get rid of ’em and never look back.
Slice the pepper into thin strips. Rotate the strips and dice them.
Toss ’em in!
Cut the longer stems off of a bunch of fresh cilantro, chop it up and throw it in the bowl.
Grab a lime and roll it back and forth underneath your palm, applying a good amount of pressure. This will break down the lime a little and release more of the lime juice.
Slice the lime in half and squeeze one of the halves into the bowl. Sprinkle a little salt to taste.
Give it a good stir to combine all of the ingredients.
There you have it! Fresh Pico de Gallo that puts salsa-out-of-a-jar to shame! Shame!
From here, it’s easy to whip up another dish to double your number of sides; all you need is a few avocados. Be sure you choose the softest ones that you can find.
Slice the avocados lengthwise and use a spoon to remove the pits.
That pit on the left might be the biggest one that has ever existed. This picture doesn’t do it justice, it was huge.
Scrape the meat out with a spoon onto a plate or a shallow bowl.
Use the bottom of a (clean) cup, a fork or a potato masher to mash the avocado.
Top with a good amount of Pico de Gallo.
Add additional lime juice and salt to taste and stir to combine.
Pico de Gallo
Serves: 8-10 / prep time: 25 minutes
5 whole plum (Roma) tomatoes
1 small-to-medium sized onion
2 whole jalapeño peppers
Salt to taste
Start by chopping the tomatoes, onion and peppers. If you want a spicier Pico de Gallo, include the jalapeño seeds. Remove the longer stems of the cilantro and chop the leaves. Combine these ingredients in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of half of a lime over top and salt to taste. Stir to combine.
Pico de Gallo
Salt to taste
Slice the avocados lengthwise and remove the pits with a spoon. Scrape the meat out onto a plate or a shallow bowl. Use the bottom of a clean cup, a fork or a potato masher to mash the avocado to desired consistency. Add lime juice and salt to taste and fold in a good amount of Pico de Gallo. Stir to combine.