Tag Archives: Corn

Pico De Gallo type Salsa

A few days ago I was thinking about what to have for supper, and felt I wanted something fresh to go with my meat. I knew I had a jalapeno in the refrigerator, and my Juliet tomato plants were starting to produce a handful of fresh tomatoes each day. I also have part of a dry onion in the refrigerator; it is one of those things I try to keep on hand. All those ingredients sound like the start of a fresh Pico De Gallo salsa.

I was wondering what was missing, and looked in Marlys’s recipe book to see what she might have said. Sure enough, she has a recipe called Salsa which sounds a lot like the Pico De Gallo for which I was looking. And as the picture shows, what I made looks like a Pico De Gallo salsa, too.

salsa 001

Salsa

Developed by Marlys Crary, Cinco de Mayo, 2001)

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 white onion, finely diced
  • 1/8 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley, dried
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • small amount of olive oil to moisten

May add either or both:

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 cup frozen corn kernels, (or 1 can)

I was short on the Bell Pepper, so I left it out. I didn’t exactly measure the ingredients because I was using my Juliet tomatoes instead of the Roma tomatoes she lists; the Juliet is a cherry tomato with a texture like the Roma tomato- very meaty and not a lot of the center pulp.

I used fresh parsley right out of my herb garden, and as I have said in other recipes, once I cut it to bring it into the house, I tend to use all of it unmeasured.

I added a handful of frozen corn kernels; I put them in a sieve and ran water over them to get rid of the frost, and then dried them on paper towels. And, I added a bit of lime juice- not called for in Marlys’s recipe.

I think what is to be taken away from this exercise is that you want to capture the basics of a recipe, but you shouldn’t be a slave to it; you need to improvise with what you have, and have fun cooking. I think my spur-of-the-moment salsa turned out just as I wanted. It was fresh, and gave the meat a different taste that I enjoyed.

Mexican Soup

Mexican soupThis has been our go-to soup for several years. It is where Marlys slowly taught me about cooking. I started as the carrot-peeler and the can-opener, but then slowly got to the place where I was chopping and dicing all the fresh components, and then finally making the soup by myself.

The trick is to do all the slicing and dicing before you turn on the heat and brown the meat; it takes time. I use two large dinner plates- one for the onion, garlic, jalapenos and taco sauce, and one for the carrots. I don’t peel and chop the potatoes until after I have slid the content of the first plate into the soup pot. I salt and pepper the fresh components while they are on the dinner plates. While the recipe says the carrots are chopped into ¼ inch rounds, you may need to make those half-circles or even 1/4-circles; you don’t have much control over how fat the carrots are. The original intent was to have the rounds about the size of a nickel or quarter, but thicker.

Marlys had a thing about kidney beans, and so we went to the pinto beans. Actually, I think you could even use black beans or any other if you have a favorite.

For rice, I have used brown rice.

I no longer measure the hot water; I fill a tea-kettle when I start cooking and turn it on to boil. Then, when the time comes to add the hot water, I fill the soup pot to about 1 ½ inches from the top. Be certain the water is hot, or you will be struggling with getting the boil back.

While the soup is simmering, I set a timer and go back every 10 minutes to check on it, and give it a stir to make certain nothing has stuck to the bottom of the pot where it could burn.

Mexican Soup

  • 3 Tablespoons oil (we use olive oil)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lb.s ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded, de-veined, and diced
  • 1 package (4 Tablespoons) Taco Seasoning mix
  • salt and pepper to taste*
  • 2 or 3 carrots, sliced into 1/4″ rounds (~22 oz.)
  • salt and pepper to taste*
  • 1-2 large potato, 1/2′ dice (~ 22 oz.)
  • salt and pepper to taste*
  • 1 can (~16 oz.) garbonza beans
  • 1 can (~16 oz.) kidney beans (or pinto beans)
  • 1 can (~16 oz.) corn
  • 1 can (~16 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup rice

In a large Dutch Oven or soup pot, brown the meat in the oil.
Continue to saute and add the onion, garlic, jalapenos and Taco Seasoning mix. Add salt and pepper.
When onion is opaque, continue saute-ing and add carrots. Re-season with salt and pepper. When carrots start to wilt, Add potato and again re-season with salt and pepper. When potato starts to turn translucent, add the canned ingredients with their liquid- both beans, corn, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add hot water, cover and bring all to a boil. Then add the rice. Reduce to a simmer and cook at least one hour covered to blend flavors. Check occasionally and add more water if it is too thick.

* Each of these times, I am adding about 2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper
A soup cup (about 14 oz.) is about 242 calories.