I took the opportunity that this fine American tradition afforded to make something I've been too intimidated to make before (though in retrospect, I have no idea why): pico de gallo. Maybe it was all the chopping involved that I thought I wasn't up to; I don't know.
But it actually didn't take that long, and the best thing about pico de gallo, other than it being quite delicious on its own, is that it can be easily used in two other delicious items: guacamole, and what I'm calling n-layer dip.
Pico de gallo is a simple combination of tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, cilantro, and lime juice. Take that combination and mix it with some buttery avocado and you've got guacamole. And my friends -- there is absolutely nothing like homemade guacamole.
Or if you're really in Super Bowl mode, make an n-layer dip (n because you can add or subtract as many as you like from the traditional 7-layers).
This one has 10 layers. Really! Doesn't really look like there's 10 layers in there, does it? It can be easily cut in half and will be delicious just the same. Just make sure you eat it with sturdy tortilla chips that won't break apart when you're scooping up the dip.
There's no hard and fast rule about the order in which you layer, but some would argue that order matters, that when done properly it makes a significant textural (and aesthetic) difference. You decide what works best for you. My preferred order is listed below.
Pico de Gallo
- 5 firm Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/2-1 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- salt, to taste
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Enjoy the same day; pico de gallo doesn't keep very well.
- pico de gallo
- lime juice
- Mash up your desired quantity of avocados. Mix in a generous amount of pico de gallo.
- Add another tbsp of lime juice for every 2 avocados you use. Add salt to taste.
Ingredients (ordered from bottom to top)
- refried beans
- thin layer of shredded cheese
- sour cream
- thinly shredded lettuce
- sliced black olives
- chopped cilantro
- pico de gallo or salsa
- shredded cheese
- thinly sliced scallions