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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pico De Gallo, Guacamole and Curry Chicken

This has been one of those weeks that I've wanted to get in the kitchen and get cracking. Having a husband gone for 4-5 days of the week and living off the boys leftover mac and cheese, pb&j crusts and cereal makes me want to be productive by the time Monday rolls around. Throw in a big trip to Trader Joe's and I'm all set for some therapeutic chopping, sautéing and simmering. Yes, cooking is therapeutic for me.

So I'll cut to the chase. I had an insane craving for homemade pico de gallo and guacamole. I love good guac but I can't tell you the last time I made it. It's been years...maybe even a decade. Seriously. That streak is over thanks to Pioneer Woman's recipes for both. Her pico is super easy. Use equal amounts of:
1. diced yellow or red onions (I like yellow)
2. diced roma tomatoes
3. chopped cilantro
Add in some diced jalapenos (I cheated and used a couple spoonfuls of jarred diced jalapenos)
Stir all together in a bowl, add the juice from half a lime and season with salt to taste. Test it with a chip before adding more salt, since the chips usually have salt.

Pico only keeps for a day or so, so only make the amount you'd use in that time.

For perfect guacamole, simply mash a ripe avocado with a fork (not too mushy!) and toss in a hefty pile of the pico. Stir together gently, test to make sure the taste is how you want it and sprinkle with a little paprika to make it look pretty. If needed, add a little more lime juice. Both the pico and the guac are AMAZING with Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Pita Chips. To me, they're way better than tortilla chips.

So that was lunch...pico de gallo and guacamole. Oh, and I forgot to mention a helping of Pioneer woman's Sherried Tomato Soup. This soup will knock your socks off, big time.

O.K, so moving on to dinner...

Thanks to Jen, I now have a subscription to Cooking Light again! The first recipe I wanted to try was Chicken Curry. I tweaked it a bit, and here's what I came up with. It was pretty good and didn't take long to throw together.

1 TBSP grapeseed oil
2 boneless skinless breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups green and red bell pepper strips
half of a small yellow onion, but into strips
small can bamboo shoots, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 TBSP reduced sodium soy sauce
2-3 TBSP red curry paste
1 tsp brown sugar
1 (14-oz) can light coconut milk
torn fresh basil

3 cups hot cooked jasmine rice

1. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pan fry in oil until lightly browned on all sides. Add bell pepper, onion, bamboo shoots and garlic to pan; saute 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken and vegetables from pan. Combine juice, soy sauce, curry paste and sugar in small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add juice mixture and coconut milk to pan, bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 12 minutes or until slightly thick. Return chicken and vegetables to pan; cook 2 minutes or until heated through. Toss in some torn fresh basil. Serve over rice.


Scott and Sara said...

Yum, it all sounds delicious! Am definitely craving guacamole now.

Jen said...

We make homemade guac at least once a week, but I never put pico de gallo in it. Skyler does, and I always love it, but for some reason I never remember. Your pico recipe sounds great. I need to add it to my guac habit.

I'm still trying to decide what I'm going to make from Cooking Light. The magazine has changed some, and nothing really jumped out at me this issue except maybe the Szechuan-Style Tofu. That could be because I gave up meat for Lent... So I'll have to wait till April for Chicken Curry.

Joy said...

You are making me hungry! I make guac about once a week but I never make homemade pico and that looks so good. I think I could smell the cilantro through my computer screen. Yum!

Jennifer said...

I noticed Cooking Light has changed too. I can't put my finger on it. It seems more commercial I think.