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pico de gallo

pico de gallo

Wahoo’s Fish Taco.   Have you heard of them?

That’s the very first place I ever tried a fish taco. This was back when Wahoo’s was just a couple of restaurants (compared to the zillion they’ve got now). I was new to the Southern California scene; artichokes, avocados, calamari and fish tacos were things I had yet to discover. My boyfriend at the time – a born and bred So Cal boy who grew up with the Lee brothers who own Wahoo’s – took me to the 19th & Placentia location in Costa Mesa to try one.

I thought I was going to be sick.

It’s true – my idea of Mexican at that point in my life was Chi-Chi’s and Taco Bell {shudder}.  But things have changed a lot since then and now I can’t imagine life without fish tacos.

Or artichokes, avocado & calamari, for that matter.

Years later, having kept in touch with Mingo & Cindy Lee and becoming great friends, I took over their HR department. And when I was 7 months pregnant with my first child and I left the company, my baby shower was held at their beautiful home.

So it’s safe to say that fish tacos have been in my life for a long time!

Later today I’m making my own fish tacos. These will be breaded, unlike the Wahoo’s version which are grilled, but I’ve been asked to make a breaded version and who am I to turn down a challenge?

Details on that later.

First, let’s talk pico de gallo.

easy salsa recipe

Pico de gallo is that chunky, liquid-less salsa you’ll find in most Mexican taco stands and restaurants, especially in Baja, Mexico. Baja is where I solidified my love for pico de gallo and how satisfying it is with salty chips and an ice cold Mexican beer.

I normally make roasted tomato salsa; that smoky flavor is hard to beat. But a fresh, straight-forward pico de gallo will enhance – not compete – with other flavors which is why I like to use it to top most of my Mexican dishes. It’s also quick, uses common ingredients and there’s no need to dirty up my food processor like I do with my other salsa recipes.

Fish taco recipe coming tomorrow. It has a unique twist so don’t miss it!

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Pico de Gallo

  • 3 medium tomatoes (or 5 plum tomatoes), diced
  • 1/4 cup white onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together. You can enjoy immediately but refrigerating a few hours to allow flavors to meld is recommended. Serve with salty tortilla chips, over grilled fish or on your favorite mexican dish.

A margarita or ice cold beer is also recommended!

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Kristy Bernardo
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