Rooster’s Beak

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

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Ok, take a moment. Look at the picture. Think about it. No, I have not gone all Andrew Zimmern on you and started eating rooster beak. Welcome to my favorite summer condiment, Pico de Gallo. Pico de Gallo literally translates from Spanish to English as Rooster’s Beak. There is no clear reason I can find. Some say that it used to be eaten with your hands, and given that the vegetables are diced up fairly small, it would take several attempts to grab enough similar to the pecking action of a rooster’s beak. I can’t imagine this would be an easy way to eat pico. But one fact is known about this stuff, there is no better time of the year to whip up a batch then right now. Its so easy. It takes 10 minuets to make.

The recipe I have laid out below was inspired by a dish I had in Oaxaca City at one of my all time favorite restaurants, Zanduga. Here they cook food inspired by the Isthmus region of Oaxaca. At Zanduga they serve a pico de gallo with tiny little river shrimp mixed in and serve it along side a traditional clay oven baked masa called totopo. So simple and so good.

Fry up some tortilla chips and eat as a snack or pile on top of a tostada with a little lettuce and hot sauce and you have a meal.

Shrimp Pico de Gallo

Yields 4 cups

8 oz headed, peeled, deveined shrimp
1 lb. 8 oz best quality summer tomatoes, small dice
3 small jalapeño, deseeded and small dice
1/2 small white onion, small dice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
2 teaspoons salt

For the shrimp, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add shrimp. Poach for 1-2 minuets. Strain from boiling water and shock in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Once cooled, remove from ice bath. Cut the shrimp in 1/4 in think slices. Set aside.

For the pico de gallo, in a bowl add diced tomatoes, jalapeño, white onion, lime juice, and salt. Mix together. Add in diced shrimp and cilantro. Cover and set aside. Allow flavors to marry for at least 15 minuets. Serve.