I remember the first time my wife tried Pico de Gallo years ago. We had returned home to San Antonio for a Christmas visit. I was anxious to hit all my little “hole in the wall” Mexican restaurants. These spots have some of the best Tex-Mex you will ever lay your lips on. Anyway, we were staying with my mom and I had left to do some last minute shopping. Before returning home I needed to stop and pick something up for dinner. I stopped at a popular Tex-Mex chain which I think happens to have the best beef fajitas on the planet. While waiting on my order I decided to hit the salsa bar and stock up on the rather large variety of condiments to take back home with me.
My wife is a Georgia girl who’s idea of Mexican food at the time was Taco Bell. Surely she was in for a treat. I took a few seconds to explain to her what everything was and assured her if there was no Pico de Gallo on her fajita she would regret it. I have a process for building my fajita which I proceeded to show her. Take your tortilla and spread a layer of refried beans on it. Next sprinkle rice on it followed by your fajita meat. Now comes salsa and sour cream followed lettuce, Pico, and cheese. Needless to say, this taco was packed to the brim. As we both started to devour our creations it only took seconds before I felt it. I don’t know who made this particular batch Pico but as someone who loves heat, this was way over the top.
I don’t know who made this particular batch Pico but as someone who loves heat, this was way over the top. We knew it wasn’t the salsa because we had sampled those on chips so my wife would know what the different ones tasted like. My wife’s eyes were starting to tear up and she made it clear she was in pain. That was it for her for dinner that night. It was a long time before I could convince her to try it again. This is the recipe that did it and it is a regular item in our house.
This is one of my favorite toppings for any kind of taco, nachos, grilled or blackened tilapia or just to scoop with a chip. You can experiment with different types of peppers such as serrano, habanero, tabasco, and cayenne. Also, leave the seeds in if you want some more heat.