Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

This summery, fresh Pico de Gallo perks up just about anything

While I’m on the subject of tuna (i.e. yesterday’s blog and the great Tuna Grape Salad), let me tell you about another goodie—a Pico de Gallo that recently we used to dress up tuna steaks.

The recipe for this relish arrived with our Kroger grocery circular—surely one of the best recipe sources I’ve found. All the ingredients were from the garden. The only things I didn’t simply walk out my back door and pluck were the cilantro and cucumber; these were from the store right at this time. We had no cukes sprout up this year, unfortunately.

But tomatoes we have by the bucketloads; I was thrilled to see that this called for 6 to 8 of them. This is our first year to have our own red onions; as a result we’ve been using red onions in everything. Last night Hubby asked, “Before now, did we really use red onions this much?” Not really, because we didn’t have them nearby. Now they’re only a few steps away.

So we combined them with the tomatoes, green bell pepper, cucumber, cilantro, jalapenos, cilantro, and lime juice and topped our steaming tuna with the mixture, but oh how the sky is the limit with the ways this relish can be used! I can imagine this topping chicken, steaks, or eggs or served with tortilla or bagel chips.

All my fresh tomatoes just sing in this vibrant dish that features all that’s good about summer.

Pico de Gallo

6-8 large tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
2-3 jalapeno chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup lime juice
salt (or salt substitute) to taste

In a bowl combine the tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, cucumber, jalapeno chilies, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt or salt substitute. If desired add additional lime juice and jalapeno. Makes 24 servings. Refrigerate any leftovers.

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