Saturday, May 5, 2007

RECIPE! Elissa Wiehn's Texas Caviar

IT'S A SHAME I don't have any pictures from this fiesta de Cinco de Mayo spent sitting around the gravel backyard of one Phil Falco. As you might imagine, we drank copious Coronas, but I screwed up by finding and bringing along a few cheep liters of Belgian beer, while Aaron and Peyton arrived with bourbon, mint leaves, and sugar for the makings of Mint Juleps. Hardly Mexican, to be sure, but how else does one celebrate when Cinco de Mayo falls on Kentucky Derby day with the Queen of England in attendance at Churchill Downs?

The highlight, however, was at least named after a state that borders Mexico and boasts the basic essence of salsa: Elissa Wiehn's Texas Caviar. This stuff is so simple and so delicious you will be wondering why you haven't been putting it on everything you eat. Required:

2 medium peppers, diced
2 jalapenos, seeds removed and diced small
3 medium tomatoes, diced
2 cans hominy, drained

2 can black beans (or black eyed peas), drained
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 scallions, chopped
some chopped parsley
1 bottle favorite Italian dressing

Put it all in a bowl. Mix. Eat. Feeds many.

This is the recipe as handed my by Ms. Wiehn, which already boats many a modification since it was once upon a time handed to her--an extra can of hominy and the use of cilanto in place of parsley, for example. You too could easily spice up this recipe by adding a bit more garlic and habaneros instead of jalapenos, but it's a pretty sweet salsa so don't go overboard. My only recommendation would be to use yellow or red peppers (as does Elissa) for color, and to soak and use fresh black beans instead of canned ones to drop the sheer sodium level, but that all depends on the prep time you have.

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