Tuesday, April 17, 2012

So fresh and so clean clean

ac·cou·ter·ment   [uh-koo-ter-muhnt, -truh-]  Show IPA
1. personal clothing, accessories, etc.
2. the equipment, excluding weapons and clothing, of a soldier.
3. any accompanying side to an entree

The accoutrement, better known as the side dish.  French fries, the "side" salad, mashed potatoes, hearts of palm risotto, or sprouts in a sherry bacon cream sauce - all fine examples of a side dish; hehe.  So, what are we going to discuss today?  Not much, this will be a short post.  The side can tie together all the main components of a dish.  It forms the metaphorical bridges between all the flavors on the plate.  If your dish can stand tall and proud on its own, cool, great - more power to it!  However, if your dish is lacking some oomph, or, if you feel that the dish cannot be without a certain accompaniment, such as a delicious reduction or roasted pecans with a caramel glaze and peppercorn, well, you can make that call.  However you slice it, the accouterment can play a vital role in your dish's overall performance.  

One of my favorite sides, is salsa.  One type of salsa, the salsa fresca, pico de gallo, or fresh sauce, is popular in the US and originates from Mexico.  A base salsa made with nothing more than tomatoes, cilantro, onions, it adds a refreshing liveliness to anything.  It can be used as a side, eaten alone, or sat atop any hot or cold entree.  There are hundreds of variations.  It's not just limited to tomatoes, either.  Use pineapples, apples, pears, beets, radishes, pickles (I would consider relish a salsa), anything you can think of!  Mix in some other ingredients, spices, herbs, liquids, and you've got some good eats!  You'll soon find out you have a plethora of salsas!  

I'll leave you with a recipe, no measurements.  Just adjust it as you see fit!

Roma tomatoes, diced
Red onions, diced
Cilantro, roughly chopped
Lime juice
Lime zest
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar, I would say to go easy on this
Red pepper flake

Salsa on!

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