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Habañero & Lime Tomatoes

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A last little tidbit from our recent trip to Mazatlán, Mexico (though it seems like forever ago now). If you remember back to the post about the Tomato Man, ("Mazatlán Rules"), we enjoyed this dish almost daily if we could get it. Something about the lime and habañero that brings out the tomato or is it the other way around. So when we returned to our humble home, we had to try to recreate the experience.

I found an unbelievable deal on a huge plastic container of Roma Tomatoes from Mexico, go figure, at my local Grocery Outlet. I think I paid about $2.99 - even Costco would charge you $6 bucks for it I'm guessing. And they were awesome, full-bodied, flavorful tomatoes, just as the same Roma Tomatoes we had in Mexico. I wouldn't be surprised if they came from the field next door in Sinaloa and had the misfortune of being shipped to the States while they're cousins remained in the sunshine a bit longer.

Then you buy little orange Habañero peppers. They have a warmer flavor to them with more toned down heat than your average pepper. My husband found his at Whole Paycheck. I found mine at Safeway, 4 for $1, to which Safeway's Manager who checked me out said, "You know you don't have to buy 4." I thought that interesting from the manager, but I said, "4 is good" and went on my way with my $10 Safeway coupon and chance at saving 30¢ per gallon at the pump.

The limes we got from our tree planted in half a wine barrel out back on our deck ("Garden Transformation with Wine Barrel Planters"). And they were actually amazing. They usually have more rind and skin than fruit, but these were perfect. The juice just right for a fresh margarita (which also accompanied this little appetizer.)

So all you do is chop up one habañero into the tiniest little pieces possible. I'm talking teeny tiny. Like... rock salt size. No seeds either or you'll be sorry. Then chop up the tomatoes, drizzle with habañero and douse with lime juice. Sprinkle some salt as well. Mix gently. Make sure the taste is to your liking or add more of what you need or remember to add less of what you don't need the next time. Stab with toothpicks for a snack, add to a salad or vegetable, or eat in front of the TV with a fork. It's up to you.

There you have it, a little taste of Mexico to have wherever you may be.


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