Monday, August 10

green and carefree ~ tomatillo sauce

{one of few crops still happily growing in the drought: tomatillos}

they're probably at your local market, especially if there's a significant latin population in the area. looking like green tomatoes inside little parchment lanterns, their taste is somewhat similar to a green tomato (tangier cousin), but with a totally different texture — rarely needing seeding. when roasted and pureed with garlic, onion and cilantro, tomatillos make a divine salsa for chips or enchiladas. this one's for kid sis, as — not destined to return to texas this year — she'll continue to be known as (by request) "that san antonian being held captive by the crazies that elected arnold schwarzenegger as governor." hopefully she'll draw for the apartment-style dorm at her uni, where making this in her room will break minimal rules. mental note: make sure she is equipped with a blender...for...*salsa*...right! salsa!

green salsa
adapted from my friend adrie, who rocks,
and jersey girl cooks/culinary cory
, when I temporarily misplaced adrie's family recipe.
makes 2 cups

1 lb tomatillos, husked, washed, and halved
2 tbsp cooking oil, divided (vegetable/nut, for higher heat)

1 small onion, roughly chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
1 or 2
jalapeƱos or serranos, to taste, stems removed
1 small lime, juiced
1 tbsp sugar
handful cilantro, chopped

salt & pepper

in large heavy skillet on high heat, heat oil and pan fry tomatillos and chiles, turning to ensure all sides caramelize (the darker the better for flavor). add onions and garlic, and saute until golden. transfer to blender or food processor, add lime juice and sugar (and cilantro, if skipping the second simmer), and pulse until not-quite-pureed. salsa should have some texture to it, without being excessively chunky.

adrie's recipe recommends initally boiling tomatillos, then heating second glug of oil and pouring salsa into pan, frying for a minute or two before lowering temp. simmer 15-20 minutes. add
about 1/2 c. water if salsa becomes too thick. fold in cilantro just before turning off heat.

enjoy within one week, on chips, as a base to guacamole, or...

...over enchiladas!

{discovered today that mexican bakeries close before 4pm, so tortillas weren't as fresh as preferred. they were, however, spiced with cumin, chiles and red #40}

pull poached/roast chicken breast or pork shoulder into bite-sized pieces. tonight we had neither, so we browned 1 lb ground pork, well seasoned with garlic, cumin and oregano. sauteed veggies and/or a melting cheese like jack would also work, for the dirty hippie alternative. place a few tablespoons of filling in a steamed (or dredged through hot oil, to soften — if we're going for authenticity here) corn tortilla, roll, and place seam side down in baking dish. repeat until dish is filled, nestling rolled tortillas as closely as possible. spoon tomatillo sauce over tortillas, thinning with 1/2-2/3 c. water if necessary, to ensure moisture permeates tortillas and filling during baking. spread with grated cotija or jack cheese (or even muenster) and pop into 400°f oven for 15-20 minutes, until cheese melts and sauce is bubbly.

{perfect with a smoked beer}

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Golly! Thanks for the recipe. I'll try it this weekend. Hopefully I can overcome being intimidated by cooking anything Mexican -- seriously, for whatever reason, it's the only cuisine I don't tackle. But that looks easy. I'm going to trust the woman who made those raspberry/fig preserves that, when I ate them, made me think I was in heaven.

/Besides, if the enchiladas suck, I know where to find you.