tomatillos--how about them?
- maya May 1, 2003 05:58 PM
How about tomatillos? Any good recipes for them? Something traditional and easy.
I never get beyond Salsa Verde. Take the papery husks off the tomatillos, wash them off, core them, and then put them in your food processor on pulse with cilantro, fresh lime juice, salt, and jalapeno (pickled or fresh) to taste. Or chop all these ingredients up and mash them together in a bowl with a fork to make the flavors meld.
This is great on anything grilled, from veggies to meats, and is great instead of red salsa. I also put it on Zucchini Cakes (like latkes, except with zucchini) and crab cakes, as well as shrimp skewers.
Yeah, me too, but I roast the tomatillos first. Raw tomatillos are just a bit sour and astringent for my taste, and I think most recipes call for cooking them.
Tomatillos are insanely easy to grow, and reseed themselves like crazy, so you only need buy plants once. I put up salsa verde in the fall from the abundance -- roasted tomatillos and jalapenos, onion and garlic, chipotles in adobo, lime juice, S&P. Then, in the middle of winter I can pop open a jar, mix in some more lime juice, some chopped fresh cilantro and maybe some diced avocado...summer all over. Just need a few maragaritas to complete the picture.
In Rick Bayless' "Mexico: One Plate at a Time", there's a recipe for pork tenderloin braised in salsa verde that's out of this world.
They're a major part of good chili verde. Saute onions and garlic in oil, add pork chunks, tomatillos, chopped fresh green chilies (like Anaheims or Hatch chilies that usually are roasted to remove the papery outer skin)and cumin. You may need to add a little stock for liquid. Add salt, pepper, and hot peppers (like green jalapenos) to taste. Cook till the pork is tender. Yum. I have done this with turkey or chicken but pork is better. Serve with tortillas etc.
NEW MEXICAN-STYLE SOFT TACOS WITH HACKED CHICKEN AND SALSA VERDE
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds chicken legs and thighs, skin removed
3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 ancho chile, coarsely chopped
2 New Mexican chilies, coarsely chopped
4 cups chicken stock
6 sprigs cilantro, plus more chopped, for garnish
12 flour tortillas, warmed
Salsa Verde, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and ancho chile powder. Sear, skin-side down, in the oil until golden brown. Turn over and brown on the other side. Remove the chicken to a plate.
Add the onion to the pan and cook until lightly golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the chicken back to the pot, add the chiles, stock, and cilantro, and bring to a boil. Cover and roast in the oven until the chicken easily falls away from the bone, about 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and strain the cooking liquid into a bowl.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove bones and cut or shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. Place the reserved cooking liquid into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the shredded chicken, turn off the heat and let warm.
Divide the warm chicken among the warm tortillas, top with Salsa Verde and chopped cilantro.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno, coarsely diced
8 tomatillos, husked and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and jalapeno and cook until soft. Add the tomatillos and cook until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the lime juice, honey, and cilantro, and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
For salsa verde, sometimes I make it as salsa cruda, with raw tomatillos. But when I want to make a green enchilada sauce, I quarter the tomatillos and cook them with onion and garlic, cilantro and green chile in some chicken broth. When the veggies are soft--15 or twenty minutes at a simmer, I puree it and add salt to taste. Enchiladas Suizas! (chicken rolled in corn tortillas, topped with salsa verde, jack cheese or something similar and sour cream).
I also add one tomatillo per avocado for guacamole.
Here's how salsa verde is made in my part of Mexico:
2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed
10 or so chiles serrano (to taste)
4 cloves garlic
1 large bunch cilantro
salt to taste
In water to cover, boil the tomatillos, chiles, and garlic cloves until the tomatillos begin to burst open. Remove all to the blender jar, reserving the liquid. Blend till chunky. Add the cilantro handful by handful (stems and all) until all ingredients are chopped smooth. Add salt to taste. If the salsa is too thick, add a little of the reserved cooking liquid.
I'm preparing carne de puerco con chile verde even as I type this. It's in the last stage of cooking and it smells like heaven.
Carne de puerco con chile verde
Frijolitos refritos con queso cotija
Arroz a la mexicana
Agua Fresca de Cherimoya
I would be honored! If you plan to come, I will prevail upon the taco lady down the street to cater us a little party, or open up her stand for the night...she's been on a long hiatus that is making me nuts. We'll get her to give you her recipe for salsa roja and for salsa de aguacate.
You need to boil the tomatillos in water for 5 minutes, THEN, drain the water - this removes the milky pulque. Rinse out the pot, put in fresh water and boil tomatillos AND the garlic for 15 additional minutes. Drain and let cool somewhat; put all ingredients listed, plus 1 Teaspoon comino (cumin) in a blender and pulse until the desired consistancy. To make a green sauce (instead of the above salsa) for enchiladas, take the finished product and add water, or chicken stock to thin, and heat. If you want a rustic sauce: add roasted green bell peppers to the blender at the end, adjust seasoning. Don't forget the comino!!!
I made salsa verde per your recipe and then simmered turkey chunks prepared like you prepared your pork. Thank you!
One point to note is that my sauce (both before and after cooking the turkey) was strangely bitter, more than tangy. Could it be the tomatillos? Should I have done what Dan said - parboil the tomatillos? Is there a way to pick non-bitter tomatillos?
I use them to make hot green chutney.
Cook over a low flame until jammish. Make it hotter and sourer than you think you want because those tastes fade and the sugar tastes more when it's cool.