HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What are you cooking today? Tell us about it
TELL US

Chili Verde, Tomatillos or not

f
foodiefromfl Sep 19, 2008 09:49 AM

Thoughts on the preference of tomatillos in chili verde or straight up chilis only. What is more authentic? What is preferred?

I've seen several chili verde recipes in the internet that look delicious. Some call for tomatillos and some just call for chilis only. I've tried a recipe that called for tomatillos and it turned out great but was pretty sour so I balanced it out with a little sugar.

Just curious on what others think?

  1. 4
    4Cosmo Sep 18, 2011 10:24 AM

    Tomatillos...Si !

    >>Jencounter: I make chile verde tamales every year and I've never used tomatillos. To complicate things: I do use a tomato or two in my chile verde, but never tomatillos.<<

    Hmmm... Well, first of all, I believe the subject was Chili Verde, not chili verde tamales...completely different. Secondly, she mentions using tomatoes like the tomatillo is somehow related to tomatoes...it is not. The tomatillo is from the gooseberry family. Anyway, I highly recommend using tomatillos. They give the chili verde an awesome taste. For those that are finding it sour, you probably are not using ripe tomatillos. Stay away from the dark green and try using the lighter green ones. The combination of the tomatillos with jalapenos and anaheim chilis is the bomb. Use lots of garlic and onions and slow cook that puppy in a crock pot and you won't want to put the leftovers away. Bon appetit!

    4 Replies
    1. re: 4Cosmo
      paulj Sep 18, 2011 11:37 AM

      You aren't allowed to issue a pronouncement like that without identifying your location! That way people can decide whether to applaud your knowledge, or string you up as a heretic (if you are from New Mexico). :)

      1. re: paulj
        4
        4Cosmo Sep 18, 2011 11:55 AM

        lol...wouldn't be the first time I've been strung up. Didn't see a place for location and I'm not sure what that has to do with stringing me up or not but I'm from Lancaster now. I got my training in L.A. Just trying to educate America one person at a time as well as myself. Food is my life. It's funny because as we speak, I have a large batch of chili verde in the slow cooker right now. Come on over and try some. GL

         
        1. re: 4Cosmo
          paulj Sep 18, 2011 12:33 PM

          It's just that New Mexicans can be adamant about not having tomatillos in their chile verde. Nor is it welcomed in the meatier Colorado version. On the other hand, in Mexico, tomatillos are common in both raw and cooked green salsas. So where you are from has a lot to do with your preferred version of chile(i) verde.

          1. re: paulj
            4
            4Cosmo Sep 18, 2011 12:38 PM

            Well, TY for the update. I'll make sure I stay clear of New Mexico...lol.

    2. f
      fallingup Oct 5, 2008 01:52 PM

      Could someone post a recipe for chili verde without tomatillos?

      1 Reply
      1. re: fallingup
        f
        foodiefromfl Oct 23, 2008 02:46 PM

        falingup,
        Here is link to a wesite that looks like they have a decent chili verde without tomatillos. I don't know how to add the link but you can cut and past. I ended up using a recipe that called for tomatillos since I had them on hand and it was delicious. But if you wanted to omit it this recipe looked great.

        http://homecookkirsten.blogspot.com/2...

      2. c
        Cachetes Oct 4, 2008 07:38 PM

        At our house (and my husband grew up in Mexico City), salsa verde contains tomates (tomatillos here), cilantro, garlic, onion, and chiles serranos (chiles poblanos sometimes, but it gives it a different flavor). In his house growing up, tomates (i.e. tomatillos) were essential.

        1. m
          mpalmer6c Oct 2, 2008 08:58 PM

          There is no "authentic." Within countries, within regions, within towns, even within families, recipes vary.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mpalmer6c
            f
            foodiefromfl Oct 4, 2008 06:19 PM

            I ended up making it with tomatillos since I had them on hand and didn't know what else to to with them. And I did use poblanos and Hatch chilis. Turned out terrific and even better the second day. Again, thanks again for all of the input.

          2. k
            KiltedCook Oct 2, 2008 07:40 AM

            Tomatillos - si!

            Posole may have some red tomato in it, but Chile Verde normally has only green chiles, tomatillos and spices. Of course YMMV and a zillion regional variants exist...

            1. DiveFan Sep 19, 2008 02:23 PM

              This is a great topic on the variations of chile stew, which obviously are both regional traditions and The Way Your Mom Made It.

              The chile verde recipes from New Mexico that I've seen over the years usually contain a modest amount of tomato; the availability and use of tomatillo seems to be a recent development. Dave Dewitts site is a good place to start for recipes: http://www.fiery-foods.com/

              Chile stew using green New Mexico chiles has to be a recent variation because the New Mexico chile family is an early 20th century development at NMSU. See the NM chile cultivar history here: http://www.chilepepperinstitute.org/educational-information.html

              If you really want to see the incredible variations in chile around the world, check this database out: http://www.g6csy.net/chile/

              Now, if local markets only cared more about Mexican herbs like hoja santa I'd try that eastern Mexican stew in a flash. Buen provecho!

              EDIT: fixed chile database link.
              BTW has anyone seen a recipe using the now endangered chile chamayo, likely one of the ancestors of the NM chile.

              6 Replies
              1. re: DiveFan
                porker Sep 19, 2008 02:31 PM

                Hey DF, that last site doesn't seem to work...

                BTW, like the avatar.

                1. re: DiveFan
                  DiveFan Sep 19, 2008 03:17 PM

                  Forgot to mention, I prefer the NM style chile verde con puerco made with a modest amount of tomatillos instead of tomato. Canned tomatillos have been available in Cali since the 1960's. Perhaps this is a Colorado or California style??

                  I don't consider tomatillos 'sour' or even that tart, especially in a cooked dish. The acid does balance the fat from the pork and improves the stew/sauce.

                  1. re: DiveFan
                    f
                    foodiefromfl Sep 19, 2008 03:39 PM

                    Hmmm, I wonder why my original stew was a bit tart. I didn't roat them before I put them in the stew. It did turn out delicious anyways. Just not what I was expecting. Thanks for all the info. Very informative feedback.

                    1. re: foodiefromfl
                      b
                      BikeToEat Oct 2, 2008 08:31 PM

                      The tartness of tomatillos depends on their level of ripeness. The riper they are, the sweeter they will be. As they ripen they also turn more yellowish in color.

                      I recently made a chile verde with tomatillos and it was a bit too tart. There was also poblanos, onions, garlic and pork in the recipe. I added some ground cumin, which gave it an earthiness that contrasted the tartness well. This is probably non-authentic, but it tasted good to me!

                  2. re: DiveFan
                    Eat_Nopal Sep 19, 2008 04:43 PM

                    Re: Hoja Santa... you should try to grow it yourself it is a very generous herb.. some would even consider it an invasive. If not then just try useing Fennel Tops & Anise seed as a substitute.. you will still get a great (if slightly different) result.

                    1. re: Eat_Nopal
                      f
                      foodiefromfl Oct 1, 2008 06:03 PM

                      Will look for the herb.....Sounds interesting!

                  3. j
                    jencounter Sep 19, 2008 10:46 AM

                    I make chile verde tamales every year and I've never used tomatillos. To complicate things: I do use a tomato or two in my chile verde, but never tomatillos.

                    1. paulj Sep 19, 2008 10:32 AM

                      When I make a pork stew using tomatillos I often add a small piloncillo (raw brown sugar) cone. As you say, this balances out the sour. I also use a light touch with spices like cloves. But I draw more inspiration for this from the Andean 'seco de chivo' (goat stew) than from a competition chili verde.

                      Do you have a New Mexico, Colorado, or Mexican 'verde' in mind? As with the red chili there are purists who only use the New Mexican green chiles. There is a Mexican salsa verde which uses tomatillos. I'm not sure if there is a Mexican pork stew that uses them.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: paulj
                        Eat_Nopal Sep 19, 2008 11:32 AM

                        In Chihuahua they do a Chile Verde Pork Stew that features Chilacas (no tomatillas)... as well as a version with Serranos & Tomatillos.

                        As you go further south in Mexico, the name "Chile Verde" disappears (although it is used in Michoacan)... and is replaced with Calidillo Verde, Mole de Olla Verde or Salsa Verde.... usually its more of a Braise with a thich sauce as oppossed to the thinner stews up North.

                        There is deliciousness in all styles... but when I make it... I tend to either do it Central Mexican (Ribs instead of Stew Meat, Tomatillo-Serrano for the sauce + greens like Verdolagas or Quelites etc.,) or Eastern Mexican (Ribs, Espinazo & Pork Leg in a Tomatillo-Jalapeno-Hoja Santa sauce with sliced Chayotes).

                        1. re: paulj
                          f
                          foodiefromfl Sep 19, 2008 03:31 PM

                          I have on hand - poblanos, fresh Hatch green chilis, Anehiem chilis and tomatillos and was thinking about leaving out the tomatillos. Can't decide what recipe to use.

                        2. porker Sep 19, 2008 10:08 AM

                          I am by no means an expert and I plead ignorance right from the git go...
                          First I think if its a matter of making it for tastes sake, then use whatever you like to get whatever results you're looking for.

                          However, for authenticity sake, I am guessing that chili verde contains no tomatillos. However, salsa verde many times has tomatillos - but thats just a gringo's take on it.

                          I'll look forward to what the experts have to say ;/)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: porker
                            4
                            4Cosmo Sep 18, 2011 12:00 PM

                            I couldn't agree with you more. Purist or not, you have to make what you like. I don't know if the original chili verde contained tomatillos or not but they are my best friend. As you said, the tomatillo makes awesome salsa. Won't go back to red nor ever use a store bought salsa again. It's just wrong. lol
                            P.S.- Tomorrow, it's chicken enchilada casserole...salsa verde style, of course! :-)

                          Show Hidden Posts