Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Roast Tomatillo Salsa

 Be brave. Be very brave. Try green salsa. It's really good!

WOWSA! I cannot believe that this week was the FIRST TIME I've ever bought a tomatillo. On our wild drive across the state this week (due to thunderstorms & tornadoes), we stopped to eat at Moe's. If any of you have ever gone to Moe's or a restaurant like it, you know that it's a good time. Well, I tried their delicious mild tomatillo salsa again and thought, 'I should try this at home'--even though I find uncommon ingredients such as tomatillos 'intimidating'. We are afraid of what we don't know--from the future, to tomatillos :)

Moe's tomatillo salsa was probably made with fresh tomatillos, but after reading about tomatillo salsa, I decided to roast mine. Inspired by a recipe from Gourmet magazine (November 1999), my first adventure was successful. This salsa is very different than your average salsa--sweeter, more tart. But perfect with really salty tortilla chips. I think next time, I might use this salsa to top enchiladas or to make chicken chili.
Here is the original recipe--mine below is changed significantly and I'm sticking with it.

By the way, tomatillos are NOT green tomatoes! They belong to the same family--the 'nightshade' family--which also includes the potato and eggplant. Tomatillos are a staple of the Hispanic diet and used in many sauces. Oh, and if you wonder where to get them outside of your regular grocery store, try a Hispanic market/grocery store--they should be plentiful there.


Makes about 3.5 cups.
  • 2 lbs. fresh tomatillos
  • *2-3 fresh jalapeno peppers (seeded or unseeded--your call--keeping in mind that's where most of the heat resides)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped (I used half a red onion and half a white onion)
  • 2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
Preheat broiler. Set cilantro aside.

Remove tomatillo husks and rinse under warm water to remove stickiness. Cut them in quarters or halves. Place the peppers, garlic, and fresh tomatillos on rack of a broiler pan 1 to 2 inches from heat, turning ingredients once, until tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, about 7-10 minutes.

Pulse all ingredients (including the cilantro) in a food processor (you can do it in the blender, but I prefer to use the processor so as to retain some texture and not end up with a puree).

*You can always use serrano chili peppers as the original recipe calls for but I can only handle one new ingredient a week so I went with jalepenos. Plus, I think they may be less spicy...someone correct me if I'm wrong.

With limeade (or margaritas), it will make an amazing pre-dinner snack. We sat out on our porch enjoying this salsa and even the 22 month old liked it:

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