salsa

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

It's mid-October. The leaves on the trees are falling, but the temperature is finding a way to hang out around 75 – 80 degrees here in Nashville. 

I shouldn't still be making salsa, but I am.

This summer I decided to plant 5 tomatillo plants. I love having tomatillos in my garden! The way they grow is the coolest thing ever with their lantern husks! The past couple of years I only planted 2, but as the flowers cannot be pollinated from flowers on the same plant, I've never had what you would call a bumper crop. 

So this year, I went crazy and planted 5. 

So far, I've made & frozen at least 40 cups of tomatillo salsa, plus the sauces that we've made and eaten right away. Of my 5 tomatillo plants, 3 of them are still going strong with flowers, bees and ripening fruit. There's no stopping them. 

Seriously. I just brought in another 10 - 15 tomatillos today. 

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The great thing about tomatillos salsa is it's easy to make, REALLY REALLY REALLY good, and very versatile. You can eat it with chips, on tacos, and the normal fare, but equally amazing on grilled chicken, pork, steak, or fish. Another way I love to use it is adding it to my salad, along with my homemade ranch dressing. Earlier this week, I even added it to a late night bowl of egg drop soup when I didn't have green onions or cilantro to mix in and it was wonderful!  

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INGREDIENTS

3 jalapeno or serrano chiles
6 medium tomatillos
2 bunches fresh cilantro
1 small white onion - quartered
6 garlic cloves
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
1/4 cup grapeseed oil

DIRECTIONS

Cut the chiles into quarters and remove seeds. For a spicier salsa, leave a few of the seeds in. Husk and quarter the tomatillos.

Cut off the bottom 2 - 3 inches of tough stems from each cilantro bunch. Set aside the leaves and tender stems. 

Nate and I have an ongoing debate regarding the correct way to prepare cilantro. He tends to take the pile of cilantro and remove each and every leaf, stem-by-stem. There's a very good chance that he's correct and this is the proper way to work with cilantro — he knows a lot more than me when it comes to cooking — but I just can't. Many of my favorite recipes to cook include cilantro and I have never once heard a complaint or regretted just chopping off the bottom of the stems. 

You do whatever you want, but I think I'll stick to my way. 

In a food processor, throw in the chiles, tomatillos, cilantro, onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon each of salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Pulse several times until combines, but still fairly chunky. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and lime juice as needed. The salsa should be a vibrant green color. 

Serve right away, or tightly cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. If you've made a large batch, freezing it works well. 

Enjoy!

xoxo, Lori Danelle

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Tomatilla & Arbol Pepper Salsa

I'm taking over Good Food Friday today because I had to share the salsa recipe I made a couple of weeks ago for my birthday. Yes, salsa for my birthday. Much better than cake. (I feel confident Lesley at Recipe for Crazy would agree with me.)

I love Street Tacos, but what truly makes them great is the salsa. Though different than what I've had from a taco truck, this salsa a perfect mix of tart & spicy and is super flavorful! I just used the last of my birthday-weekend-batch last night and will most definitely be making some more!

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Ingredients

  • About 7 small tomatillos (10 ounces) with husks removed and washed

  • 10 dried Arbol peppers (5 for mild, more if you dare. I think 10 is a good number to start with the first time you make it. Then you can adjust the next time around.)

  • 3 garlic cloves — more if you love it as much as we do at our house

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Place tomatillos and garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Roast until soft and brown, turning them to get all sides,  about 18-20 minutes. Garlic cloves will be done faster, so remove when they start to brown and throw 'em in your blender or food processor.

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Meanwhile, in another skillet, quickly toast the dried Arbol peppers. It takes just a couple of minutes, so stay close. The peppers can burn easily and give your sauce a bitter taste. Once they're done, cut the stems off and throw them in with the garlic.

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From experience, we play it safe when handling peppers. (We also cut up Serrano peppers that day, which we definitely needed the gloves for!)

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Once the tomatillos are done, quarter them, and add them in with the garlic and peppers. Add the salt and start blending until you get a slightly chunky sauce. Add water if needed, but my experience is that it rarely is.

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Put it on your tacos, burritos, quesadillas, chicken, steak — whatever. I promise, it would be good on just about anything. :)

I also suggest a margarita on the side. Can't go wrong.

ENJOY!!!

xoxo Lori Danelle

Salsa Recipe

I was contacted in various formats about the recipe for the salsa I posted pictures of. However, there isn't one! Eek!! My variety of "cooking" usually involves a lot of throwing stuff in, tasting it and throwing more stuff in until it "isn't missing anything."

That being said, I hate to disappoint, so I pulled out my trusty blender again tonight and made an effort to measure everything I put in instead of just dumping and tasting.

Also, be warned. This made about 6 cups of salsa and filled my blender to capacity, so you may need to modify or cut it in half.

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I used:

10 small to medium tomatoes, seeded and drained
1 yellow onion
2 jalapenos, seeds removed
1 bunch of cilantro
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 Tbsp Lime juice
2 tsp salt (start with 1 tsp & add as needed)
1 tsp cumin (optional, I love cumin)

Throw all of this in the blender and then use the Pulse feature on your blender and the Chop button.

From this point, taste (with a chip of course!) and if you're happy, stop. If not, just start dumping. Usually works for me!!

There's a good chance it will look pink for awhile. But that's normal and is caused by the air being pulled into the mixture while chopping.

To give the flavors a chance to blend properly and to allow your salsa to turn from pink to red and to deflate, I prefer to put it in the fridge over night in an air-tight container.

Enjoy!
(and let me know how this works out for you!!)

xoxo—Lori