Monday, August 26, 2013

Tomatillo Salsa

Let me just start by saying this:  Food Bloggers, my hat is off to you.

I wanted to post about this salsa, planned going into it that I would.  I started off well, but, as you will see, the wheels came off the bus.  Anyway, on to the salsa.

I love Mexican food.  When I was young, we lived in Southern California and several times we went to Mexico, where we had real Mexican food and that is where my love affair with Mexican began.  You know and I know that a lot of what is sold has been "Americanized", which is not to say bad.  But, when we went to Mexico and ate, the food did not all taste like taco seasoning.  Just saying.

This year, in the Mondrian garden, we grew one Tomatillo plant.  It's the first time I've grown one.  It's been interesting to see it progress.  Something in the garden really likes the tomatillos, so we only get about 1/2 the crop.  Oh well.  Yesterday,  I decided to try making a tomatillo salsa.  After perusing many a recipe, I decided to roast the veggies first.  It would seem that traditionally, the tomatillos are boiled in water, but knowing I really didn't have enough tomatillos to make the salsa two ways, the idea of roasted veggies won out.  Next time I'll try without roasting.

I started with these ingredients: tomatillos, jalapenos, and one onion.  Have you ever worked with tomatillos before?  Me neither.  The husk is papery and pulls away to reveal a stickiness on the tomatillo.  I rinsed that away, then quartered each one.  I placed the cut vegetables on a small cookie sheet.  For the jalapenos I just cut off the top and left them whole.  The onion, I peeled and cut into chucks of a similar size to the tomatillos.  All of these went on the cookie sheet with a small amount of vegetable oil which I used my hands to toss and coat.  Then a sprinkling of salt and a heavier sprinkling of pepper and into the hot oven.  I started out on a low broil, then high until the veggies were slightly charred.  At this point, I forgot to take a picture.  Arrgh.  This is also the point where I once again marveled at food bloggers.  How do they do it?

I let the veggies cool, then slipped them all inside the magic cup that came with the stick blender.  It's just the right width and just about as long as it takes to say bibbidy, bobbidy, boo, you have salsa.  It was a little thick, so I added the juice of one small lime.  It was at this point that I thought to myself...  Where's the garlic? Dang. I didn't remember to add it to the roasting pan and I really wanted it.  So, I peeled a clove and put it in the magic cup and blended again.  The cup, being clear, allows you to look at the whirring action as it's happening.  Fun!

In the end it's still pretty thick and I think I could add water to change the consistency, but it tasted so good that I didn't want to fool around with it.  The seven tomatillos ended up making a pint sized jar of salsa.  These are not big tomatillos - some were medium and most were small.  So, you get a lot of bang for your buck.

How did it taste?  Well, in a word fantastic.  Roasting the veggies adds a really great grilled flavor (even though they were oven roasted).  It also calms the jalapenos down.  I put three in here, which I thought was going to be hot, but it was just medium warm.  So this means you get great jalapeno flavor without setting your mouth on fire.  The lime juice was a needed hit of tart.

I say, try making your own salsa.  It's fun and can be made to your particular tastes.

btw ~ did you see my toes sneaking into one of the pictures? bad toes!  hee hee, ha ha, whew i am soooo funny.

Have a great day, people.

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