Salsa Verde

I love Salsa Verde! Years and Years ago, before Mexican cuisine was ever popular, I found a recipe for the green, chunky stuff from heaven. This was back in the very early 90's, and tomatillos were hard to come by. I was lucky enough to have a Hispanic Market nearby, which stocked all things central American. I bought my tomatillos and headed home hopeful that what I was about to make did not suck-at the very least...It was LOVE at first bite!

The original recipe called for the tomatillos to be blanched in salted water. I found that method to create a very wet soupy salsa. So, one day I got inspired to fire roast the tomatillos on the rill. Since then I have found that I can blacken them under the broiler in my kitchen. So 90% of the time, being to lazy to fire up the ole grill, I do roast my tomatillos under the broiler.

What is a TOMATILLO YOU ASK??? Great question!

Wikipedia defines the tomatillo thusly:
The tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) is a plant of the nightshade family, related to the cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos are a staple in Mexican cuisine. Tomatillos are grown as annuals throughout the Western Hemisphere. Often self-incompatible, tomatillos need a second plant to enhance pollination and guarantee fruit set.
File:Tomatillo 01 cropped.jpg
The tomatillo fruit is surrounded by an inedible, paper-like husk formed from the calyx. As the fruit matures, it fills the husk and can split it open by harvest. The husk turns brown, and the fruit can be any of a number of colors when ripe, including yellow, red, green, or even purple. Tomatillos are the key ingredient in fresh and cooked Latin American green sauces. The freshness and greenness of the husk are quality criteria. Fruit should be firm and bright green, as the green color and tart flavor are the main culinary contributions of the fruit. Purple and red-ripening cultivars often have a slight sweetness, unlike the green- and yellow-ripening cultivars, and are therefore somewhat more suitable for fruit-like uses like jams and preserves. Like their close relatives cape gooseberries, tomatillos have a high pectin content. Another characteristic is they tend to have a varying degree of a sappy sticky coating, mostly when used on the green side out of the husk.
Tomatillo plants are highly self-incompatible (two or more plants are needed for proper pollination; thus isolated tomatillo plants rarely set fruit).
Ripe tomatillos will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks. They will keep even longer if the husks are removed and the fruits are placed in sealed plastic bags stored in the refrigerator.[1] They may also be frozen whole or sliced.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tomatillo_01_cropped.jpg

I love Wikipedia, don't you?

So here is the recipe...

Simple Tomatilla Salsa
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-2 jalapeno peppers chopped
1 bunch of cilantro
1 large clove garlic
juice of one lime
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2Lbs. Tomatillos husks removed
Place the first 7 ingredients into your blender or food processor.

Place the tomatillos in one layer on a baking sheet. Heat the broiler to the highest setting. Place the tomatillos on the highest rack under the broiler and roast the tomatillos until just blackened on the top. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the tomatillos over. return to the oven and roast until the tomatillos are just blackened on that side as well.

 Using tongs, remove the tomatillos one by one to you food processor or blender. Secure the lid and pulse your machine on and off a few times until you get the chunky/smooth ratio you like best. Allow the salsa to cool and serve with chips.

VARIATIONS:
1. mix 1 to 1 with cream cheese for a party dip
2. mix 1 to 1 with sour cream for a creamy sauce for fish, chicken, or pork
3. use seranna chilies instead of jalapenos for a hotter salsa
4. mix 1 to 1 with chicken stock and simmer boneless chicken or pork in the mixture and fork shred for enchiladas or burritos

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