Friday, January 1, 2010

Tomatillo Salsa


Hey faithful readers, Happy New Year! I'm going to try and get these blog posts back to something resembling a more regular and respectable schedule. Thanks from Jason, Juan and myself for your continued support of the site! We'll have plenty more content for you in 2010, so stay tuned!

One of my favorite cookbook authors is southwestern chef extraordinaire Mark Miller (not to be confused with comic book scribe Mark Millar or cultural studies genius Mark Crispin Miller!) and while I'm a proud owner of his Tacos cookbook, I've also recently taken his Great Salsa Book and Coyote's Pantry cookbook out from the library. I can assure you that the title of the latter volume is no bizarre non-sequitur, but a reference to Miller's famous Coyote Cafe restaurant in Santa Fe.

Miller's Tacos book is a 75 taco recipe-strong tome, but the other books are great, too, and there's a tomatillo salsa in Coyote's Pantry that sounded like a good way to get myself acquainted with the tart fruit commonly found in southwestern and south of the border cooking. I'm sure I've had tomatillos at some point in the past, as they're often the base for your standard Salsa Verde, but I'm not sure I'd ever had such a freshly-prepared iteration before I made this one. Okay, onto the recipe, and for those unfamiliar, I'll talk a little about what the tomatillo is like along the way.


The first thing you'll need is an ear of corn. See that green husk? We're all about the green in this recipe. But please, no broccoli in this salsa.


Next, heat a small cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.


Remove the husk and shuck the corn from the cob.


Roast the corn in the dry skillet, 3-5 minutes or until it's started to blacken a bit.


Remove it to a bowl. The roasted corn is going to influence the flavor of the salsa when it sits in the fridge.


You'll need about 15 tomatillos for this recipe, but we'll start with these four so you can see what to do with them. A tomatillo is little like an apple, a little like a lemon, and a little like a plum. When pureed, it's even a little like a pureed kiwi, what with all the seeds. Tomatillos have these husks that make them seem a lot more intimidating to work with, I think, so first--


Just remove the husks. They should come off pretty easily. And now they don't look quite so strange anymore. They are going to be a little sticky to the touch, though, so you'll want to rinse them off.


I sliced this one open so you can see what it's going to look like on the inside. It's pretty pale and heavy on the seeds. Resist the urge to taste it, because it's going to be a little tart or sour at this point.


Chop your first four tomatillos into a pretty small dice.


Next, you'll need enough cilantro for 1/2 cup.


Rinse, dry, and chop your cilantro fine. I usually use a small knife with no serrated edge, bunching up the cilantro with my fingers and making long, pulling cuts across it to achieve this effect most easily.


In your blender, add the tomatillos, the corn, the cilantro, 1 3/4 tsp salt, 1 cup water, 1 tsp sugar, and 2 tbsp fresh lime juice. Puree until smooth.


The only reason these tomatillos didn't go in the first blending cycle is that I totally forgot about the remaining tomatillos, at first, so feel free to add the other 10 or so chopped tomatillos to that previous step before blending.


Blend well--


--until nice and smooth.


Remove to a container and enjoy! The recipe says the salsa will only keep in the fridge for a couple days; ours kept for about four.

Pacific Coast Highway

Thanks for stopping by Beach City Cooking, and I'll see you all very soon for another post. Have a great night, and stay cool!

1 comment:

  1. Always glad for a tomatillo recipe. I haven't really gotten the hang of them yet, but I always have oodles of them, because they self-seed like mad and they're a weed in my garden. But they also attract cucumber beetles away from cucumbers, so I let some grow.