Friday, November 19, 2010

11/19 Gratitude: Tangy deliciousness - Tomatillo Salsa Verde

One of our favorite flavors at our favorite Mexican restaurant is their tomatillo sauce. And I've been curious to try to make some of my own, but whenever I see the tomatillos at the grocery store, i get a little scared. Well, I finally took the plunge and bought 1.5 pounds of tomatillos the other day with the intent to make my 1st batch of tomatillo salsa verde.

I checked my favorite recipe site, Allrecipes. There were a handful of recipes that had 4 1/2 stars. I used 2 of them as a jumping off platform. This one and this one.

So I bought my tomatillos, a couple of jalapeno peppers and some limes. Even though neither of those recipes call for limes. But there are 2 ingredients that La Morenita (the fav restaurant) uses in theirs that might be their secret ingredients: lime and chicken stock. Ok, not really secret because those are common ingredients. Especially lime in Mexican food. And they told us.

Both recipes said to husk the tomatillos but didn't tell me if i should cut them up before putting them in the pot. Thank God for youtube. I already had the whole tomatillos in the pot ready to cook, but that didn't feel right. So I watched this video and saw that she chopped the tomatillos. And she added lime, too! Ok, I was good to go.

I realized i forgot to buy garlic. Shoot. Oh well, the stuff in the jar and some garlic powder would have to do.
I put everything in the pot. added a bit of chicken stock instead of water.

Brought to a boil then let simmer for 15 minutes.

Put it in the blender to puree. It got a little crazy and hot salsa verde spurted out the top! Thankfully, not on the walls or ceiling! But major cleanup required on the counter and floors. Didn't document that with a photo because I was frantically cleaning it all up.

1st taste was tangy! Very tangy. Too tangy? It's good, but is the tang too overwhelming? hum...

So what am i gonna do with all this salsa verde now?

I had some leftover chicken chili and it seemed like a suitable filling for enchiladas.

So I rolled up some up, flooded them with salsa verde and baked them in the oven at 350* for about 1/2 hour.

Ok, totally tooting my own horn, but these were fantastic!! Like, fan.tas.tic! Way better than I expected. I admit i was nervous. 1st when i started chopping the tomatillos. Raw tomatillos don't smell very good. Then when I had my 1st taste before i poured the sauce on the enchiladas. I was afraid it would be too tangy. But my best confirmation? Jimmy loved it too. Like, mopped up his plate loved it. Mopped it up clean like i could have gotten away with putting the plate back into the cupboard.

Tomatillo Sauce
Ingredients I chose to use:
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and chopped
2 scallions, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 (ish) cups of chicken stock
1/2(ish) teaspoon cumin
1/2(ish) teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
juice from 2 limes
1 heaping spoon of minced garlic from a jar
1/2(ish) teaspoon garlic powder
handful of cilantro, probably 1/2 cup or more
1tsp(ish) salt

Put everything in a stock pot or dutch oven and bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes.
Put everything in a blender (perhaps do it in batches) and puree for a minute or 2 till no chunks remain.
PS: totally nonfat if you use nofat chicken stock or water.

I'll definitely make this again but what I might do differently:
-use fresh garlic
-use fresh oregano
-blend in batches instead of doing it all at once so as to avoid blender blowout
-use less salt when using chicken stock

a couple notes about the enchiladas:
I used homemade (but store bought) corn tortillas for the enchiladas. After I poured the salsa over the enchiladas, they sat for about an hour before I baked them because I waited till i knew that Jimmy was on his way home before I put them in the oven. So the sauce soaked into the tortillas. Also sprinkled them with cheese.

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