I’ve always had an unhealthy love with chips and salsa. It’s a weird thing. It’s a food that when put in front of me I just can’t easily stop devouring. And I pretty much just shovel it in. When I was a little kid I would eat chips and salsa as a meal. It’s easy, it’s salty and I liked it. Pretty sure as a kid only one of those is actually a requirement to consider any substance a meal. I would get in trouble with my father when I would only eat chips and salsa. My stepmother would literally report what I had eaten to my dad and it always came back to bite me. It would mean that while visiting I wasn’t allowed to have cheesy buns when we would go to the grocery store. And if you have ever had a Canadian cheesy bun/stick/roll you would understand how devastating that is. It made me angry. Disappointed. Hurt. Sad. Neglected. Betrayed. You don’t come between a girl and her cheesy buns. Especially an overweight little girl who eats her feelings in part due to her own father who is forbidding the cheesy bun glory.
So my relationship however unhealthy, is definitely one of love with salsa.
The funny thing about salsa and me, is I’ve never liked chunky salsa. I would always dip my chip, never scoop. I wanted the salsa flavor but god forbid there was any actual salsa on my chip. So when a pretty little green salsa came into my life without any chunks I had found a new friend.
The weird thing with green salsa, and while this may be too much information, I always found it upset my stomach. Every. Single. Time. And the thought of – making it myself, could yield any different of a result never crossed my mind. But homemade green doesn’t muck with my stomach whatsoever. Weeiiird. But grrreeaaat!
In the past year I’ve made a few different salsas from scratch, including Salsa Ranchera which I had never heard of. But never salsa verde. Until now. Finally.
Well, it turned out great, even the first time around which is something fantastic about salsa. You can tweak as you go, giving you freedom to adjust to your own palate. This version uses roasted peppers and tomatillos, but you can actually make it raw as well if you simply don’t roasting anything. I just love the depth of flavor roasting adds. I roast veggies when it’s not even necessary sometimes, just because to me it makes it all the more refined (ha, yaa right… refined)… okay maybe just tasty is the word I should opt for there.
If you need any help or thoughts on roasting I’d head over and glance through the post for Roasted Hatch Chilie Hummus. You can roast a number of ways, and due to having an electric stove top and it being just chilly enough to not want to grill just yet, I went with the broiler method.
This is the first time I had an adventure with tomatillos.
So I what I learned:
1) They don’t look like what you think they should on the inside. You would think they would have the appearance of a green tomato, when in fact they are more of a solid firm white flesh.
2) The husks should be clingy to the tomatillo and be light brown (not miserably dry and shriveled like I had thought).
3) When you remove the husks the tomatillos are kind of sticky and it can be hard to get every little piece of the husk off. This is nothing to be alarmed about and doesn’t indicate that your grocery store sucks and sold you bad ones (yeah I thought that). They can be rinsed under running water and toweled off. They will be just fine.
4) Somehow tomatillos make a lot of liquid. When looking at a tomatillo you would never know it, but those little suckers are going to give off a ton of liquid when blended. It’s insane.
5) And finally Google says they are related to the cape gooseberry… whatever that is.
I’m really happy I ventured out to give tomatillos a whirl. I’ve already put them to work on a side dish that I can’t wait to share. I love it when you find a single natural ingredient that’s inspiring. Makes life enjoyable and dinner a little easier. Less thinking, is always nice. Really, nice.
- 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and dried
- 2 medium/large poblanos
- 2 medium jalapenos
- 4 garlic cloves (NOT peeled)
- 1 medium sweet onion, quartered or roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
- Place tomatillos, poblanos, jalapenos and garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Turn broiler on to high and place baking sheet into oven. Remove garlic cloves when skins have cracked and garlic has started to turn golden. Let cool then peel. Continue to roast tomatillos and peppers until heavily charred on outside, rotating every few minutes and removing ingredients as they become done.
- In a large resealable bag place all peppers and seal bag to close. Let stand for 10-15 minutes as peppers cool. As peppers cool, in a large food processor or blender, place tomatillos, peeled garlic, onion and cilantro. Remove one pepper at a time and remove stem and skin. Slit pepper and gently lay out flat and remove seeds. Repeat with each pepper until all have been stemmed, skinned and seeded.
- Add peppers to other ingredients in food processor/blender and pulse until desired consistency has been reached. I like mine close to a puree. Salt as necessary. If you feel that your salsa is too thick, simply add a tablespoon of water at a time until you have reached your desired consistency.