Monday, July 19, 2010

Shy-Tomato Salsa

This weekend we have been embarking on tomatillo adventures. Brian bought two of these little "shy-tomatoes" a week or so ago and thought he might use them in a salmon dish. He didn't (thankfully, his salmon is perfect the way it is) and they sat on the counter and stared at us for a while, daring us to use them in something else. Neither of us have ever saw the inside of a tomatillo, and really didn't know how to use them. So I looked up recipes and found one for tomatillo salsa, and one for a pork and tomatillo stew. Together I needed 2 1/2 pounds of tomatillos, so I headed to Acme and got some more to go with the two lonely tomatillos on our counter.

Now of course I made the silliest mistake a math teacher can make, and didn't pay attention to units while I was weighing my tomatillos, and bought 2 Kilograms instead, which gave me about 4 1/2 pounds of tomatillos. I blame Theodore being so cute on my distraction. So, with so many tomatillos I went ahead and made the salsa in a regular batch, and once we knew it turned out well, we made a second batch, which is where these photos come from. The stew also turned out fairly well... and if I ever have another morning like this one where I'm up at 5 and can't sleep, I might just post it as well.

So, for those of you that have never used tomatillos either, let me give a little background. They called green tomatoes in Mexico because they basically look like a tomato, but they grow inside of a husk. Though similar to tomatoes, though they taste distinctly different. Brian named them shy-tomatoes because they are modest in hiding behind their husk. They are found near the chilies or tomatoes in the produce section.

The husk peels off easily when they are ripe.They are a little sticky under the husk, but a good brush and rinse of water takes care of that.I advise you to look very carefully for any holes, because as I was reminded this weekend, this is real fruit, that grows in real fields, where they are real bugs. After I had rinsed all the fruit and let it dry in the colander, I came back a couple minutes later and found this little "friend". Though I am a farm girl through and through, I still don't take well to finding something like this in my food, and ran screaming to the other end of the house, waking my sleeping son on the way. Brian took this picture before he took this particular tomatillo as far away from me as possible.
After that chaos died down, I was able to settle down and get to work making this salsa. All it involves is a little chopping and a little blending. My two favorite cooking techniques!
You need:
1 1/2 lb tomatillos
fresh juice from one lime
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup cilantro leaves (full, packed 1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 Serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
Salt to taste

After you have cleaned the tomatillos as shown above, place them in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove tomatillos with a slotted spoon.

While they are simmering, prepare the rest of your ingredients. Since it is all going to be blended, it doesn't really matter if the chopping is precise. I just like to cut up things, so I probably chopped a little smaller than necessary. I also had Brian slice the tomatillos as we added them to the blender in the next step, just because I was paranoid of finding more friends.
Once the tomatillos are done, place the tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, sugar and peppers in a blender (or food processor) and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt. Cool in refrigerator.
That's it!! It's so simple!

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Yucky, yucky worms. I don't want them near my food either. But I kind of love that Brian took a picture.