Okay! Party on Cinco de Mayo! As a continuation in my justification for running Cinco de Mayo all month long, I made some salsa verde yesterday to put on our fish tacos (recipe to come!). I was a little nervous because I hadn't worked with tomatillos before, though had seen them many a time in the grocery store.
It's always nerve racking cooking with an unfamiliar ingredient. Especially if you've gotten comfortable with a particular style of cooking. But it's also an adventure! And once you do it, you can add that ingredient to your amazing repertoire of culinary knowledge! Worst case scenario, it doesn't work out. Big deal. Try again.
This is a tomatillo:
It's part of the tomato family and somehow related to the cape gooseberry. Very tart, grassy, semi-sweet, and delicately juicy, these little babies are a staple in many Mexican sauces - though they can be eaten just like an apple. Personally, I find them too tart to consume them this way, but it's up to you!
According to Wikipedia (and we all know how absolutely reliable that site is, in all situations, and at all times), you can tell the quality of a tomatillo by the husk - the fruit should be firm, small, and bright green while the husk should be crisp and starting to split, revealing the fruit underneath.
Once you get them home, store them in the crisper in your fridge for up to a week or so - the fresher the better! If you're going to use them right away, peel off the husks and rinse under luke warm water since they tend to be a bit sticky.
Use this sauce on fish, chicken, pasta, or in tacos like I did. Yay tomatillos!
Fire Roasted Salsa Verde
6 Small-Medium Tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and dried.
1 Serrano Chili.
3 Cloves Garlic, peeled.
1/2 Red Onion, finely diced.
1 Small Handful Cilantro.
1 Lime for juice.
1 Lime for juice.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper to taste.
What to Do:
Pre-heat your BBQ (or broiler - if using this method, set your oven rack as close to the element as it will go) to high.
Score a small "X" in the bum of the tomatillos, careful not to cut into the fruit. You just want to break the skin a bit so they don't explode from the heat. I also cut out the stem bit at the top.
In a bowl toss the tomatillos, chili, and garlic with a couple Tbsp of olive oil.
Place them over the heat (or under the broiler) and close the lid/door. Every 3-5 minutes, or as the veggies blacken, turn to ensure even charring. The garlic will become a pulpy mess so remove them from the heat after about 5 minutes in total.
Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
In a food processor, chuck in the blackened veggies along with everything else.
Puree until you have a pulpy sauce. Pour into a bowl and set in the fridge to cool at least 1 hour.