Homemade Salsa Verde

So Sunday was National Taco Day and I hope you all celebrated appropriately.  Turns out, it was quite the day as it was also National Vodka Day and Cinnamon Roll Day.  Who makes this stuff up??  I didn’t find out about those last two until after the fact, or that would have been an epically celebratory day here.  But hey, tacos on their own make a party in these parts so we’re good.  I seem to be always and forever behind on getting these recipes to you in a timely manner such that you might actually be able to have them for these foodie holidays, but ah well.  I shall be better late than never, once again.

I hope you’re still in a taco mood (it’s a constant state in my universe) because coming up in my next post I have another taco-related recipe for you, but I wanted to post this one first.  Most people like to talk about how to build a good taco from the bottom up, meaning the protein or whatever is taking up the most room in your tortilla.  But again, I shall swim against the tide and begin with how one might want to top their taco or burrito or enchilada or eggs or chips, and today that means salsa verde!  Yay!

I’ve given you a quite delicious recipe for my red salsa here, but The Husband is partial to green salsas, so we have both kinds at the ready on taco nights.  For me, it’s a toss up cuz I love em both and this salsa verde is quite dear to my heart.

If you’ve not worked with tomatillos before, or you mostly avoid them on a regular basis, I think maybe you should re-think your position on this.  They’re SO easy to use and the flavors they create are just dynamite.  Anyway, this is a super cinchy salsa verde that tastes like you slaved for hours, but you so didn’t.

For this recipe, you’ll need 1 pound of tomatillos.  You’re going to want to just peel off those little husks and then rinse them off.  People always say that the tomatillos are sticky, but they aren’t.  It’s the inside of the husk that’s sticky and wherever it touches the fruit, it will be sticky, so, um, yeah, the tomatillos will be sticky.  You’re gonna want to wash that off.

 Then plop them on a baking sheet with some onion, some chiles and garlic...

and broil them until blistered and then throw the whole shootin match in the blender with some cilantro and whir it up until pureed.

If you’re pressed for time, or just not in the mood, you can skip that roasting step and just throw it all in the blender as is and it will still be good.

Your tomatillo puree will then go into a pan with some olive oil and simmer away until slightly thickened.  At this point, I like to chop up a poblano and/or some more jalapenos really small and stir them into the puree and after it’s cooled down, I add some more cilantro.  This gives the salsa a fresh chile flavor that makes it even more wondrously delicious.

And then, don’t wash your blender just yet… for a very awesome and tasty dip, throw about a cup or so of salsa verde in there with some avocado.  This is one of the finest dips you’ll ever have the pleasure of knowing.

Ok then, go out there and get yourself some tomatillos and get your salsa verde made up.  Next post will be bringing you one very awesome taco to put under that salsa and you’re gonna want to be ready.  Here’s the recipe…

P.S.  Another awesome way to use your salsa verde is to make these incredibly delicious chilaquiles!

Mexican Salsa Verde

Click here for a printable recipe

This makes a great salsa verde for tacos, burritos, enchiladas or anything else you can think to use if for (it's especially good on 

our chilaquiles!

).  I also love to throw it in the blender with a ripe avocado for a killer dip.  I've added a few steps to the original recipe, but I think it really does make it that much better.  Adding in fresh cilantro and fresh chiles after the salsa cooks, gives the salsa a little more texture and some fresh chile flavors. If you're pressed for time, you can skip the step of broiling the tomatillos, onions and chiles.  You can just throw everything in the blender and then into the pan to simmer.  Sometimes I even prefer that.  Your call!

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Makes about 2 cups

3 unpeeled garlic cloves

1 pound fresh tomatillos

1 small onion, qurtered through root end

3 - 6 serrano chiles or 2-4 jalapenos

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (divided)

1/2 teaspoon (or more) sugar

Coarse kosher salt

1 poblano chile (optional)

1 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Preheat the broiler.  Place the oven rack about 6-8 inches from the broiler.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and then place the garlic, the tomatillos, the onion and half of the chiles (not the poblano) on the pan.  Place the pan under the broiler for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables have taken on a good amount of color.

Place the tomatillos in the blender.  Peel the garlic.  Trim the core from the onion and coarsely chop. Give a rough chop to the chiles.  Transfer the onion, garlic and chiles to the blender along with 1/4 cup of the cilantro and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.  Puree until fairly smooth and then season to taste with coarse salt (I used 1 teaspoon).

Heat the olive oil in a heavy large saute pan over high heat.  Carefully add the tomatillo mixture.  Stir in 1 tablespoon of lime juice and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until you have about 2 1/2 cups (about 10 minutes).  

While the salsa is simmering, chop the remaining chiles, including the poblano, if using, into very small dice and add to the pan.  When the salsa has reduced, remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, adding more lime juice, sugar or salt if needed.

Once the salsa has cooled, stir in the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

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