August 26, 2008

Salsa Verde #1

Sorry it has been a few days since my last post. Life has moved on and I am playing catch up, some weeks are more unorganized than others so that is all I am going to say on the matter!
It has been a middle of the range week for food in our house, I have been out most nights cooking for half of Evanston while my family have been living on take out from work (don't feel sorry for them- tonight they have a fabulous veal, pork and panchetta lasagna to devour). 
I was home a few nights ago and found some tomatilla tomatoes ( actually don't know if this is the right spelling but it will take me another week to find out so you'll have to live with it or drop me a line and correct me) in the fridge I bought last week. Terrible I know, but they last really well and the salsa tasted awesome as usual which brings me to this blog entry.

While working in the Chicago area for the past 6 years on and off (minus the 10 months we spent in Italy and the past year in Virginia) I have learn't quite a lot about Mexican food from the various Mexican guys I have worked with. Sometimes it is what I observe when they cook comida (family meal) or what they tell me they had for lunch before work.  I try to duplicate it from random notes I wrote. One of my favorite recipes I was taught is the salsa verde.
Salsa verde can come in many different shapes, flavors and forms. Today I am talking about the stove top variety, I'll save the others for another day.
Depending on the jalapenos hotness the kids will try it, otherwise Nic and I store it in the fridge and pour it on anything from eggs in the morning (actually that is just me), tacos, grilled fish, chicken- anything that needs a little flavor kick. The night I made it, I served it with pork marinated in cumin, paprika and cinnamon (wanted to see what it tasted like and I was suitably impressed, however use less cinnamon than cumin for a balanced savory, sweet flavor if you'd like to try). We wrapped it all up in a flour tortilla with smashed pinto beans, topped with the salsa verde and there you have it a tasty, fast family meal- perfect for a hot night.

Tomatillas 3-4
jalapenos 2-3
yellow onion 1, medium
garlic clove 1
cilantro 1/2 bunch leaves
Juice of one lime
salt and pepper to taste

When making the salsa you simply pop tomatillas (or green tomatoes, you can use red ones also but the flavor will be a little different), jalapenos, and yellow onion-quartered into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling simmer for 2-3 minutes to soften the tomatillas and jalapenos.
Drain off all the water and pick off stems if any- set to one side.
Meanwhile, pull out your trusty Cuisinart- add garlic clove and pulse for 10 seconds to chop it up. Add HOT tomatilla mix and process until combined well. 
Remove lid add half a bunch of cilantro leaves, juice of 1 juicy lime and salt and pepper to taste. Return lid, blend until well processed then pour into a jar and store in the fridge until needed.
It last for two weeks.
Now you are probably thinking the photos don't add up to the recipe- You are correct! I didn't have any cilantro in the fridge on the night so I decided fresh corn would be good (?) it was very yummy. I put the corn in the water after I shut off the heat- 1 minute before I drained it. These are the things you have to do when your living in the real world and not on telly- ha,ha. It was very yummy but I did miss the cilantro.

There are many different varieties of this salsa as I said, but this is the one I use over and over again. I hope you can get Mexican ingredients in Australia otherwise I'll have to start up an importing business!
Once again, sorry for the delay......

1 comment:

Roisin said...

Camilla, this sounds really fabulous and I love that dinner can be as simple as you say! But then it all sounds easy when you make it!