Thursday, July 26, 2012

Salsa Verde

The first thing, here, is don't get too fussy about exact amounts of this or that.  My recipes are more like guidelines, anyway.

What you need:

--10-15 Tomatillos.  Cut into halves or thick slices (if they're big ones) and remove the stem cores.
--2 Jalepeno peppers, stemmed and cut in half lengthwise.  Don't remove the seeds and membranes.
--2 Ancho peppers, stemmed and cut in strips lengthwise, so all outside surfaces can be exposed to heat (see step 1A below).  Don't remove the seeds and membranes.*
--2 Large Anaheim peppers, prepared the same way.
--1/2 white or yellow onion, cut into 1" thick slices.  (A handful of green onions would also work.  A purple one might look cooler.  Let me know how it goes.)
--2-4 cloves of garlic
--A handful of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped.
--Juice of 1 fresh lime.  You can use the bottled stuff if it's all you can get.

*This will give you a good "medium" to "medium hot" salsa.  For a hotter salsa, substitute 2-3 serranos.  For milder salsa, remove the seeds and membranes and/or substitute an extra ancho pepper.

Step 1:  Cook.
Fire up your oven to low broil.**  You'll be using the top rack.

A.  Place the peppers on your broiler pan.  Broil on low until the skin of the peppers is getting brown and blistered.  Remove from pan; set aside to cool.

B.  Place the sliced tomatillos, onion, and whole cloves of garlic on your broiler pan.  Broil on low until the tomatillos are beginning to get brown, blistery spots on them.  Keep an eye on the garlic:  Remove it as soon as it starts to turn brown.

C.  Peel the cooled peppers.  The peels should come off quite easily.  If there are any spots that the heat missed (you'll know because the peels won't come off), you can microwave for 30 seconds and try again. If the missed spots are small, though, I would just proceed to step 2 and not worry about it.

D.  If your house is smelling rather wonderful at this point, you are most likely doing it right.

**I haven't had the nerve to try this over charcoal yet, but I'm sure the smoke flavor would make this even more amazing.  If you try it, I would advise using a grilling basket or two, go easy on the charcoal, and keeping an eye on things very carefully, because all these ingredients burn quite easily.  And let me know how it goes.

Step 2:  Chop, Blend, Mince, Mangle, and otherwise Pulverize
A.  Put all ingredients in your food processor or blender (don't forget the lime juice and cilantro!).  Let 'em have it.

Step 3:  Chill. 
Put the salsa in a covered bowl.  Chill in the fridge for several hours.  This salsa tastes best to me cold.  You might disagree.  It's all good.

Step 4:  Eat it.
Try it with tortilla chips.  Enchiladas.  Tacos.  Dump it on an omelette.  Spoon it straight from the bowl.  I love this stuff.  I am drooling as I type this.  Honestly.

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