Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tomatillo and Poblano Green Salsa

Salsa is a wonderful thing.  Super flavorful, fresh, spicy, and healthy!  Obviously it's great with chips, but its possibilities do not end there.  Salsa also adds great flavor as a topping on all sorts of meat, chicken, or fish, is a great substitute for dressing on a salad, and can be used as a dip for fresh vegetables (try jicama slices or cucumber!).  This time around, mine accompanied a carne asada salad with a sprinkling of queso fresco.

We're fans of all sorts of salsa varieties around here, but lately have been on a big green salsa steak.  Sadly, most of the best ones we've tried can get pretty expensive (especially when you go through a jar in one sitting).  The good news: making your own is surprisingly simple and just (if not more) tasty.   It turns out a beautiful vibrant green color that definitely outshines store bought salsas.

This recipe is modified from the one I found here on the Food Network site.

What you need:
~7-8 small to medium tomatillos (around 1.25 pounds probably)
2 poblano peppers
1-2 cloves of garlic
1-2 tablespoons lime juice
large handful of cilantro (about packed 1/2 cup)
salt to taste
water (possibly)

Start by roasting the tomatillos and the peppers.  This can be done a couple different ways.  Either way, you want to leave them long enough that they get splotchy black blisters on both (or multiple) sides.

The first method is to place the tomatillos and peppers on a baking sheet and broil on high for about 5 minutes, flip over, and then broil another 5 minutes on the other side.  Probably the method I'd usually use, but my oven was otherwise occupied.

The second method is to char them on the stovetop.  This worked really well for me on my gas stove- I'm not positive it would work as well on electric since they don't seem to get as hot.  Simply heat a large frying pan over high heat and add the whole tomatillos and peppers.  Stir/flip every couple minutes, allowing them time to get a little char on the downside.  Once they are spotted with black blisters everywhere, they're good to go.

After charring, you can put the peppers in a brown bag to steam for 10-15 minutes so that you can peel the skin off.  I skipped this.

The next step is to puree everything together- the tomatillos, peppers, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, and salt.  I did this is batches in my new tiny blender since I had to leave my Vitamix behind for a little while :-( .  You could use an immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender.  I had to add 1/3-1/2 water, but if you're using a Vitamix or immersion blender, you might be able to skip that and have a bit thicker salsa.

And done!  Enjoy with everything. :-)

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