Friday, August 28, 2009

You say tomatillo

You wouldn't know it from the dearth of recent posts, but I have been cooking a fair amount recently. Last night I made these delicious scallops that we discovered a few weeks ago, and I will try to blog about blackberries sometime soon. (B and I had a very successful berry-picking expedition last weekend.) I also made more almond macaroons (which incidentally are better than the hazelnut variation I tried using the same proportions; the hazelnut cookies ended up slightly bitter).

This month I also (I know this is crazy!) started another blog. I guess I'm sort of obsessed with food, whether from a restaurant or my home kitchen. I'd love to know what you think of the new site.

For now, though, back to the cooking side of things. One of the ways that I am able to cook a lot even when I'm on call twice a week in the ICU is by having key ingredients ready ahead of time. Today, I'm going to tell you about the tomatillo salsa that we had with skirt steak soft tacos for dinner last week. Minimal prep work, beautifully colored, and great with chips as leftovers.

I don't remember when I tasted my first tomatillo, but I do remember picking my first one. I was about seven or eight, wandering around in the backyard, when I found these odd little fruits growing in a corner of the garden I didn't visit much. They had papery husks that were extremely fun to peel off, and the fruit that was revealed looked just like an unripe green tomato.

Tomatillos are a little astringent when eaten raw; I like them best when roasted. (Apparently, I'm really into roasting vegetables lately. Also very into the grill-pan, which has led to some excessive smoke inhalation recently.) The roasted tomatillo salsa that results from the recipe below is a powerful staple to have ready in the fridge, ready to be served with eggs to spice up breakfast, with tortilla strips in the original chilaquiles recipe, or with skirt steak for the tacos I made for dinner last week.

Or, just served with chips as a snack, like I did today. This salsa is just too good to stop eating, and with my afternoon snack I seem to have filled up even my separate chips-and-salsa stomach. (This stomach is in addition to my separate dessert/ice cream one, as well as the French fry one.) The good news is that this recipe makes several cups of salsa, and there's no fat in it all. Also, it keeps in the fridge for a week or two. I bet it would freeze well, but there's never been enough left over to try that. Enjoy!

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Time: 10 min active, 30 min total
Makes: 3-4 cups salsa

1 1/2 lbs. tomatillos (approximately 15), husks removed and rinsed
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2-3 serrano chiles, or more to taste, stems removed
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1 t. salt, or more to taste

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chiles in a single layer in an ovenproof pan (I used my Pyrex 9 x 13-inch glass dish). Roast vegetables for 15-20 minutes, until charred, turning once. Allow vegetables to cool for at least five minutes. Then puree vegetables and their juice in blender or Cuisinart with cilantro and salt. Salsa keeps well in the fridge for one to two weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Like you, Kyusik and I have dessert stomachs too. No wonder we get along so swimmingly!