Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tomatillos and Chilis

I've had a few bags in my fridge that have been awaiting my attention.  I tried my hand at growing my own tomatillos this past summer, but all I got was this large sprawling plant loaded with beautifully delicate empty little paper lanterns.  It looked like I had fruit galore, but each time I tried to pick one it was only to find that it held an illusion.  In my local grocery stores, finding tomatillos in healthy abundance is also a challenge.  So when I came across a nice load in the produce section recently, I bagged up a bunch.

We all have to agree that homemade anything is best, right?  Well  I suspect that these strange looking green globes covered in their own paper wrapping are off-putting for a lot of folks. What do you do with them?  I am here to help you out, so take my hand and leap into the unbelievably delicious world of fresh chile verde.

Seriously, making a simple verde sauce is easy-peasy.  I started with around 1.5 lbs of tomatillos.  Remove their papers, wash them well in cold water, and cut in halves.   Drop those babies into a small stockpot.   Add garlic to taste (that's 6 cloves for us), 1/2 a large onion, sliced, and two de-veined and seeded serrano chilis.

Cover with water and bring to a regular boil, continue that for eight minutes.  Drain and let your blender do the work after dropping the lot in, and adding a bit of salt and pepper to taste.  In your stockpot, splash in a few tablespoons of olive oil, and return your nice blend to it, cooking for five minutes.  I chopped up about 1/2 cup of cilantro and squeezed in 1/2 a lime.

You can use this over enchiladas, in burritos, or it makes a delicious verde sauce for cubed pork.  I froze mine and will whip it out for a winter weekend of ready made zing.

The finished product - it would make my mother-in-law proud!

I also had a stunning bevy of serrano chilis, courtesy of a dear friend who grew them for their beauty - but their family doesn't eat them.  Good for me and mine!  I split, seeded, and de-veined them, then threw them in the freezer.  For those of you who are a bit leery of such a process, let me assure you it is really quite simple.  First of all and very important, you must be sure to wear latex gloves!  Then you may proceed with confidence; slice off the stem end and cut a slit down the center.  I used to use my knife to trim the membranes from inside and remove all the seeds.  Now, I just run my finger inside and scrape out the inner ribs, run some water over them to rinse out all the stuff I don't want.  This makes short shift of a rather peppery job.  Another piece of advice - don't open your mouth to talk, and keep a glass of water nearby.  The fumes and vapors of chiles are powerfully potent!  Now I easily have a winter's supply to throw in my cooking pot to enrich black-eyed peas, chilis, salsas, etc.

Aren't they just GORGEOUS?

Shared with Domestically Divine, Works For Me Wednesdays, and Simple Lives Thursday

1 comment:

  1. so glad i found your blog! LOVE IT it! I just love seeing Latin recipes also! My husband is Latin and I have had to learn to cook Latin too,haha. I am now following ya and am going to try to catch up on all your stuff, so much here!! I just started up a brand new blog on mommyhood and homeschooling, would be thrilled to have you as the 3rd follower!! (we just have 2 righ now!) its Blessings!