Mexican food is very popular where I live and I’m lucky to have several excellent markets close by that carry just about any ingredient called for in any recipe for Mexican food. It isn’t a cuisine I grew up with so it is fun to learn how to use some of the ingredients that are accessible in farmers’ market and small grocery stores. I’m a big Rick Bayless fan and have tried many of his recipes. This salsa verde is a favorite that is used in many of his wonderful recipes.
The ingredients for this quick, easy salsa: tomatillos, chiles, onions and garlic, are the flavor base upon which most Mexican sauces are built. The tomatoes that are used in red sauces are replaced with green tomatillos in this salsa verde. FYI – The tomatillo, known as the Husk Tomato or Mexican Husk Tomato, is a plant of the nightshade family, related to the cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos originated in Mexico and are a staple of Mexican cuisine- Wikipedia.
Chiles and peppers are cooked in water until soft and then combined with onions, garlic and cilantro in a food processor. Blend the ingredients for just a few seconds so some of the beautiful texture remains. The mixture is cooked on medium high heat for a few minutes until it thickens.
Salsa verde is a delicious table sauce that is great with chips and tacos and is a perfect ingredient in enchiladas, quesadillas and chilaquiles. It cooks for just a few minutes and has a bright, tangy flavor
Now that my salsa verde is made I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite Mexican recipes in the coming weeks. Authentic Mexican is my favorite Mexican cookbook. It is well written, easy to understand, and takes a lot of the mystery out of preparing authentic Mexican cuisine. I was fortunate to have dinner at Frontera Grill on a recent trip to Chicago and it’s fun to be able to recreate some of the wonderful recipes on their menu. This recipe keeps well and will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator and can be frozen. I always double the recipe so I have some on hand when I need to put together a quick, delicious meal.
- 1 pound (about 10) fresh tomatillos, husked and washed
- Fresh hot green chiles to taste (I used 2 jalapenos for medium heat)
- A large handful of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 large clove of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon lard or vegetable oil
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth depending on how thick you want the sauce
- Salt, about ½ teaspoon depending on the saltiness of the broth
- Boil the fresh tomatillos and chiles in salted water to cover until tender, about 15 minutes, drain.
- Place the tomatillos and chiles in a blender or food processor along with the cilantro, onion and garlic. If using a blender, stir well, Process until smooth but still retaining some texture.
- Heat the lard or vegetable oil in a medium large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot enough to make a drop of the puree sizzle sharply, pour it in all at once and stir constantly for 4-5 minutes, until darker and thicker. Add the broth, return to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt.