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Tomatillo Salsa recipe by request

Tomatillo Salsa recipe by request
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  • Tomatillo Salsa recipe by request

    Post #1 - August 26th, 2004, 5:25 pm
    Post #1 - August 26th, 2004, 5:25 pm Post #1 - August 26th, 2004, 5:25 pm
    Joel's Treppaning Tomatillo Salsa (it opens the back of your head up)

    This is a salsa I developed to be the opposite of most green salsas: thick and sweet instead of thin and sour. I typically only make it with homegrown tomatillos which are often riper than what you can get at supermarkets or even the hispanic markets: they get paler as they ripen, and get an almost pear-like aroma. It doesn't have to be so hot it opens a hole in your head, but it's great that way.

    Recipe makes about 4 cups very thick salsa

    2 lbs fresh tomatillos, paper husks removed
    6-12 jalapeno peppers (depending on your tolerance for heat, and the heat of the peppers themselves), seeds removed
    1 yellow or sweet onion, sliced 1/2" thick
    1 head garlic (you'll use half now, and have a half-head of roasted garlic for fun)
    1 tbs honey
    2 tbs lime juice, cider vinegar or combination
    2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    vegetable oil
    Salt to taste
    1/4C cilantro leaves

    Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-hot while preparing the peppers and onions.

    Cut a small slice off the top of the garlic head, and drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and sprinkle with salt. Wrap in foil and place in a corner of the grill (hey, you've got a round grill, it's your problem to figure out what to do).

    Toss the vegetables with a bit of oil, and place on the grill. Keep an eye on the peppers -- they should not get charred like you're removing the skins, but they should get roasted and softened somewhat. Turn the onion when it gets a bit soft.

    Keep turning the tomatillos until they get soft all over, show some small char marks, and turn a somewhat green/gold/olive color (depending on their ripeness and variety), losing their vibrant green. It's good if they've burst a bit, and lost some juioe. Remove to a large bowl.

    Remove the onions and peppers when they've softened, probably about the same time as the last tomatillos are done (they'll vary in time according to size and ripeness) and place in a second bowl. Remove the garlic and let it cool a bit before handling.

    Roughly chop the onion and peppers and remove the garlic from the skin by squeezing it. Chop finely in a food processor with the cilantro, until it's all about the consistency of pickle relish. Put back in the onion/pepper bowl.

    The tomatillos have likely drained some liquid into the bowl. Move the tomatillos to the food processor reserving as much of the juice as possible. If you like your salsa thinner, you can add this to the finished product, as it's got a ton of flavor and aroma. Pulse until you get a nice pulp.

    Add most of the pepper/onion/garlic mixture to the tomatillos, reserving some to adjust heat levels. Season with olive oil, honey, lime and/or cider vinegar and salt, and add the rest of the pepper mixture if desired (you probably will).

    This sets up in the refrigerator almost like a jam -- there must be lots of pectin in tomatillos. Delicious on chips, by the spoonful, or on pork roast.

    (C) 2004 Joel Finkle -- Creative Commons License -- Some Rights Reserved: see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/
  • Post #2 - August 27th, 2004, 7:29 pm
    Post #2 - August 27th, 2004, 7:29 pm Post #2 - August 27th, 2004, 7:29 pm
    JoelF,

    This recipe sounds fantastic. My kids are turned off by the green sourness of many tomatillo salsas; you've corrected that problem.

    I've been eyeing the tomatillos at Aquascalientes, and now I have an excuse to get some.

    Hammond
  • Post #3 - October 7th, 2004, 3:54 pm
    Post #3 - October 7th, 2004, 3:54 pm Post #3 - October 7th, 2004, 3:54 pm
    I've been making this salsa almost the exact same way. It is my favorite. I have also used it as a sofrito for cooking up shrimp. good stuff. I find that brown rice syrup balances the tartness without getting that "honey" taste, but that is nit-picking. Also putting skewers through the sides of your onion slices (2 per), keeps the rings together and helps them carmelize more evenly.
    brent gearan
  • Post #4 - June 14th, 2006, 9:56 am
    Post #4 - June 14th, 2006, 9:56 am Post #4 - June 14th, 2006, 9:56 am
    I was inspired to make a go at a roasted tomatillo salsa this past weekend. Using JoelF's and Rick Bayless' recipes as inspiration, I roasted a pound and a quarter of husked tomatillos, 4 jalapenos, a large white onion and some garlic cloves. Threw the peppers (seeds and all), onion and garlic in the food processor, dumped it in a bowl. Roughly chopped the roasted tomatillos in the same processor bowl and added to the pepper/onion/garlic mix. Chopped up some cilantro, stirred it in. Added some water to thin the mixture a bit and dug in with tortilla chips. I would have liked a touch more heat. I may try serrano peppers next time or add a couple more jalapenos. But for a first time effort, I was happy.
  • Post #5 - June 14th, 2006, 12:35 pm
    Post #5 - June 14th, 2006, 12:35 pm Post #5 - June 14th, 2006, 12:35 pm
    GP - Serranos are touchier to roast on the grill, due to being smaller and thinner-walled. I like using the jala's because I can just dump everything on the grill and not worry too much about it.

    Try playing with the salt or sour levels -- it may change the heat profile.
    Use lime juice or cider vinegar for top flavors.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #6 - June 14th, 2006, 3:46 pm
    Post #6 - June 14th, 2006, 3:46 pm Post #6 - June 14th, 2006, 3:46 pm
    I have to admit I cheated and used my broiler rather than the grill. The chilly winds swirling on the deck weren't conducive to this project.

    I added some salt and sugar. I'll try some lime juice and cider vinegar next time. There will be a next time. With a freshly opened bag of chips from the local Mexican market, Mr. X and I enjoyed this immensely!

    Thanks for the tips!
  • Post #7 - September 23rd, 2015, 3:08 pm
    Post #7 - September 23rd, 2015, 3:08 pm Post #7 - September 23rd, 2015, 3:08 pm
    I just made this year's batch of tomatillo salsa. It's been a weird year for gardening: I had good success with tomatoes for the first time in at least three years, cucumbers were off-the-charts prolific, but the tomatillos underperformed, and the jalapeno peppers I depend on for my salsa produced small, mild chiles (even most of the thai chiles are nearly heatless).

    I got about two pints or so of salsa off this year's crop, and at least half the volume is onions and chiles -- which I had to buy at Jewel, and thankfully got a hot batch.

    The smell of the roasting tomatillos, a sweet, smoky aroma, is barely reflected in the final salsa... but it's in pure form in the juices that drain from the tomatillos. A watery, golden liquid, it's sweet, tart and savory. Probably similar in composition to tomato water. After pulling the cooled, roasted, tomatillos out of the bowl, I always drink this nectar down -- it would make my relish-like salsa too thin, and it's my prize for making the salsa.

    I wish there were a way to produce more of it, but I only got like three or four ounces drained off the couple pounds of tomatillos -- most of it drips onto the grill burners. I'm sure I could come up with some stellar cocktails that use it.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #8 - September 23rd, 2015, 3:13 pm
    Post #8 - September 23rd, 2015, 3:13 pm Post #8 - September 23rd, 2015, 3:13 pm
    JoelF wrote:I just made this year's batch of tomatillo salsa. It's been a weird year for gardening: I had good success with tomatoes for the first time in at least three years, cucumbers were off-the-charts prolific, but the tomatillos underperformed, and the jalapeno peppers I depend on for my salsa produced small, mild chiles (even most of the thai chiles are nearly heatless).

    I got about two pints or so of salsa off this year's crop, and at least half the volume is onions and chiles -- which I had to buy at Jewel, and thankfully got a hot batch.

    The smell of the roasting tomatillos, a sweet, smoky aroma, is barely reflected in the final salsa... but it's in pure form in the juices that drain from the tomatillos. A watery, golden liquid, it's sweet, tart and savory. Probably similar in composition to tomato water. After pulling the cooled, roasted, tomatillos out of the bowl, I always drink this nectar down -- it would make my relish-like salsa too thin, and it's my prize for making the salsa.

    I wish there were a way to produce more of it, but I only got like three or four ounces drained off the couple pounds of tomatillos -- most of it drips onto the grill burners. I'm sure I could come up with some stellar cocktails that use it.


    It's not just you--I had the EXACT same situation. Add to that, very low production of squash blossoms (and, consequently, no squash to speak of), corn just did ok, and practically no potatoes--though that might be due to the starters I used. But the tomatoes...amazing! A worthy trade off for sure!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #9 - September 28th, 2015, 1:34 pm
    Post #9 - September 28th, 2015, 1:34 pm Post #9 - September 28th, 2015, 1:34 pm
    I also got great bunches of tomatoes. I'm giving the tomatillos a bit more time. They did so well last year that we ran a number of them through the dehydrator and came up with a deliciously citrus-like powder. I'm hoping to be able to do this again.

    ...
    There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told. (Poe)

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