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jsolomon

Tomatillos: The Topic

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On a lark, I picked up a few tomatillos at the grocery store yesterday. I've never even tasted one to know it.

What can I make to help me understand what tomatillos bring to the plate?


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Make a tomatillo salsa with the same ingredients you use for a red one--just leave out the tomatos and see if you need to add a little sugar. You can also make a green sauce to go with enchilades. Boiled and chopped they add a twist to guacamole--always be sure the tart is not too strong, if it is add a little sugar.


Edited by Bill Miller (log)

Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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On a lark, I picked up a few tomatillos at the grocery store yesterday.  I've never even tasted one to know it.

What can I make to help me understand what tomatillos bring to the plate?

I make a verde sauce with tomatillos that I serve over cheese or chicken enchiladas.

3½ -4 lb. fresh tomatillos, husked and washed

2-3 jalapeño chili peppers or 3 serrano chili peppers, stemmed (and seeded if you prefer a milder sauce)

4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 large onion

1 head garlic

1-2 cups apple juice.

Optional: the tops of a bunch of green onions also chopped small

Optional: I add 1 or 2 snack boxes of raisins to the sauce when it is in the blender. They add a nice sweetness to the sauce.

Roast the tomatillos under the broiler for about 5 minutes per side, turning once. Let them get good and brown.

Roast the head of garlic by cutting a piece off the top and then pouring a little olive oil over the head and wrapping it in tin foil. Bake at 350 for 30 – 40 minutes or until soft.

Roast the chilies with the tomatillos or in a fry pan. Frying them for 10 minutes. This will cause the outside of the chilies to blacken.

Chop the onion and sauté it in a little oil until it caramelizes. Again let the onion get good and caramelized

Put everything into a blender and puree.

Return to a sauce pan and simmer for 30 – 45 minutes.

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I'd go with a salsa verde. Here's a recipe from Epicurious that looks pretty standard, though I would omit the whipping cream and probably wouldn't bother roasting the pepper.

It's a delicious salsa that can be eaten with chips or used as a condiment for just about anything, plus it's super-easy to make.


Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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Yes, once you have tomatillo salsa, you can make many, many things, like this delicious looking recipe from frontera kitchens:

Tomatillo Braised Pork Loin with Herby White Beans

This is simply one of the best dishes we’ve included here. And though you’ll think “Italian” when you lay the slices of roast pork alongside the saucy white beans, one bite will convince you that Mexico gave this dish its soul. With salsa at the ready, everything about this spectacular dish is quite simple–so keep this recipe in mind when you’re entertaining without a lot of time to spare. (You could even use rinsed canned white beans to save time). If you see fresh purslane (verdolagas) at the farmers’ market or have it growing in your garden, add young 2-inch pieces to the sauce along with the beans for a traditionally Mexican flavor.

Ooo... That looks good.

I'll try to type up a couple of my favorite Diana Kennedy recipes featuring tomatillos and PM them to you.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Like most things, there are easy ways and more difficult ways to make salsa verde.

It's definitely a standard salsa to always have on hand in Mexican homes. Certainly if you roast the tomatillos, that gives them an enhanced flavor. But for the everyday stuff they keep ready in the fridge, this is the number one way most Mexican home cooks turn out jar after jar after jar of salsa verde:

Salsa Verde

1 tsp or so cooking oil (just enough to cover botton of saucepan) or melted lard

6 or so whole tomatillos, paper skins removed

jalapeños, or other chile peppers, to desired "pica," stems removed

chicken broth just barely to cover

Put the oil into a saucepan. Then add the tomatillos and chiles, and enough chicken broth to barely cover. Bring to boil and cook just till tomatillos are soft (not too long, don't want them "mushy").

Put tomatillos and peppers (do not discard cooking liquid) into blender or food processor along with:

2 small cloves garlic

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup chopped onion

"handful" cilantro

Blend in food processor very well; most people prefer a smooth salsa verde. Add cooking liquid to reach desired "sauce" consistancy...it should be fairly liquid, but flavorful and not "watered-down" tasting, so use your own judgment.

There are variations of this -- like roasting everything, tomatillos, peppers, onions, garlic, etc., instead of boiling, etc., and using different kinds of chiles, serranos, etc., but this is the quickest, easiest, most basic and typical way that the average cook, who's just trying to get dinner on the table, makes this popular salsa (it's a must for chilaquiles, for example).

If you don't have good chicken broth on hand, most Mexican cooks use water and a Mexican brand of powdered chicken broth.

Tomatillos are tangy, and the salsa they produce is wonderful. They're not spicy in and of themselves, so you control the amount of 'heat' you want by which chile peppers you use and how many of them.

I'd suggest that you go to the grocery store and buy a can or jar of Herdez Salsa Verde just to sample before you start, to give you some idea as to what your final product should resemble.

And if you've eaten much Mexican food at all, you've undoubtedly had Mexican salsa verde made with tomatillos before.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Yeah, definitely salsa verde -- great stuff, that.

Am I the only one who's ever gotten the idea to add a little bit of orange zest to it? It's like a magic ingredient that REALLY picks it up and elevates it. People really like it, and ask about the recipe when I do that -- of course, I always do it, heheh.

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On a whim (and with memories of the great Cooking from "Fiesta at Rick's" topic), I put a tomatillo plant in my garden this year. It’s grown like crazy! Now I’m looking at tons of fruit with not much idea of what to do with it beyond basic salsa verde and sauce verde.

Are there other uses for tomatillos? What are your favorite ways to use salsa verde and sauce verde? Does anyone preserve or freeze them?



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I use tomatillos in salsa, but I will roast them first to get some char on the skins or I'll put them in a vegetable basket and roast them on the barbecue to get both char and some smoke flavor. It boosts the flavor of your salsa verde just a bit.

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Make a tomatillo jam - absolutely delicious! Also they work really nicely in a bloody mary - swap them for the regular tomato juice and use a jalapeno chilli sauce or green tabasco as opposed to the regular one.


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Make a tomatillo jam - absolutely delicious! Also they work really nicely in a bloody mary - swap them for the regular tomato juice and use a jalapeno chilli sauce or green tabasco as opposed to the regular one.

love these ideas. What do you call this drink? It would be green, so can't be "bloody." :smile:



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How about tomatillos fritos

Or this - Fried green tomatillo grilled cheese

And there are stuffed tomatillos

In fact, you can core and stuff them with anything you would stuff in a pepper, such as a mixture of rice and meat, other grains such as quinoa and amaranth and so on.

You can eve make a pie substituting tomatillos for the green tomatoes.

In fact, you can use them in any recipe calling for green tomatoes.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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tomatillo soup is delicious. plenty of recipies on the internet.

i like to roast in the oven to get a little char, then steep in chicken stock with garlic and seasonings. immersion blend and strain.

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Because I can't get them within 100 miles of where I live, I have frozen them as often as I can get them. Peel, wash, throw them in a bag. Done. (I'd appreciate knowing if this is the best way.)

As for using them, besides Andie's wonderful Chile Verde, I have used them in a Lime/Tomatillo Jam from Patti's Mexican Table.

Although I have never had leftover Tomatillos, I am hoping for a bit of a crop this summer in this far frozen northland.

ps. Weekend of the 27th, one friend is coming from NJ with a batch for me and another local friend is going to the States and has promised to bring me back a batch. Heck, I have even made arrangements with the Produce Manager in the grocery store to make sure they have some for me. Then, perhaps, I'll have your problem too. :raz:


Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Make a tomatillo jam - absolutely delicious! Also they work really nicely in a bloody mary - swap them for the regular tomato juice and use a jalapeno chilli sauce or green tabasco as opposed to the regular one.

love these ideas. What do you call this drink? It would be green, so can't be "bloody." :smile:

Spock's bloody mary, or Vulcan Bloody Mary?



SousVideOrNotSousVide - Seller of fine Artificial Ingredients such as Lactisole through Amazon.Com....

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A tomatillo-based Bloody Mary with green Tabasco is obviously a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster.

This said - have you tried quartering the tomatillos, then brining them overnight in about 5% salt solution, and quick-pickling them in sherry or balsamic vinegar with lime juice? I'm quite fond of them done that way on salads.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Great names! i was stuck on a jealous mary or marys envy... one pangalactic garlebuster coming right up :laugh:


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Larousse de la Cocina Mexicana has recipes for Tarta de Tomatillo

Don't forget Mole Verde, Tomatillo "Ceviche", Pickled Tomatillos, Ancho Chiles stuffed with Tomatillos in Piloncillo Escabeche, Tlapiques (Whole Fish such as trout stuffed with sliced tomatillos, onions & chiles wrapped in corn leaves and cooked on the grill or comal) etc.,

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Take some of your favorite dried chiles, seed and toast them. I do 20 seconds each side on a very hot griddle. I favor morita (which the rest of the world calls chipotle - what we call chipotle they call meco, for some reason), cascabel, arbol, and guajillo. Mixing them is a good idea - morita can be overpowering. How much chile is up to you, 50 grams per kilo of tomatillo might be a good starting point.

Fry some onion (say 1/2 medium per kilo). Toast a couple of cloves of garlic in their skins until they're very soft while you're at it.

Remove the papery skin from the tomatillos and blanch the tomatillos in boiling water.

Throw everything in the blender with a little water (say, 1/2 cup per kilo) and a shot of vinegar or lime juice. Blend until it's a smooth consistency (you might have to do this in steps - this is one application where something like the Vitamix would work really well). Correct the taste with salt and spices - I like cumin and black pepper.

Substitute fresh, roasted hot green chiles for the dried to make a common salsa verde. I won't tell you to put in cilantro because I know you dislike the stuff. (This is how I make salsa for chicharron en salsa verde, btw.)

These freeze really well!

(Sorry for not posting this as a formal recipe - I don't measure ingredients when making salsas because chiles can vary so much in strength.)

By the way, tomatillo salsas don't have to be green. They can be all kinds of funky colors depending on the chiles you use. This is arbol. A little less chile and it would have been bright orange; about half as much, yellow.

IMG_3460.jpg

EDIT: image link.


Edited by Dakki (log)

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Also, a salsa made with half tomatillos (oven roasted or grilled) and half mango or papaya, is excellent.

I also oven roast the smaller ones, cut in quarters and add to Walddorf salad, along with some poached chicken. Lovely combination of flavors and colors.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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A tomatillo-based Bloody Mary with green Tabasco is obviously a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster.

Someone needs to start a drinks topic on this one!

....Substitute fresh, roasted hot green chiles for the dried to make a common salsa verde. I won't tell you to put in cilantro because I know you dislike the stuff. (This is how I make salsa for chicharron en salsa verde, btw.)...

You must be thinking of someone else, I love cilantro. I'll admit that I didn't always, but that was in a galaxy long ago and far, far away.

All these pickling, brining suggestions sound really good. First, though I think I'm going to try some of these salsas and sauces. And I'm going to be on the lookout for some good whole trout, I'd love to try EatNopales' suggestion for Tlapiques--it being corn season it's easy to have fresh corn husks left over from cooking corn (I know you said corn leaves, EatNopales, but hopefully the fresh husks will work, I'm unlikely to get my hands on the leaves).



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....Substitute fresh, roasted hot green chiles for the dried to make a common salsa verde. I won't tell you to put in cilantro because I know you dislike the stuff. (This is how I make salsa for chicharron en salsa verde, btw.)...

You must be thinking of someone else, I love cilantro. I'll admit that I didn't always, but that was in a galaxy long ago and far, far away.

Sorry, I could have sworn the OP was Darienne. I saw this and thought "Why is a mod telling me off this time?!" :laugh:

This being the case, cilantro is good in the green salsas. I use about 1/2 bunch (finely chopped or blended) per kilo of tomatillo and then garnish whatever I'm making with some more cilantro, but I really like the stuff.


This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Make a tomatillo jam - absolutely delicious! Also they work really nicely in a bloody mary - swap them for the regular tomato juice and use a jalapeno chilli sauce or green tabasco as opposed to the regular one.

love these ideas. What do you call this drink? It would be green, so can't be "bloody." :smile:

Spock's bloody mary, or Vulcan Bloody Mary?

I'm glad I'm not the only one who had this thought.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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