Saturday, November 24, 2012

Salsa Verde (Green Tomatillo Salsa)

Salsa Verde with chicken taquitos and chips
Salsa Verde. I didn't really eat it until recently. My husband LOVES the stuff, but just the kind you get at a Mexican restaurant. The jarred ones we've tried haven't been all that great. I usually like salsa verde okay, but generally choose a medium hot red salsa. 
This salsa, though, is something special. I first tasted it at the ESL family potluck at the school I work at ("ESL" means "English as a Second Language.") Areli's mother brought chicken taquitos with this salsa verde. When I ate it, my lips were on fire, but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. The crisp, salty chicken taquito with the cold and spicy green sauce was perfect. 
It wasn't until parent-teacher conferences last week, though, that I finally asked Areli's mom for the recipe. She told me the recipe in Spanish, and although I had our fabulous Spanish interpreter Belen right there, I tried to get it all by myself because I'm trying to practice my listening skills in Spanish. It's a super easy recipe and it tastes just like I remember. Well, the first time I made it, it did. The second time I think I threw the ratio off and had too many tomatillos and not enough jalepeños, so it's not as hot. So, the takeaway here is that if you want it spicier, use more  jalepeños. If you want it less spicy, use fewer  jalepeños. There you go.

Salsa Verde
   --adapted from Areli's mom's recipe

  • 6 medium tomatillos
  • 4 medium sized  jalepeño peppers
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic
  • salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon for starters)
  • water
Fill a medium sized pot about halfway with water. Bring water to a boil over medium high heat. 
Cut tops off jalepeno peppers and cut in half lengthwise. (If you want your salsa less spicy, remove some or all of the seeds and ribs of the jalepeños before boiling.) Carefully place cut jalepeños into the water and boil for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the papery skin off the tomatillos and wash lightly in cold water. Cut in halves or quarters if they're large. If you're using small ones, you can cook them whole. Place tomatillos into the boiling pot with the jalepeños and cook for another 5 minutes or so, or until the tomatillos are soft.
Drain water. Add cooked jalepeños and tomatillos to a blender (or a tall cup if you have a hand blender). Add garlic and salt and blend to puree. 
Allow to cool to room or refrigerator temperature before serving.
Tastes great with homemade taquitos and homemade tortilla chips.

Makes about 1 to 1 1/2 cups salsa.

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