Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Holy Tomatillos

I think we can officially declare this the summer of the Mexican harvest.

After bringing in the bounty of the poblanos, C harvested all of the tomatillos--which added up to nearly two grocery bags full, after the overgrown and frost-damaged ones were discarded:

Some of these we (i.e. C) planted this year; some of them self-seeded from years' past. That's my favorite kind of plant--the ones that grow themselves. If only there was a way to arrange for the tomatoes and basil and broccoli to grow of their own accord (we did once have potatoes and one sweet potato spring up in our compost bin; they were delicous!)

M helped me peel off their husks, Saturday, then I washed them (they come out coated in a sticky kind of sap) and boiled them just long enough for them to lose their bright green color everywhere but near the stem.

I filled up 10 large yogurt containers and put them in the freezer for winter feasting, gave away two generous bags full to friends and made a big batch of simmered tomatillo-serrano sauce to go with the last of chile rellenos Saturday night.

Tomatillo-Serrano Sauce 
adapted from Rick Bayless

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add two or three generous handfuls of tomatillos, husked and washed.
Boil until they have lost their bright green color everywhere but near the stem, drain.
Place tomatillos in a blender, along with:
1-3 serrano chiles, stemmed and seeded.

Heat a splash of oil in a large cast iron pan.
Saute 1/2 onion until golden brown.
Add 2-ish cloves garlic, chopped, stir for one minute.
Add onions/garlic to blender, puree to a chunky consistency.

Heat another splash of oil in a pan.
Add tomatillo puree and simmer until thick and fragrant.
Add 2-4 cups broth or water (depending on how many tomatillos you started with).
Simmer 1/2 hour or so.

If you have cilantro, add it at the end. (I've been cilantro-less since July).

Serve over chile rellenos, burritos, fresh tortillas, beans & rice, etc.
Mmmm...tangy and spicy and good!

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