~ Totally Undeserving of the James Beard Award

~ Completely Undeserving of the James Beard Award ~

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dos Salsas...

So heres two fun salsas to make and have around...salsa verde and "ranchera" sauce...
The first one will be salsa verde...or "green sauce". I don't know were I found it but I didn't make this up, but I did save the recipe in my little black book.
What you need is about a pound of tomatillos. They are not green tomatoes but they are in the same family of the tomato but of a different genus. They are most closely related to the cape gooseberry.

You will also need a big handful of cilantro, two cloves of garlic and a pepper for some heat. I used here a serrano which is hotter than a jalapeƱo and S&P.

And let me say this to all you nazi/al qaeda communist pigs who don't like cilantro...you're nuts, wacko and crazy. It's a wonderful, fresh accoutrements for a lot of dishes.

Take the husks off the tomatillos and give them a wash. If some "husk stuff" won't come off the flesh, the water will help. Pop them in a pot of simmering water for about 20 minutes or until you can just pierce the flesh with a knife point. Let them cool a bit and...   Roll them into a blender with all of the other ingredients (but not the water). Place the lid on the blender and whirl away...taste, adjust...and thats it! Terminado!

TIP!: When blending hot liquids, it is advisable to also place a towel over the lid to catch any escaping liquid...it tends to become a volcano.

Next up...a "ranchera" sauce or sauce...at least that's what I call it...a smokey red sauce.

Place some roma tomatoes and your choice of dried chilies on a sheet pan, drizzle some olive oil on the toms and sprinkle on some S&P. I used a few small chili de arbols for heat and 3 New Mexico chili pods.

Place it in under the broiler about 5" away...and watch it carefully. The large pods will turn dark very quickly. Take the items out as they char a bit, each time will take different broiling times.

Take the stems off and seeds out of the pods and place them is a sauce pan with the now charred tomatoes with 1-1/2 cups of water...add some S&P.

I also add 2 teaspoons of chili powder and 3 table spoons of white vinegar. I like ancho chili powder. The ancho chili is a dried poblano chili. I try to buy chili powders in the Mexican isle as they significantly cheaper. For about $5 I got about 3/4 cup of powder...in the regular spice isle for $5 will get you a few tablespoons, if they even have it. Adding vinegar to sauces, chili, spaghetti sauce brightens the flavor up. Bring all of this up to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Let it cool and pour it all into your blender including the water...spin to puree it. Now, this is hot as in scoville units. Add in a tablespoon of honey, spin, taste, repeat until it is to your burn-or-not-to-burn liking. Done!

I was making some fish tacos and the rest of the "fam" made a wonderful Mexican inspired cobb salad as a side. The dressing was a fresh lime-cilantro vinaigrette.

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