Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reprise of an old favorite: part one, salsa verde

Editors note: Lots of photos on a blog site, not my thing but sometimes you need to show the process so if you have a slower computer, I sincerely apologize, there are many photos with this posting.

We've received a number of questions about the Guacamole Sauce used at a famous taquito stand in Los Angeles. Ok, two is a number, right? I posted about recreating the recipe and came pretty close. If you've been to Cielito Lindo's you know what the big fuss is about. Recently, we've had a few other questions and I thought it time to do a thorough post, with pix, to help everyone out. Since this can be a complicated recipe and would be too long for any sane person to read, I'll serialize it.

First you need to make the Salsa Verde. I rarely make it from scratch because I live near an ethnic Mexican market that makes it fresh but if you can't find this make this recipe or find canned, Herdez Salsa Verde. It works in a pinch. Do stay away from any canned Salsa Verde that has sugar, yuck. Once in a while I find canned tomatillos just packed in brine. This will work too but you have to cook the other veggies so why not do it all.

1 lb of Tomatillos, husked removed
Note: These look like green tomatoes with a papery skin. Peel off the skin and wash the tomatillos thoroughly. They are sticky, very sticky; they should make glue from tomatillos.

3 whole jalapeño peppers
Note: I use Fresno Hots because I grow them in the summer. These are hot mamma jammas and need to be treated, as all hot peppers, with respect. Seriously wear gloves and wash before you touch any skin, yours our someone else's. I also used one of my Anaheim Green chillies, they have such great flavor but you can make it with just jalapeños.

7 or 9 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 medium white onion, quartered
(I know the photo shows a brown onion)
1 can of 14.5 oz. chicken broth

a small bunch of cilantro with stems, about a cup roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Cut the tomatillos in quarters. See why? You can't tell from the outside if it's got a bad spot.
Cut the peppers in quarters and if they are really hot remove the seeds.
Cut onions in quarters and peel the garlic.

Everything, including chicken broth goes into a pot. Don't worry if the broth does not cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer with lid on for about 20 minutes or until everything is soft.
Because you can never be sure how hot your chillies are you can, in a separate pan, boil a few chopped and seeded chillies.

This will smell wonderful. I believe this is what heaven smells like.

I took this snap before I added the cilantro stems but don't bother chopping them everything will go into the blender when cooked. Give it a taste and if it isn't hot enough for you add a few of the extra cooked chillies. If it's too hot, I have no idea, it's never been too hot for us. It needs to have some heat. Adjust the salt.

Here it is finished cooking. Now, didn't that all go together nice? Yes, it did.Let this cool before you process it, please. I have had Salsa Verde colored kitchen walls before. You could use the salsa, to cook pork or chicken or a sauce for enchiladas. It is very versatile.
For our Guacamole recipe whir in a blender until completely liquefied. Strain the salsa through a fine mesh strainer while you push it through with the back of a spoon. I strain it this way because the tomatillo has those pesky little white seeds. You do what you want but the resulting sauce should be quite smooth. You should have somewhere near 3 cups.
You are halfway there. Stay tuned for the second installment of the recipe; making the guacamole. It is totally different from guacamole you eat with your chips in a Mexican restaurant. It is for dipping taquitos and licking the plate after.

Use one quart of the Salsa Verde in my version of Chilaquiles.


Spryte said...

Yum!! That looks awesome!! It's hard to find tomatillos around here... but I'm definitely going to look!

Doodles said...

oh boy...........great post sister.