Delicious Tomatillos Now
Don't Wait Another Moment
By Capt'n Salsa
Tomatillos pronounced toe-ma-tee-yas are delicious and healthy ingredient for many traditional Mexican food dishes and sauces. You can find the tomatillo masquerading with other common names as the Mexican Husk Tomato, Ground Cherry, Mexican Green Tomato or even the Husk Berry.
People confuse the Mexican Husk tomato with the green tomato because once you remove the papery parchment-like skin they resemble the size and shape of small green tomatoes. The tomatillo is a vegetable member of the nightshade family, along with the common eggplant, morning glory, and the potato.
Available year round, look for fresh Tomatillos in the produce section of your local grocer. Pick out the unblemished firm dry vegetable, evenly colored dark green to yellowish green in color with tight fitting papery skins. Although Tomatillos can turn yellow as they ripen, they are most often used when firm and green.
Tomatillos are low in saturated fat and very low in cholesterol and sodium. They are also a good source of Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Niacin, Potassium and Manganese.
What to do if your grocer doesn't have them?
When fresh ones are not available you will find canned varieties in the ethnic section of most grocery stores. You will lose just a little of the great fresh flavor in the canning process but, not enough to prevent you from enjoying a delightful Salsa Verdi year round.
What does the tomatillo taste like?
Flavor is a distinct lemon-herb grassy tang when the vegetable is dark green in color. If allowed to ripen to a dull yellowish green the flavor is sweeter with just a hint of pineapple overtones. You can eat the tomatillo raw like a tomato or even an apple. You may find the flavor to be too tart when raw but when mixed with avocado into a guacamole or with green chile in a favorite salsa recipe, awesome.
Cooked tomatillo is absolutely enchanting.
Cooking will reduce the raw tart flavor a little. You can prepare the fruit by removing the parchment paper husk and discard. Soak them in cold water for about fifteen to twenty minutes to loosen the skins, or do as I do and simply peel them off with your fingers under cold running water, rinsing the sticky residue off the tomatillo in the process.
How do you cook Tomatillos?
Capt'n Salsa suggests roasting whole in a 350° F. oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the tomatillo begins to split spilling its succulent juice. Remove them from the oven being sure to catch as much of the savory juice as possible to include in your incredible salsa recipe. You can enhance the flavor by grilling on the gas grill, too. Charring the skin will add a robust grill roasted flavor to your favorite salsa recipe.
Oh, you are in a hurry?
Well okay then simply cut in half, cover with water in a saucepan and boil over medium heat for about five minutes or until tender. Then drain the water but be sure to save some just in case you need to adjust the consistency of your salsa recipe. Cooking also softens their thick skin and adds body and acid to your fiery and fragrant sauces.
How do you store the tomatillo?
Storing the precious globes is quite easy. Keep them fresh in the refrigerator for about a month. No special preparation is needed just store the vegetable leaving the husk on, placing them in a closed paper bag. You can also freeze the tomatillo in sealed plastic bags, be sure to remove the husk this time and rinse the pasty film from the outside.
Freeze them whole or slice to the desired size, keeping them for up to six months. They will lose some texture when defrosted so be sure to use them in recipes that call for cooking.
What to do with Tomatillos.
Top your favorite Mexican food dish with an exceptional Tomatillo Salsa Verdi will provide a culinary delight. Your favorite salsa recipe and guacamole will be enhanced with the addition of the husk tomato.
Slather over your favorite enchilada, taco, and burrito or even on your eggs at breakfast. Don't forget to pour generously over any grilled meat for a sensational dish. Warmed tomatillo sauce should be drizzled directly on top of a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheese for a sensational authentic taste. Be creative and explore the many lip-smacking tomatillo recipes you will find online. Soon you too will be telling everyone about the fantastic Pollo Asada a la Parilla con Salsa Verdi you had last night.
Anaheim Chile Salsa Verde
This recipe originally accompanied Grill-Roasted Brined Turkey with Anaheim Chile Salsa Verde. This beautiful, mild-flavored green salsa may be served heated or at room temperature. For the brightest green color possible, add the cilantro just before serving.
- 6 fresh green Anaheim chiles
(about ¾ pound)
- ¾ pound fresh tomatillos or 1-¼ cups drained canned tomatillos
(about half of a 28-ounce can)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs
Preheat broiler. Arrange chiles on rack of a broiler pan and broil about 2 inches from heat, turning them frequently, until skins are blistered and charred, 8 to 12 minutes. (Alternatively, if using a gas stove, lay chiles on their sides on racks of burners and turn flames on high. Char chiles, turning them with tongs, until skins are blackened, 3 to 6 minutes.) Transfer chiles to a bowl and let stand, covered, until cool enough to handle.
Wearing rubber gloves, peel chiles. Cut off tops and discard seeds and ribs.
Remove husks from fresh tomatillos and rinse tomatillos under warm water to remove stickiness. In a saucepan, simmer tomatillos, broth, and garlic until tomatillos are tender, about 10 minutes if using fresh tomatillos and about 5 minutes if using canned. Add chiles to tomatillo mixture.
Cool salsa slightly and in a blender pulse until coarsely chopped (use caution when blending hot liquids). Salsa may be made up to this point 2 days ahead and cooled, uncovered, before being chilled, covered. Bring salsa to room temperature or reheat before proceeding.
Just before serving, in blender pulse salsa with cilantro until cilantro is finely chopped (use caution when blending if salsa is heated) and season with salt.
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