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Salsa Verde with Tomatillos

I have found the point where my intention of exploring Irish food takes a turn. And you are here to share it with me! Okay, so salsa verde is not an authentic Irish dish, but it is green, right? It will be fun! After boiling and sauteing Irish foods lately I felt the need to have something spicy on crunchy tortilla chips. The tomatillos at the store were looking good, so they led to a logical conclusion – green sauce! I did not really get much salsa verde until I started traveling to New Mexico about ten years ago. Each restaurant served the sauce with varying levels of heat, from mild and sweet and almost dessert-like to an addictive spiciness that leads to consuming many a chip and drinking margaritas much too fast. Out there it is usually heavier on the peppers than my version, but I dug into my tex-mex roots for this recipe and used only one jalapeno. The tomatillos were nice and tangy and the onion a bit sweet so this batch needed no sugar or salt at all. Yummy! I could not find my written recipe, so found this one, which most closely matched what I have done in the past…

Salsa Verde with Tomatillos

1 pound fresh tomatillos
1 small yellow onion
1 jalapeno
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 lime, juiced with meat
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Pinches of Sugar and Salt to taste

Remove husks from tomatillos, wash well and cut in half. Remove dry layers from onion and cut it in half. Cut jalapeno in half. Remove seeds and discard if you want a milder salsa, but I leave them in. Set oven to high broil. Place tomatillos, jalapeno and onion on foil covered broiling pan, skin side up. The onion and jalapeno pieces should be on the outer edges, with the tomatillos in the center. Place under broiler and roast until tomatillo skins begin to blacken, at least 5 minutes and possibly up to 10, depending on the power of your broiler. Rotate the pan and broil longer if needed to maximize blackening*. Let vegetables cool. Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse to desired texture, or use a molcajete and break it up the old fashioned way. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but ideally overnight. Add additional salt to taste if needed before serving.

*Recently my mother in law was making a tomatillo sauce with avocados and I encouraged her to roast the tomatillos and peppers. She did, but…just…could…not let them get really black. The result was delicious, but we will never know how truly blackened tomatillos would have changed the flavor. I know the urge will be strong to take the pan out before the skins are truly black and smoking, but it really expands the flavor of the results if you control yourself and let them go black.

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