Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Little Time in the Kitchen and, Of Course, the Garden

I am so pleased with the way the garden is going.  And growing.  I love walking out early in the morning to start the sprinklers, pluck a couple weeds, and see the progress - often overnight - of these green things growing to nourish us.  I finally planted seeds for the arugula and romaine lettuce, as well as some more radishes, in the small bed behind the house.

After our visit to Maricella's where I renewed a craving for horchata, I have wanted to make tomatillo salsa again, because Maricella had a fabulous salsa verde at her party that I had a hard time staying away from.  Friday morning, I pulled out my trusty personal cookbook and decided to make tomatillo salsa.  I'd remembered the day before to pick up some tomatillos from they store.  We grew these in Sebastopol, and had some here in Healdsburg last year and the year before, but they are all volunteer plants and I am not sure if or where they will show up.  I really should get some planted instead of looking for the volunteers, because I love these little green gems.

The recipe is ridiculously easy.  Husk the tomatillos and put them in a pot with water to cover.  Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.  The tomatillos smell so sweet as you put them into the blender with some onion, cilantro and serrano chiles and a bit of salt.  I added black pepper and garlic to my version today.  I neglected to remove the seeds from the chiles, so it's a bit warmer than I'd like, but it isn't bad.  You might want to seed your chiles the first time you make this and see what the heat is like.  I love the flavor of serranos, but they are hotter than jalapenos.

The recipe is below.  I don't remember the source and didn't write it down in my cookbook.  We started making this at the Sebastopol house between 2001 and 2003.  It's not Maricella's salsa so I need to keep hunting for a similar recipe, but it's fresh and spicy.  A great way to celebrate any time of year that you can find tomatillos.

As an update on the homemade BBQ sauce experiment, I discovered that the sauce tasted fabulous in the chicken recipe, but it did require more time to cook down so it wasn't so thin.  It looks like there are more experiments in BBQ sauce in my future.  I am looking forward to trying my mom's recipe.

I dozed off while still unknitting the shawl, and after dinner fell asleep on the couch again for a couple hours.  Becca and I had been up until 1am the previous night which she finished her art final project.  It felt good to get caught up on sleep a little bit. The downside to that was that I was wide awake until almost midnight!

Tomatillo Salsa

8 oz. tomatillos, husked
2 serrano chiles, quartered lengthwise and roughly chopped
1/2 white (or yellow or red - whatever you like) onion, chopped
5 cilantro sprigs (or more!)

Put the tomatillos in a saucepan with water to cover.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.  Drain.

Puree in a blender with the chiles, onion, cilantro and approximately 1/4 teaspoon salt.  If desired, add garlic or other spices.

This recipe can easily be doubled and still be accommodated by most standard blenders.

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