Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Salsa Verde

Difficulty: Easy

This salsa is sooo good. Sweet with a spicy background. Incredibly easy to make. You can make it as sweet and hot as you like just adjust according to your personal tastes. I love the brightness of the fresh cilantro and do yourself a favor and use fresh lime, never bottled. Keep your citrus on the counter at room temperature for maximum juice.

Again, this was part of the salsa demo I did for an Enrichment activity for my ward. I learned that whole tomatillos are best, they taste fresher than their crushed counterparts. When shopping for ingredients I needed lots of tomatillos and the store only had a #10 can of crushed, I grabbed a smaller can of whole tomatillos for me to test it out at home. Incredible difference! The crushed has added starch and has been cooked down so much it takes away the fresh loose texture of the whole ones. If you have to use crushed in a pinch it is fine, no one will ever know because they don’t have anything to compare to. You would use about 2 cups of crushed tomatillos or 1 28 oz. can and up the onion to 1/2 and make sure you taste before serving, I found that the crushed needed more fresh ingredients to combat the cooked flavor. Or just stick with whole canned tomatillos to spare you any grief, then no adjustments are necessary, just follow the recipe.

1 28 oz. can whole tomatillos, drained, ½ cup juice reserved
1/4 to 1/3 bunch fresh cilantro
¼ cup canned jalapeños or 1 fresh jalapeno, stemmed and seeded according to taste
4 TBS sugar
3 cloves garlic
1/4 white onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
from 1/2 fresh lime

Directions: In bowl of a food processor, pulse onions and garlic until combined, about 5 pulses. Add tomatillos, jalapenos, cilantro, sugar and salt. Pulse until smooth; add reserved tomatillo juice and fresh lime. Pulse one more time and serve. Refrigerate leftovers, makes about 2 cups and will keep about 1 week.



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Difficulty: Easy (More time needed to roast veggies)

Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Last night I did a salsa demo for my ward. This recipe is so good and easy to make. You do need about 25 minutes to roast the veggies but after that is it smooth sailing with your food processor. In preparation for my evening I roasted the tomatoes and such the night before and let them hang out in the fridge, they released some wonderful juices and I did not need to add any water to the salsa to thin it out.

With salsa everything is according to taste. Don’t like it hot? Take out the seeds and ribs of the jalapeño but be careful! The oil from the chile gets on your hands and you are burning for a good 4 hours or so. Wash your hands well, do not touch your face or eyes or just use latex gloves, saves you every time!

Adapted from Rick Bayless

1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 10 medium), preferably plum
1 medium-large fresh jalapeño chile (1 to 1 1/2 ounces), stemmed
Half of a white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 TBS oil
1/4 cup water, as needed (none if your tomatoes have rested overnight and released oodles of juice)
1/3 bunch fresh cilantro
1 generous teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Juice from 1/2 fresh lime

1. Heat the broiler. Lay the whole tomatoes and jalapeños out on a broiler pan or baking sheet. Set the pan 4 inches below the broiler and broil for about 6 minutes, until darkly roasted — even blackened in spots — on one side (the tomato skins will split and curl in places). With a pair of tongs, flip over the tomatoes and chiles and roast the other side for another 6 minutes or so. The goal is not simply to char the tomatoes and chiles, but to cook them through while developing nice, roasty flavors. Set aside to cool.

(In the pic below, I was roasting for all 4 recipes I was making, so don’t freak out about how many tomatoes and onions there are!)

2. Turn the oven down to 425 degrees. Separate the onions into rings. On a similar pan or baking sheet, combine the onion, oil and garlic. Roast in the oven, stirring carefully every couple of minutes, until the onions are beautifully browned and wilted (even have a touch of char on some of the edges) and the garlic is soft and browned in spots, about 15 minutes total. Cool to room temperature.

3. In a food processor, pulse the jalapeños (no need to peel or seed them) with the onion and garlic until moderately finely chopped, scraping everything down with a spatula as needed to keep it all moving around. Scoop into a big bowl. Without washing the processor, coarsely puree the tomatoes — with all that juice that has accumulated around them — and add the onion mixture back to the food processor bowl. Stir in enough water to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency if needed. Add cilantro leaves, salt, vinegar and lime juice, pulse until cilantro is chopped and ingredients combined.

4. Taste and adjust accordingly if needed. If you’re planning to use your salsa right away, simply pour it into a bowl and its ready, or refrigerate it covered and use within 5 days.

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