Salsa Verde!

You can ask any of my friends and they will tell you that aside from italian food my favorite food is of course mexican. I would eat mexican food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday if I could. The flavor combinations matched with how simple and pretty healthy most of the dishes are makes it definitely my favorite genre of cuisine. So I was watching the Food Network (Are there really any other channels on TV?) and I happened to turn on the TV in the middle of an episode of Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals. Rachel is great and I love her creativity but I am not always super fond of everything that she makes. This particular episode though she was making this salsa to go with these pork tacos that looked seriously amazing! I think I thought about that salsa this entire past week and then halfway through the week I decided that on Friday after my test in my last class I was going to run to the store and by the ingredients needed to make salsa! I get way too excited sometimes about food I want to make but seriously watching me make my way through the store on Friday, you would have thought I was a game show participant on Supermarket Sweep. Ridiculous.

I decided to not use Rachel Ray’s recipe for this salsa but after a few minutes googling “best salsa verde recipes” came to one on allrecipes.com. I figured that for the most part all the salsa verde recipes out there were going to be somewhat the same with little variations here and there so if I wasn’t super happy with this one, I could always try a different one next time. Salsa de Tomatillos Como Las Asadas y Big Star is the name of the recipe that I used. Tomatillos, garlic, lime, cilantro, onions, serrano and poblano chiles are the ingredients that make up this recipe. This salsa recipe is reasonably fast and easy to make. I think it took me a couple of hours total just between the prepping, sauteing, broiling, simmering, blending, and cooling. My apt smelled amazing last night as I was mixing and combining each one of the ingredients throughout the process! I do however need to mention that you should be careful when handling the chiles. I have never roasted chiles before but understood that the seeds and the ribs are the spiciest part of the chiles. After broiling them in the oven after I had halved them, seeded and stemmed them I had to let them steam in a bowl covered by plastic wrap. This is an important step because it is going to allow the roasted flavor of the chiles to sink in through the outerskin and into the flesh of the chiles, transfering the roasted flavor to the salsa. Anyways, after they were done steaming, it was time to remove the blackened skin from the peppers and I guess I may have spent a little too much time peeling the first serrano because by the time I was done my fingers were burning! Let me reiterate by saying that my fingers didn’t get burned from the heat in temperature of the chiles but from the heat from the spiciness; basically a chemical burn. Work quickly or maybe wear gloves if you are not used to doing this because I basically had my entire right hand in a glass of cold water for most of the night. Doesn’t look or feel cool so just be prepared to work quickly at that part of the process.

All in all I really enjoyed making this though and it was definitely a hit with everyone who tried it. One thing I should also mention is that this salsa is not spicy at all. I definitely added some cayenne pepper and Siracha hot sauce to the salsa after I was done making it to try and give it a little more heat. I added a little bit each time until I felt like I had gotten it to the point where it wasn’t overwhelming with heat but at the same time would have a little kick at the end. This was a good move on my part because I wasn’t sure who was going to be eating this salsa or what their spicy preference would be and it’s also good to start mild and work your way up when it comes to cooking spicy things that way everyone will have a chance to enjoy what you make, especially people that aren’t fans of super spicy things.

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