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From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa has been awarded the honor of "WINNER" in the "Cookbooks: International" category of the 2014 International Book Awards!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Refried Beans

Here is an excerpt (between the ****) from the book From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa that explains everything you need to know about refried beans, the authentic Mexican way!


The first thing I do with dried beans of any kind is sort them on a white plate, so that I can easily see the tiny stones or shriveled beans at a glance. Discard anything that looks foreign or discolored.

To soak or not to soak—in Mexico, it is not necessary to soak beans because they are not old beans. In other parts of the world, the turnover in dried bean supplies may not be as active, so if the beans are old, soaking is the way to go. If you choose to soak, then you will need to plan ahead, as they will need to soak overnight. Rinse the beans in a colander and then put them in a large pot. Cover them with cold water to about 7.62 cm/3 inches above the beans. Let sit until tomorrow. In the morning, drain and rinse again. They are now ready to be cooked.

Or ...

Rinse the beans in a colander and then put them in a large pot with a well-fitting lid. Cover them with cold water to about 7.62 cm/3 inches above the beans. Heat the beans over medium heat until they have come to a rolling boil. Keep the lid on—no peeking. Turn the heat off, and let them sit undisturbed for one hour. After one hour, drain the beans and rinse again. They are now ready to be cooked. Now, what you have been waiting for ... (drum roll) ...

Refried Beans ... THE RECIPE
        Frijoles Refritos

2½ cups dried beans
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
½ onion, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon dried epazote (optional)
3 Tablespoons real pork lard (fresh, if possible; not that white canned stuff) or oil (both are commonly used)

After you have either soaked the beans overnight or hydrated them by cooking for an hour, you are now ready to really cook them.

In your pot, put the newly rinsed beans, the onion, and garlic and add enough water to cover by 5 cm/2 inches. You will salt them a bit later.

Over medium heat, cook the beans 1 hour. Add the salt and epazote. Cook for another hour. Test for doneness at this point. Taste one to see if it is totally soft. If it is, they are done. If it still has a bit of chew to it, keep cooking. Check them at 30 minute intervals.

NOTE: The times may differ, depending on the age of the dried beans. The older the bean, the longer the cooking time.

When the beans are done, drain them, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking broth. Now is the time to mash the beans, onion, and garlic. The way to mash them offers another choice: you can mash them with a potato masher and have some lovely little chunks of beans mixed with the bean purée, or you can use the back of a large wooden spoon to mash them for a smoother texture. I like them really smooth, so I use an immersion blender. If your beans are too stiff, add some of the broth you kept—not all of it, just a little at a time to thin them out.

When you have the consistency you like, heat the lard or oil in a large frying pan. When it is hot, add the beans and let them fry, stirring occasionally until they are heated thoroughly and all the lard/oil has been absorbed. Adjust your salt, if necessary. Serve.


Tacos al pastor

page 117 From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa (recipe only)


2 kilos (4.4 pounds) boneless pork leg, sliced very thin (less than 6 mm / 1⁄4 inch)
6 ancho chiles
1⁄2 head garlic, peeled
3 teaspoons salt
1 large can sliced pineapple (1.7 pounds/820 grams)
1⁄3 large onion
oil (small amount for searing the meat)
warm corn tortillas (lots of them)

In a small pan of boiling water, add the ancho chiles. When they are soft, about 5–10 minutes, remove them from the water. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the stems, seeds, and veins. Place the cleaned chiles in a blender jar with the garlic, 3 teaspoons salt, onion, juice from the canned pineapple, and enough water to cover the chiles. Blend until very smooth. Pour into a wide pan or dish.

In a hot skillet or grill pan, drizzle 1 tablespoon oil. Heat until it is very hot. Dip the meat slices into the ancho sauce, then carefully place them in the hot pan. Since the meat is very thin, it will cook in about 3–4 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness you have). When the meat is done, remove it to a
plate. Scrape the scraps from the pan after each piece of meat is cooked and discard so you don’t have any burned sauce on the next piece. Add more oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed, and repeat the cooking process with as much of the meat as you wish to cook.

Dip the pineapple slices into the sauce, and sear them on both sides.

Chop the meat into bite-sized pieces and put on a large plate. Chop the pineapple into chunks, and place alongside the meat on the plate. Each person can make his or her own tacos from this serving plate.

Spoon the meat and pineapple into warm tortillas.

Carne asada

Sounds difficult doesn't it?  You have seen it on menus and thought this was some tradition that was tightly held in the family vault?  It only means grilled meat.   Traditional carne asada that I can buy here in Mexico is very thin, and can be called names like skirt steak outside of Mexico.  The steak is almost always seasoned with a dry rub, then grilled over hot coals.  The steaks are usually cooked well-done, not rare or medium-rare.  As you can guess, the steaks cook very fast so are easy to over-cook if you don't keep an eye on them.  Many carne asadas are cooked then chopped into bits for taco filling.  They can also be served as a small steak with some guacamole, grilled onions, pineapple or a variety of other sauces.  I had one yesterday for breakfast that was served with a fried egg and sauce on top. 

Dry seasonings: there are several dry steak seasonings on the market that are wonderful and perfectly acceptable to use. The ingredients to look for are essentially what you like as there are no set rules to seasoning carne asada. If you want to make your own, the seasonings should include salt (non-iodized), ground black pepper, ground cumin, chile powder, ground Mexican oregano and garlic powder. If you have garlic salt, then just omit the regular salt. Lightly sprinkle the seasonings on both sides of the beef and rub in. Grill until the meat is done the way you like it, then remove from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes. Chop the meat into small pieces and place in a bowl to keep warm.

Grilled chicken

Choose the cuts of chicken that you prefer.  I usually purchase a whole chicken and have the butcher butterfly it for me.  I then have a flat chicken to grill.  I take the meat I want to cut up off the bigger pieces and keep the drumsticks and wings to munch on later.  

Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry. Make sure to leave the skin on so the meat will not dry out. Whether you have the bone still attached is your personal choice, but there is good news and bad news considering the bone. The good news is the chicken will have more flavor, the bad news is it will take longer to cook if it still has the bone.

Salt and pepper the chicken, all around and rub it in. No other seasonings are necessary. (you can use Old Bay or dry rub for chicken if you prefer).  Grill to perfection! You know how to do that, right? Make sure to char the skin so it gets really crunchy. That is, after all, the best part. Your guests can always remove the skin if they desire.

After taking the chicken off the grill, allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve it in whole pieces or chop it i
nto small pieces and put in a bowl to serve in tacos.

Corn Husk Serving Bowls

These are great for salsas and you will need several for that big taco party!

If you are like me, I am always looking for fun or creative ways to serve salsas, nuts, olives, or spreads. These little bowls or 'boats' are easy to make, safe for food and disposable! What better combination is there for a serving dish?

The only thing you need to buy is a package of dried corn husks. Find them in the Mexican food area of your grocery store. You can also use fresh corn husks in the summer. Admit it, you thought they were only good for tamales!!!

If you have never handled dried corn husks, spread the package contents on the counter. Throw away any husks that are moldy. A little mold on the outside is ok*. Now, they will need to be cleaned before you use them. In a large pan, bring a few quarts or liters of water to a boil. Place the husks in the boiling water and simmer them for 5 minutes. Dunk them in the boiling water with a wooden spoon so you don't put holes in them. Allow them to sit for 10-15 minutes in the hot water. (*notice that any small amount of mold you had is gone)

Remove them from the hot water and allow to drain. Rinse each husk under running water while rubbing gently with your hands to remove any dirt that might still be attached. Separate the thinnest husk to make the ties, tearing off a long strip about the thickness of a shoestring, and keep them damp.

Take one of the clean, damp husks and gather the narrow end together. Wrap one of your ties 2 times around the gathered end and then tie the tie into a tight knot. Repeat with the wider end of the husk and tie. Place the newly formed 'bowl' on a counter or tray to dry. Repeat until you have enough bowls for the occasion.

Allow the husks you did not use to dry thoroughly and store in a plastic bag.


For the non-alcohol drinkers including kids:

Makes 2 liters/2 quarts

If you can find them, use Key Limes. Do not even try to make limonada with bottled lime juice, the kind you find on the grocery aisle, not in the freezer section—this drink is all about freshness! I do know how expensive limes can be, if that is the case where you live, just buy some frozen lime concentrate and make your limeade that way.

3⁄4 cup fresh lime juice (about 10–15 limes, depending on the size)
1 cup granulated sugar (use 3⁄4 cup sugar if you like it less sweet)
1 cup water plus more water and ice to fill a 2 liter/2 quart pitcher

Heat the 1 cup water until it is very warm but not hot. Make a simple syrup by adding the sugar and stirring to allow it to dissolve so you don’t have grainy limeade. This simple syrup will cool while you squeeze your limes.

Roll the limes on the counter using pressure from the heel of your hand to release more of the juice, especially if the limes are a bit hard. Cut the limes in half. Over a small strainer, squeeze the juice from the limes until you have at least 3⁄4 cup. You can use a squeezer, a reamer, or your hands to squeeze them; it doesn’t matter. The hand-held squeezer is the most common utensil for this task. Nearly every household in Mexico owns one.

Pour the lime juice and simple syrup into your pitcher. Stir to mix well. Add about 1-1⁄2 liters/1-1⁄2 quarts of cold water. Give it a taste. It should not make you pucker; it should just have a lovely refreshing flavor. If it tastes just perfect, add ice, and go sit out under the tree. If it needs a bit of adjusting, do so now. If it needs more sugar, make sure to melt it in some warm water before adding it to the limeade to avoid that gritty sensation. Too strong? Just add a bit more water. Not enough lime? Squeeze another.

Everyone has his or her own tastes when it comes to limeade, lemonade, or any other citrus drink. You will quickly find how to adjust yours to your taste buds. If you adjust the recipe, make sure to write it down so that the next time you make it, you will look like a pro.

A quick tip about limes: outside Mexico, limes tend to be a bit more expensive, so when limes go on sale in your area, buy as many as you can. Juice them into ice cube trays. When they are frozen, remove from the tray and place them in a freezer bag. Then, when you want a tall glass of limeade, pop 1 cube into a glass, add some simple syrup, cold water, and ice.

The Best Margarita You Will EVER Drink

My husband makes ALL the margaritas at every party we go to. No one cares that he isn't Mexican, he just flat out makes the best margaritas! I am going to share his recipe, although I didn't ask if I could do that, so keep it our secret.

First of all, he makes each margarita separately. He doesn't make them in a pitcher so each one he makes is exactly like the one before or it can be modified to be stronger or weaker, depending on each drinker.

Please promise me you will not buy that Margarita mix in a bottle or one of those tubs. The drinks smell like dirty armpits using that stuff AND have you read the list of ingredients? You have gone to all the trouble and planning to have an authentic Mexican taco party, so don't ruin it with that pre-packaged junk.

The Best Margarita You Will EVER Drink:

You will need for each drink:

Red solo cup
Fill with cubed ice
2 oz good tequila – we use José Cuervo Gold, nothing expensive
2 oz Cointreau, Triple Sec or other orange liqueur (does not need to be expensive)
juice from 1 lime

Fill the glass with Squirt.  Stir and serve with a straw.

**A note about Squirt or other soft drinks you 'pour' for your friends. You may like Diet Squirt or Diet pop but not everyone can tolerate it. When making drinks for others, always give them the option of either regular or diet. I, for instance, get violently ill when I am served anything with an artificial sweetener. I have had this happen to me a few times. Once at a restaurant and I bet they won't do that again with their customers because I ended up throwing up all over the place. Other times I have gotten an almost immediate migraine headache that stays for days. So be kind to your guests and always ask first.

Fresh Fruit Salsa

Today I am thinking fresh fruit salsas. Yep, that's it. Summertime, a long weekend and fresh fruit salsa to go on top of barbecued chicken, pork or salmon! Sounds good to me too.

The fruit you will want to buy or pick could be peaches, apricots, mangoes, nectarines, or plums. Any type fruit with a juicy, tender interior. This is a FRESH salsa so no cooking required AND no refrigeration. You can, of course, if you want, heat it up just for something a little different, but that will be your choice.

Start with 2 large peaches (not canned – but you may use unsweetened frozen if you must). Peel them and remove the seed. Dice the flesh into very small cubes. Make sure to catch all the juice dripping from them.

You will also need 1 very thin slice of purple onion diced very tiny, 1 tablespoon jalapeño or serrano chiles very finely diced, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar, and 1 tablespoon finely minced cilantro leaves. Toss them all together and let it sit in a bowl at room temperature.

Any of the above mentioned fruits can be used for this salsa, you can even combine varieties.

Cooked Chile Morita Salsa

The most under-used chile that I have ever seen is the chile morita. Any of you use it in your cooking or have tasted it? Even in Mexico they are not easily found. They look like a very small ancho chile, dark and wrinkled. When you smell them, it takes you to the great outdoors in front of a wood fire. I keep one in the car because the scent is so woodsy. They are a type of chipotle but you won't find them in a can of adobo. Rather, they are only sold dried.

Grown in northern Mexico in the state of Chihuahua (like the dog) they are purple in color when ripe, not red. Use them as you would a dried ancho chile. They need to be re-hydrated and then blitzed in the blender. When making a cooked or roasted salsa, only use one (or ½ of one), they are very smoky and will over-power your salsa if you use too many. 

1 chile morita
5 roma tomatoes
¼ onion
¼ teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic

Remove the stem and seeds from the chile. Toss it into some boiling water and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Drain, discarding the water. Place the chile into the blender and puree.

In the same pan, bring more water to a boil. Pop in the whole tomatoes and garlic. Cook those for 3 minutes. Drain, discarding the water. Place those and the remainder of the ingredients in the blender with the chile. Blitz on and off until you only have small chunks remaining.

Use this salsa on chips, chicken, tacos, eggs, beef, pork, fish or shrimp. It is very versatile and yes, very flavorful!

Ancho-Guajillo Chile Sauce

This is a simple yet tasty, versatile sauce that can be made ahead and either refrigerated or frozen. I love the smell in my kitchen when I toast chiles and there is almost no mess, I love that part too! Use this sauce when you cook rice: just put a couple of tablespoons in when you add the water. It is fabulous on pork or chicken - baked, grilled or roasted. Heat up some leftovers and make some enchiladas with this sauce. The options are limitless. Eggs? You bet!

Ancho chiles are mild with an earthy, smoky flavor while guajillos have more of a 'fruity' flavor and almost no heat. Make a batch or two and keep some on hand for almost any meal you want to add a Mexican flair.

A tip from my kitchen: I do make this sauce, several batches at a time and freeze. I use small quart size freezer bags and put about 1 cup in each bag. Don't forget to label the bag because in the frozen state, most sauces look alike!

Makes About 5 Cups

9 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
6 dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
5 cups very hot water

4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons salt

Heat a large 'dry' skillet (I use cast iron) over medium-high heat 2 minutes. With a slightly damp paper towel, wipe the outside of each chile – they probably have some dust on them. Open each chile, shake out the seeds (discard) and place the chiles flat in the skillet. Toast just until the chiles blister, pressing down on the chiles with a spatula or tongs , then turn them over and repeat, about 30 seconds total. Place the 'toasted' chiles in a bowl, then add 5 cups very hot water. Soak the chiles until they have hydrated, about 10 minutes.

Working in batches, puree the chiles with soaking liquid and all remaining ingredients in blender until smooth. (Can be made 1 day ahead, store covered and refrigerated; can also be frozen for future use)

Roasted Tomato Salsa

You are going to love making roasted salsa, it is the easiest of all the salsas to make. For equipment you will need a heavy dry pan, such as a cast iron pan, or grill pan and a blender. If you do not own a blender, use a food processor with the metal blade. Although your salsa will not be totally pureed, you will get a lovely salsa with small chunks in it.

Ingredients you need: fresh tomatoes – juicy ones, white onion, chiles – jalapeños or serranos, garlic, salt. Quantities of each depend on how much salsa you want, but again, start with 6 tomatoes, 1/8 of a whole medium onion, at least 1 chile (more if you like) and 2 cloves garlic. This is a roasted (cooked) salsa so you can add as much or little salt as you like after your salsa is all blended.

Heat the dry pan or grill pan to very hot, do NOT use oil. Put in the washed whole tomatoes, chiles and whole garlic cloves. You will begin turning them as you see dark char marks appear. Keep turning until all the sides have char marks. They will not be totally black, only have dark marks on them. Remove the tomatoes and garlic to the blender. No need to chop them.

Cut the onion in 2 or 3 smaller pieces and put them in the blender with the tomatoes.

Remove the stems from the roasted chiles. If you like, remove and discard the seeds and white membrane. Pop the chiles into the blender. Blitz on high until smooth or you can use on/off pulses to keep some small chunks. Add a little salt if you like and blitz again to mix. Pour this into a bowl and drizzle it over tacos, steaks, chops, baked potatoes, hamburgers or use it as a dipping sauce for chips.

If you are having a taco party, make a big batch of this salsa and pour half of the original blend into a bowl and add more chiles to the remainder and blitz again. You will have 2 separate salsas for your guests, one mild, one hotter.

No need to refrigerate unless you won't be eating for several hours.

Do ahead: Since you are already heating up the pan and roasting veggies, do several batches and pop them into food bags and freeze them whole. Keep them in separate bags so the flavors don't overpower each other. This will save time later when you may not have the time to roast the tomatoes and chiles but want some salsa.

Fresh Salsa

There are two recipes for the same salsa..... one may be easier for you to follow than the other, so here they are:  

Numero Uno:
The ingredient list is this: tomatoes, white onion, chiles, cilantro, fresh lime. That's it, nothing secret about that so far.

Quantities are a variable also.
  • Start with 6 ripe tomatoes. Cut them in half lengthwise, remove and discard the seeds and their liquid. Now dice the tomatoes into about 1/4” dice and place them in a pretty bowl. I like to use a clear bowl because the finished salsa is very colorful.
  • About ¼ of a medium size white onion. Although white is the onion of choice here, if you like milder onions, use what you like, purple, Walla Walla, Vidalia.
  • Chiles (chili is a Gringo spelling) are either jalapeño or serrano. The choice is yours to make. Jalapeños are larger and much milder than serranos but their seeds are bigger and more crunchy. I love the flavor of jalapeños but do not like chewing on the seeds. Serranos are smaller and hotter but their seeds are small and soft. Decide on which chile you want to use. Remove the seeds or don't remove the seeds, remember seeds add heat. If you are not too sure about the amount of spicy heat you want, remove the seeds and white membrane then dice the chiles very tiny. You are using gloves to handle those chiles, right? Start with one chile and add more to your liking. Remember you can always add more but removing them is much more difficult.
  • Cilantro is one of the most fragrant and versatile herbs I can think of. If you are cilantro challenged, then use flat leaf parsley or another fresh herb – this IS your salsa! Use only the leaves and roughly chop them. The amount you use can be from a couple of tablespoons to an entire bunch. I use the entire bunch – it is just the leaves and not the stems so it really isn't that much.
  • One fresh lime, juiced. Don't even think of using that bottled stuff. YUK! I know what the bottle says but it is like using a chemical cocktail on your wonderful fresh veggies.
Once you have everything chopped and put into the bowl, stir it around and give it a taste. Now is the time to add more of this or that. The salsa will not need refrigeration unless you won't be eating it for several hours.

I have heard of some people adding garlic, but frankly I don't like eating raw garlic. If you have other ingredients you want to include, there are no barriers to your imagination. Go for it!

Remember that with any salsa you make, whether it be tomato or fruit, fresh or cooked, the recipes are only a guideline, not a rule. As you put together a salsa, taste it often to judge for yourself what other ingredients you may want to include. Consider salsa a blank canvas and you are a freelance painter. If you experiment and not quite sure you will like the final result, only make a small amount. Personally, I do no think you could make a mistake but heck, that's me and I would eat dirt if it had a good salsa on top! I have given you a starting point if you have never made salsa before. Salsas should be easy to make and always taste fresh. So please give it a try, I think you will be happy with your results!

One cast-in-stone rule of FRESH (not-cooked) salsas: NEVER add salt. 

Numero Dos:

Page 21 From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa (excerpt only)

The recipe is made with either serrano chiles or jalapeños, depending on whose kitchen you are in. Serrano chiles are more prevalent in some kitchens, while jalapeños are more prevalent in others. Both are wonderfully fresh tasting. The ratio of chiles and tomatoes are a personal preference, even in Mexican kitchens.

I find jalapeños very mild but also very flavorful, so I do like to use them in my salsa. My ratio of 1 chile to 1 tomato may be too hot and spicy for you. Feel free to adjust the quantity. I do, however, remove some of the seeds because I just don’t like chomping down on so many seeds in my salsa. I am going for good flavor and texture. If you do use serranos, it is not necessary to remove all the seeds, as they are quite tender.


6 ripe roma tomatoes, seeds removed
6 jalapeños or serranos (use your own discretion on the quantity)
½ small white onion
½ cup cilantro - measured before chopping
2 limes

Chop the tomatoes into a medium-sized dice. Remove the seeds as you go; they add no flavor, just moisture.

Okay, go get your gloves on! Remove the stem end from the jalapeños, stand the chile on the flat end, and carefully slice down the chile between the flesh and the seeds. This is actually the easiest method to remove those pesky seeds. When you have finished this step, dice them into very tiny squares. If you are using serranos, you can de-seed them the same way or just dice them up with the seeds.

Chop the onion into a small dice. Chop the cilantro leaves roughly.

Combine all the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and as much of the chiles as you want. Then squeeze the juice from the 2 limes over the salsa and gently stir to combine.

Under no circumstances should you add salt! Salt draws out the water, and you will end up with your salsa swimming in a pool of watery tomato juice.

NOTE: Increase the recipe for the size party you are having. Double the tomatoes and cilantro. Only increase the amount of onion by about ¼ and add lime juice to taste. It should taste a bit 'limey' but not overpower the other flavors. Stir it well and give it a taste. You can always add more if needed.

Green Salsa

How To Make Green Salsa

Green can come from any number of green herbs, green chiles or green tomatillos. To make it even more difficult, there are cooked versions and fresh versions. Whew...... way too many decisions! Here are some common green salsas that my Mexican friends always make.

Green Chile Salsa

This is pretty easy. You will need some chiles, either jalapeño or serrano. Start with 2 or 3 chiles for just a small amount of salsa. Remove the stems and if you want to tame them, remove some or all of the seeds. Toss the chiles in a blender. Add in 1 thin slice of onion, 1 Tablespoon of cilantro leaves, ½ of one lime juiced, a couple tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt. Add the water a small amount at a time so it doesn't get too watery. You can always add more if you need. The salsa should not be thick. Blend until very smooth and pour into a small bowl. This sauce is amazing on homemade tacos, burritos, refried beans, or as I do, on potato salad! You can substitute any of your favorite chiles in this recipe. Habaneros are great but if you are not used to the heat, you will feel like you just ate hot lava!

You can do the same salsa with different results just by tossing the chiles and garlic in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and discard the water. Remove the stems and any seeds you don't want. Pop everything into the blender and blitz. A totally different flavored salsa!

Herb Salsa

Have you ever made pesto? Same idea different ingredients. You will need either 1 bunch of cilantro or flat leaf parsley. At least one (or more) jalapeño or serrano chiles, 1 small clove of garlic and bit of water (the amount will vary depending on how thin you want the salsa).

Whether you use cilantro or parsley, it does not matter. The flavor will be totally different, but they are both wonderful. Cut and discard the tough stem ends from the cilantro or parsley, and place the remainder of the stems in with their leaves in a blender with the other ingredients. When adding the water, start with ¼ cup and go from there if you need to thin it out. Remember this salsa should be as liquid as the cooked tomato salsa. Blitz until you have a liquid salsa. This salsa is good on eggs, pasta, baked potatoes, shrimp, fish, pork, chicken. I would not use it on beef because the flavor is too delicate for beef.

I hope you try one or all of these salsas. Some ingredients may not be too familiar to you, but try them. Almost every produce department carries these items. They need to be fresh for your salsas to taste fresh. Mexican cooking is all about freshness and flavor. It DOES make a difference!

Tomatillo Salsa

This salsa is almost always cooked, at least the tomatillos are cooked.

I will assume that you know what in the heck tomatillos are. If not, then you need to Google them. Ok, so I Googled it for you... that will give you everything you wanted to know about tomatillos but were afraid to ask.

Ingredients you need: Start with 8 tomatillos. That doesn't make much salsa but it will give you the information you need to make more. 1/8 of a white onion, 1 small garlic clove, 1 or more jalapeño or serrano chiles, ¼ cup cilantro leaves, salt to taste.

So you bought these cute little green tomato looking things with a husk on them. What now? Remove the husk and throw it away. The tomatillo will be a little sticky after you do that, personally, I don't like the feel of that so I wash them with soap and water. Rinse them really good to get the soap off.

Bring some water to a boil in a small saucepan. When it is boiling, carefully pop in the tomatillos, chiles and whole garlic clove. In a very short time (3-4 minutes) you will see the tomatillos turn from a lovely green to a dull green. Remove them along with the garlic using a slotted spoon and place them in a blender. Leave the chiles in the water for about 2 minutes longer. Drain and discard the water. Remove the stems from the chiles and any seeds if you wish. Toss the chiles in the blender along with the onion, cilantro and a pinch of salt, do not omit the salt.

Pour into a bowl and serve over meat, vegetables, eggs, the list goes on. Or, use it as a dipping sauce for chips. This sauce freezes well.

As seen on:

As seen on: