Sunday, October 25, 2020

Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa

Winter came early this year in the midwest. With over 6" of snow last week, we had to do the sad work of pulling the late bloomers out of the garden. We leave our tomatillos, carrots and beets until the very end. Despite a peculiar growing season, the tomatillos did not disappoint! 

Tomatillos need a long grow season, 75 to 100 days, and they need friends. Unlike tomatoes, tomatillos are not self-pollinating, so plan to plant them in multiples. Hardy in zones 8-10, this means starting your seeds inside if you want your plants to produce before the snow flies. The tomatillo is ready to pick and eat when it's filled out its husk - the husk begins to turn yellow and dry out. 

We plant tomatillos for one reason - green hell salsa (a.k.a. chipotle tomatillo salsa!) Green hell is the type of salsa that allows you to turn up the heat or keep it cooler. We were first introduced to this salsa on a trip to California ten years ago -- it took a few days to get used to the peppers. We modify it slightly depending on who will be eating it! 

This salsa keeps great in the fridge or canned. Tomatillos are a little sweeter than tomatoes and can be used in a number of dishes to provide an acidic balance. We also freeze it to use in white chicken chili throughout the winter (YUM!) 

The key ingredients - fresh veggies and great cumin. We love Penzey's ground cumin. Good spices make a huge difference in recipes! Feel free to hold back a chipotle pepper or add just a little habanero pepper at a time, to perfect your fire level! The adobe sauce balances the salsa with a hint of bbq, but don't let it fool you - those chipotle peppers pack a punch. If cumin isn't your thing, substitute it for your favorite salsa spices. 

1 pound tomatillos, cut into quarters
1 habanero pepper, sliced into two (use the seeds and all!) 
1 onion (white or yellow), chopped
3 garlic cloves 
1 or 2 chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce 
the juice of one lime (or a little more if you like the kick!)
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup cilantro (if you do not like cilantro, replace with basil or use only parsley)
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1 T cumin (use cumin to taste, you may like a little more or a little less) 

Add ingredients to food processor. Chop, then blend. Your salsa should not be chunky, but will have seeds. 

Enjoy with corn chips, on tacos, or anything else that needs a kick!


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