Friday, February 11, 2011

Tomatillo Sauce

Tomatillos --literally "little tomato" in Spanish-- taste nothing at all like a tomato.  They have more of a tart, lemony flavor and they lend their little kick to salsa verde and a host of other Mexican sauces. The papery husk is removed like gift wrapping to reveal the peppy little veggie inside.

Tomatillo Sauce
Makes about 2 cups

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
1/8 cup seeded and minced jalapeno (optional if you don't like the heat)
1 1/2 cups canned tomatillos* or 8-10 fresh tomatillos that have been husked, washed and quartered
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat the canola oil in a medium pan, and saute the onion, garlic, and jalepenos (if using) for 2-3 minutes, until the onion is translucent.  Add the tomatillos to the onion mixture; continue to saute for 5-8 minutes until the tomatillos begin to soften.  Cool for a few minutes, then transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade (or a blender).  Process until pureed.  Add cilantro and salt, give it a few more whirls of the blade.

Serve with chips, as a sauce for poultry, beef, pork, or seafood, brushed on an ear of grilled corn (YUM!), or in this King Ranch Chicken Casserole recipe. 

*If you can find canned tomatillos, feel free to use them in this recipe.  

Recipe adapted from:  The Whole Foods Market Cookbook