Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tomatillo Salsa Crudo

I am still obsessed with Mexican food since I came back, but my excuse is that it has always been one of my favorite cuisines. After all, growing up in LA is a lot like living in a suburb of Mexico City. Last week, I ate a lot of Salsa Verde and I was missing it so I ran to the store to buy tomatillos to make some. They were on sale so I bought a lot!  Tomatillos look a lot like green tomatoes, and they are related, but they are really more closely related part to Gooseberries and they have a charming little husk covering them up. These papery husks must be removed and the slightly sticky residue needs to be washed off before you cut them up. Now, I like my salsas chunky, so I hand chop everything, but if you like your salsa to be smoother, you can puree this salsa in a food processor or blender to create the consistency that you prefer. These fruits are also good for you. In Chinese Medicine, Tomatillos are considered an antibacterial food and are especially good for inflammation, respiratory conditions, abscesses, coughs, fevers and sore throats. Most important though, is that that they have a lovely tart flavor. While they are in season, this salsa is definitely worth making!

Tomatillo Salsa Cruda

1 pound fresh Tomatillos, husked, rinsed and chopped into small pieces
1 fresh Serrano Chili, seeded and minced
1/2 large Onion, minced
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Handful of cilantro – stems removed and leaves chopped
Juice of one lime
1 teaspoon of agave syrup (or 1/2 teaspoon of sugar)
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a frying pan and add onions and garlic. Cook until just wilted and translucent.  Add in the Tomatillos, water and Serrano Chili.  Cook for 15 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice, the cilantro and lime and salt to taste.  Serve with Tortilla chips.

Five Element Analysis

Tomatillos are green and sour so they belong to the Wood Element and the lime juice adds even more Wood. The Serrano Chili contributes the Fire Element and the cilantro, garlic and onions bring in the Metal Element. The agave syrup adds just a hint of Earth so serving this salsa with Tortilla Chips made with corn makes sure that the Earth Element is completely present. Only the Water Element is missing, so this is also a good sauce to serve with eggs, fish or pork or as a prelude to a soup course.  

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