Luckily for Dumbo Domestic, the incredible Aunt Lynnie was in town from Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho last week and gave us a private Mexican cooking lesson! Fresh from our trip to the Mayan Riviera, we were so grateful to spend some one on one time with our very cool west coast based aunt, an expert chef no less, who taught us to prepare an authentic Mexican snack that will be perfect at your next cocktail gathering, taco night or any other time you want to impress your salsa addicted husband or friends! You see, Aunt Lynnie and Uncle Frank spent a number of years living in Todo Santos, Mexico to learn and teach the art of Mexican cooking. Watching Aunt Lynnie roast the chili peppers and dice the yellow onion for our salsa, her love for the region and its spicy and colorful cuisine is palpable. In addition to the salsa, we learned a very cool trick for making restaurant style tortilla chips! We used a kitchen scissor to cut up mini corn tortillas (found at any Mexican grocery or large supermarket) and fried them in hot oil to a golden crisp. Cutting the tortilla rounds into perfectly symmetrical triangle shaped chips might just be as addicting as eating them! While I learned about soaking onions in water to remove some of the heartburn inducing bite, Mr. DD was standing over the bubbling oil using tongs to carefully flip the fresh chips! Aunt Lynnie is a very patient and inspiring teacher and this tomatillo salsa recipe while simple in its preparation and ingredients achieves a complex bite, balancing acid, sugar and spice. The full recipe follows the pictures, below. For a more extensive collection of authentic Mexican recipes, please visit Aunt Lynnie at CookWithUs.com
Roasted Tomatillo-Serrano Salsa / Salsa Verde (courtesy of Aunt Lynne at Cook With Us)
The “green salsa” is very versatile; we love it with eggs, dolloped on fresh fish, or as the final accompaniment on a taco.
• 1 Lb. (10 to 12) medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed
• 4 – 5 fresh serrano chiles
• 4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
• ½ cup white onion, diced
• ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
• sea salt to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Lay the tomatillos in a single layer on a baking sheet and broil at high heat until tomatillos blister and brown on one side, approx. 5 min. Turn over and roast other side. Cool on roasting pan. Tomatillos may also be roasted on a hot comal or heavy skillet.
Roast chiles and garlic on a comal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Roast until the chiles are blackened in spots and the garlic is soft. Cool, then pull stems off chiles and scrape out the seeds. Peel the garlic cloves.
Scrape the roasted tomatillos and all juices from the baking sheet into a blender, along with the roasted chilies and garlic. Puree coarsely or pulse blender until the salsa is lightly pureed.
Scrape salsa into a serving bowl; slowly add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water to give sauce a spooning consistency. Rinse chopped onion under cold water (deflame), drain well, and add to mixture. Add the cilantro, season with salt and sugar to taste. Refrigerate before serving.
Makes 2 cups
Another option for making the salsa is to char chunks of white onion ( about half of a large white onion) along with the chiles and garlic. This will result in a salsa that has more roasted flavor and less of a bite of raw onion.
*The natural pectin in the tomatillos will thicken the salsa if refrigerated for a few hours before serving.
Salsa will keep for several days in the refrigerator.