Have you tried ...? Fresh tomatillos
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Thursday, September 27, 2012
9/27/12 at 7:13 AM
Fresh tomatillos boast a bright, tangy taste that can get lost in prepared sauces.
So, for a special treat, buy some tomatillos and roast them for a homemade salsa verde you won't forget. Use the sauce on all of your favorite Mexican foods: carne asada, enchiladas, burritos and as a dip for taquitos and quesadillas.
But it's also good on grilled meats, including beef, chicken and pork. Or, to perk up your morning scrambled eggs, heat up the eggs in a tortilla and drizzle some of the green sauce on top.
Tomatillos are related to tomatoes and are members of the nightshade family.
They are covered by a papery husk that may range in color from the pale green hue of the fruit itself to a light grocery-bag brown. The husks are inedible and should be removed before use.
Here's a great recipe for salsa verde, the tomatillo's main claim to fame. And because green tomatoes can be hard to find, we included another recipe that uses tomatillos as a substitute to make a dish similar to the popular appetizer fried green tomatoes.
ROASTED TOMATILLO SALSA VERDE
8 ounces (3 to 4 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
Fresh hot green chiles to taste (1 or 2 serranos or 1 jalapenos), stemmed
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
6 sprigs of fresh cilantro (thick bottom stems cut off), roughly chopped
1/4 small white onion, finely chopped
1. Roast the tomatillos, chiles and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, until blotchy black and softening (they'll be turning from lime green to olive), about 5 minutes. Flip them over and roast the other side.
2. Cool, then transfer everything to a blender, including all the juice the tomatillos have exuded during roasting. Add the cilantro and 1/4 cup water, then blend to a coarse puree. Scoop into a serving dish.
3. Rinse the onion under cold water, then shake to remove excess moisture. Stir into the salsa and season with salt, usually 1/2 teaspoon.
- adapted from Rick Bayless, "One Plate at a Time"
FRIED GREEN TOMATILLOS WITH JALAPEñO DIPPING SAUCE
1/2 cup jalapeño pepper jelly
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 cup cracker meal
12 medium tomatillos, sliced
2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup bacon drippings
1. Cook jelly and lime juice in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until jelly melts. Remove from heat; stir in lime rind and set aside.
2. Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish. Combine milk and egg in a small bowl, stirring well.
3. Combine cracker meal, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish. Coat tomatillo slices in flour mixture, dip in milk mixture and dredge in cracker meal mixture.
4. Heat vegetable oil and bacon drippings to 375 degrees in a deep fat fryer. Fry tomatillo slices in batches 2 to 3 1/2 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with jalapeño jelly mixture.
Note: To fry whole tomatillos, peel back husks, leaving stem ends attached; proceed as directed.
- adapted from Southern Living, via allrecipes.com
Have you tried ...
From funky fruits and vegetables to the hottest food trends on the market. You want to try them, and we do, too. We'll even suggest some ways to cook or serve them. See other "Have You Tried..." features at tulsaworld.com/haveyoutried.
Original Print Headline: Tomatillo fast facts
Tomatillo fast facts
Growing: They are ripe when the tomatillo fills out its papery husk but is still green. They are generally available from May through November.
Purchasing: Choose small tomatillos; they are sweeter. The husk should be light brown and fresh looking, not shriveled and dried.
Storing: Leave the husks intact, wrapped around the fruit like little paper bags. Either store on the counter or in the refrigerator. They will keep well for several weeks to a month.
Preparing: Remove the husks. They don't need to be peeled or seeded. Their texture is firm when raw, but they soften when cooked.