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Sam I Am’s Sauce du Jour: Salsa Verde

salsaverdeYou will like it in a house.

You will like it with a mouse.

You will like it here or there.

You will like it anywhere.

This salsa verde, from Diana Kennedy’s “The Essential Cuisines of Mexico” is a wonderfully bright, verdant mixture that seems to go with everything. It’s made with the usual salsa ingredients–onion, cilantro, chili–and tomatillos. These small, green, roughly tomato-like fruit have a distinctively wonderful resiny tang, and the resulting sauce is delicious with pulled pork, on chips, or lightly warmed atop tortillas or toast with eggs for a simple supper or homey brunch dish.

I’ve fiddled with the quantities a bit, and neither lime nor pepper are original to the recipe. Ms. Kennedy–a doyenne of Mexican cuisine who once spent a week at Oyamel teaching the kitchen how to make tamales PROPERLY–would probably have a fit, but such is life. Also, if you happened to be roasting poblano peppers at the time, adding one–peeled and seeded–to the first round of ingredients would not be an unwelcome addition. This usually gets doubled and put on everything till it’s gone.

Salsa Verde
adapted from Diana Kennedy

2 Serrano chiles
4 tbs chopped white onion
1 small clove garlic
1/2 c chopped cilantro, firmly packed
1 tbs fresh lime juce
8 oz tomatillos
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the tomatillos: Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Peel the sticky papery membrane away from the tomatillos and blanch in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes, till just starting to turn translucent.

Prepare the remaining ingredients as directed. Throroughly wash and dry the cilantro before chopping–there is nothing worse than sandy, gritty salsa. Put onion, garlic, chiles, lime juice, and cilantro in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to mince finely. Add salt and pepper to taste, pulsing to combine. Add in the prepared tomatillos and pulse till roughly incorporated. Adjust seasonings.

Kennedy, Diana. The Essential Cuisines of Mexico. (New York: Clarkson Potter). 2000.

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