Every Friday, a DIY expert spares us a trip to the grocery store and shows us how to make small batches of great foods at home.
Cooked Salsa Verde is, hands down, the salsa I make most frequently at home. It's my very favorite version -- and that's coming from a salsa fanatic!
I love this recipe not only because it comes together in 15 minutes, but also because of its versatility. You can use it as the base of a meat and potato stew; let it set the tone for your enchiladas or chilaquiles; or drizzle it on quesadillas, tacos, or sunny side up eggs on a lazy Sunday morning -- and those are just a few ideas.
More: Crunchy, oven-baked tortilla chips make the perfect vehicle for fresh salsa.
The flavor of this salsa verde is matchless and intriguing. It has the punchy tartness of tomatillos and a stroke of mild heat that balances it off. My husband and my youngest son spoon it right into their mouths after we've had a full meal -- that's how good it is.
Salsa verde is a staple not only in my Mexican kitchen in the US, but also in most Mexican homes I've visited. All it takes is three steps: simmer, purée, and pour. And if you want to enhance the flavor even further, simmer it down a bit more.
Makes about 2 cups
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed
1 garlic clove
2 jalapeño or serrano chiles, or to taste
1/3 cup coarsely chopped white onion
1 cup cilantro leaves and top part of stems
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
Place the tomatillos, garlic, and chiles in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the tomatillos change from bright green to pale green and are soft but not falling apart, about 10 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatillos, garlic, and one of the chiles to a blender or food processor. Add the onion, cilantro, and salt. Purée until smooth. Taste, and add more chile if necessary until you have the desired amount of heat.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Pour the salsa into the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
Photos by James Ransom