At our house, we have a saying..."Don't yuk my yum!". We are trying to raise kids that aren't picky eaters by exposing them to many different kinds of food. It wasn't that long ago that one of my kids asked "Why can't you cook food like everyone else? Like tater tot hotdish?" The reason? It's not very healthy or creative and I think it's kind of gross. I don't cook like that. I like to use fresh, healthy ingredients to make great tasting good for you dishes. I've created this blog to share my favorite recipes with you.

Follow my kitchen adventures from using up vegetables from our weekly CSA box to baking and creative cooking.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What to do with Tomatillos?

We have been getting loads of  tomatillos in our CSA boxes from Red Goose Gardens for the past few weeks. In Spanish, the word for tomatillo (tomato verde) literally means green tomato.  They are usually about the size of a golf ball, so a little smaller than most tomatoes.  They are used often in Mexican cooking and I tend to stay with that theme.  90% of the time, I make salsa verde out of the tomatillos.  First, I remove the papery covering, wash them and roast them in the oven to get good flavor out of them.

I roasted hot peppers at the same time, used a few for the recipe and froze the rest for later.  Not sure what I'm going to use them for, though.   
When they are cooled enough to handle, I make them into salsa verde.  There are many recipes for this out there, but this is my favorite: 

Salsa Verde
1 1/2 lb tomatillos
1/2 c. chopped white onion
1/2 c. cilantro leaves (I leave this out if I don't have it)
1 T.  lime juice
1/4 t. sugar
2 Jalape├▒o peppers, stemmed, seeded roasted (I roast them with the tomatillos)
Salt to taste

Place tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, chili peppers, sugar in a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt. Store in refrigerator or freezes well in baggies. 

This salsa is often eaten with chips just like any other salsa, but I think it's a little sour for that.  As I said in a previous post about Chicken Enchiladas, I most often use this salsa as enchilada sauce.  This time, however, I used it as a base for Chicken Tomatillo Stew.  This recipe is a combination of recipes I found online, so I have a hard time citing my source.  My biggest influence is probably once again. 

Chicken Tomatillo Stew
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 t. cumin
1 t. coriander
2 c. chicken stock (I had homemade but boxed or canned is fine)
2 c. salsa verde (you can buy this rather than make it)
1 t. oregano
2 T. chopped cilantro

Heat about 2 T. of oil in a big soup pot over medium heat.  Add cubed chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper.  Brown chicken on all sides.  Remove chicken.  Heat a little more olive oil in the pot, then add the onions, cumin and coriander, cooking until onions start to soften.  Add back the chicken, then add chicken stock, tomatillo sauce and oregano.  Heat to simmering, then cook for about 20 minutes longer until chicken is done.  Stir in cilantro right before serving.  Serve over rice and topped with sour cream to cool down if the spice from the jalapenos in the salsa verde is a little much for you.

I forgot to remove the seeds from the peppers before I made the salsa so ours was pretty spicy.  I think the girls had just as much sour cream as stew in their bowls, but they both said they liked. it.  Everyone agreed that this recipe can be added to our regular rotation.  It's a great way to use all that salsa verde in the freezer!

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