Saturday, July 01, 2006

Abuela Rosa's Salsa Verde

When I lived in west Denver there was a family who ran the chili tent on the corner near my house.

I love roasted chiles and could hardly wait for late September each year just to ride around and smell them roasting.

One year I grew some tomatillos. I had no idea how prolific those little plants can be and had an over-abundance of them three years running. Working out a trade (a bushel of tommies for a bushel of roasted), I got to know the Marron family better over the years and managed a couple of recipes from them.

The following is from Abuela Rosa (grandmother Rose) who taught me to make it by 'feel', whatever feels right when you're making it is the right thing to put in it.

It can get pretty hot. *

This makes a lot of the green yummy stuff.

1/2 bushel tomatillos, husked, washed and diced
2 large sweet onions, sliced and roasted on the grill, then diced fine
1/2 cup olive oil
12 large poblano peppers, roasted, skinned and diced (you can substitute anaheim peppers and add a few jalapenos in to equal the heat, pasillo peppers are also excellent)
3 cloves garlic, roasted and minced
2 cups green herbs chopped coarsely (cilantro is usually the herb of choice, but I use a mixture of parsley, basil and thyme, depending on what's available in my herb garden at the time, or what I can find at the store)
1 to 3 tablespoons salt (I use much less, but I'm weird about salt)

Roast the peppers and place in a plastic bag while you ready the rest of the ingredients
Remove the husks from the tomatillos, wash and dice, set aside
Roast the onions and dice, cook to a light brown in olive oil - add the garlic when the onions have just started to turn brown and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes
Add the chopped herbs and cook down then add the tomatillos and salt
As this is cooking down remove the peppers from the plastic bag and slip the skins off, remove the stems and chop them up then add to pot.

Cook this for about an hour on a slow simmer, mashing it all up as you stir it.
If this is too chunky for you, you can run it through a food processor or a blender, which makes it easier to put up in jars for later use.

The last time I made this I put up 32 half-pints and still had a couple of quarts for immediate consumption.

* try an habanero or two...