You say tomato, I say tomatillo

Tomatillos ready to be picked

This spring I decided to plant a tomatillo plant.  The last time I tried this it failed miserably (pre-automatic sprinkler system).  This year I have a bumper crop.  I decided to make some Mexican Salsa Verde.  I was introduced to making Salsa Verde by my dishwasher when I was working at Culinary School of the Rockies.

Tomatillos are an interesting fruit.  You have to remove the papery husk to get to the fruit.  The fruit is very sticky and it takes effort to wash the sticky residue off your hands.  In order to use them to make Salsa Verde, you need to boil them or cook them in some way.  I will try to grill then soon to see how that Salsa turns out.

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde

1 lb. Tomatillos

1/4 onion small dice

2 limes

1/4 cup Cilantro leaves

2 Jalapeños (stem and seeds removed, unless you like it hotter)

1 tsp. Sugar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

Peel the husks off the tomatillos

Place in boiling water and boil for around 5 minutes (they will change color to a lighter lime green)

Put into a blender with the chopped onion, cilantro, the jalapeños, lime juice and sugar

Purée until very smooth and then season with salt and pepper to taste

Place in the fridge to cool down and then serve with chips or as a topping for tacos, enchiladas, burritos and tamales

Overall it is a very easy and tasty sauce and it is especially rewarding when you are growing almost all the elements yourself.

Dog and Pony show

More summer bounty from the garden

The past week has been filled with activity.  The garden is pumping out beautiful produce and we have been of course feasting on the bounty.  Just finished cooking a Greek casserole called Pastitsio (dubbed Greek lasagna by Saveur) using mostly what I had in the garden.

Last night I decided to finally attempt to grill pizza and top it with the tomatoes pictured above. Continue reading

Treasures from the Garden

a Caprese salad made with tomatoes from the garden

This past weekend we had 21 close friends and family over for lunch at our house.  This time of year the garden is beaming with produce and begging for simple dishes that exploit the flavors of the summer sun.  I made an awesome Asian slaw and used Vietnamese cilantro from the garden (very unique flavor) to give it that je ne sais quoi (most didn’t know quoi) to the salad.  I roasted a 15lb. beef strip loin from my friend Mike Callicrate on the grill and I served the Caprese salad pictured above made with tomatoes and basil from my garden.  I drizzled some Domaine les Bastidettes Extra Virgin olive oil from les Baux de Provence, spinkled some fleur de sel and drizzled some amazing  Campari aged Balsamic vinegar.  The salad zinged with flavor and bold colors.

We feasted and enjoyed the heat of the day and great company.

Red hot tamale

Grilled vegetable tamale with poblano crema

If there is one project I have been fairly consistent about, it is the monthly entry for Deep Plate blog.  The above picture I sneaked in after teaching a class on Vegetarian cuisine, Flavors of the Southwest: Tamales.  It is the Deep Plate entry for August.

Some of you that know me well might be asking what are you doing teaching a vegetarian class, much less one based on tamales.  Well my new position as General Manager at The Kitchen Table means, that if no one else is available to teach a class, I teach it.

This was a full day class (we have been trying to get our day classes rolling) with only one self admitted vegetarian.  Continue reading

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