A Salsa Verde Convert
Until this recipe for Roasted Salsa Verde, anything I tasted with those green tomato-looking tomatillos always screamed bitter to me. I just chalked it up to my the tomatillos and not whatever else could be in the salsa.
To say I just wasn’t a fan is putting it mildly. At many Tex-Mex restaurants visited, it took me no time to shove bowls of Salsa Verde as far away from me as possible. Funny thing, though, is I didn’t mind adding my go-to jar of Mrs. Renfro’s Jalapeno Green Salsa to make my a batch of Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas. But eating it straight from the jar? No way.
Just recently I had a hankering for my friend Karen’s version of herdelicious Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas. I needed a jar of salsa verde but couldn’t find Mrs. Renfro’s at the local grocery store. I was afraid to try another brand because her recipe specifically stated Mrs. Renfro’s Green Sauce. Mrs. Renfro even had a double underline on her name in Karen’s recipe. It had to be really good to get that designation. But I couldn’t find Mrs. Renfro’s Green Sauce at my home town grocery store.
A Homemade Version
I started googling for a substitution. In my search I found what looked like a keeper recipe for a homemade salsa verde. It looked simple enough to try. With a quick trip to the Mexican grocer and a few adjustments to the recipe, I created this version. And I have to admit, it’s one I REALLY like.
It’s fresh without that bitter taste (still trying to figure out what caused that in the first place). It tastes delicious in my Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada sauce and just plain on a crisp tortilla chip.
It’s all in the Roasting
Roasting the tomatillos, onion and pepper and then cooking the entire mixture for a few minutes makes all the difference in the world. It mellows the flavors of the tomatillos and peppers to absolute perfection.
Just peel the papery covering from the tomatillos, cut the onions in to chunks and slice the jalapenos in half. Remove the seeds and membranes if you don’t like SPICY. I usually just remove them from half of the jalapeno as I like my salsa zippy.
Put the removed seeds and membrane in a small bowl and set it aside. After tasting the salsa when it’s finished, I often add some of the seeds back into the salsa for a little more heat. Some peppers are hotter than others so the salsa may need a little extra heat. Remember to add just a few seeds in at a time. Stir and then taste.
Please pass the chips and salsa because I can’t get enough of this one!
Roasted Salsa Verde
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound tomatillos husked
- 1/2 small onion cut into chunks
- 1 small serrano or jalapeno pepper sliced (remove seeds if you can’t handle the heat)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, COAT tomatillos, onion, and pepper with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. PLACE tomatillos, onion, and pepper on a sheet pan. ROAST for 30 minutes until the tomatillos are soft and begin to brown slightly
- REMOVE from oven and PLACE in a food processor or blender with the garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, lime juice, and vinegar. PUREE until smooth
- TRANSFER to a medium saucepan, BRING to a BOIL over high heat. REDUCE heat to medium-low. SIMMER for approximately 10 minutes. ADD the cilantro. COOL and SERVE.