Let the Game Begin

The countdown begins...two days until one of the most important holidays in our country. Super Bowl. Also known as the Stupid Bowl in my house.

And that means that many of us are starting to think about what sort of snacks and food to prepare (or order). Next to Thanksgiving, this is the day when Americans consume the most food. By the way, did you know that more pizzas are ordered on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year? A good reason not to order pizza...

But what then to cook?

For me, Super Bowl Sunday is all about snacks, dips and Fritos. It's the one day of the year I buy (and eat!) a bag of Fritos and it's something I look forward to with great anticipation.

We usually make fresh guacamole and have plenty of snack foods—salami, cheeses, Marcona almonds, and maybe a sliced pear or an apple—so we don't have to cook during the game and so we can watch all of the great (and sometimes not-so-great) commercials.

I fully admit that I watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, don't you? But this year with New Orleans and Indianapolis playing, I may actually be a little more interested in the game.

I've decided to add a zesty roasted tomatillo salsa to this year's line-up. It pairs well with guac and is great to eat by itself with tortilla chips and Fritos. Plus, any leftover salsa can be spooned on top of fried or scrambled eggs to turn a boring American breakfast into a tasty Mexican one.

There's lots of ways you can whip up a fresh salsa. You can boil everything, roast it in the oven, grill it or blend up the raw ingredients and then cook it or just enjoy a raw salsa, like pico de gallo.

Me? I prefer to roast or grill my veggies to add an extra depth of flavor that you don't get by boiling or cooking. It also adds some great color and I find the flecks of the roasted skins floating in the salsa quite appealing.

So if you're having chili, hamburgers, nachos or queso, think about making some tomatillo salsa to spice things up!

Buen provecho!

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
The Cowgirl Gourmet

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Print Recipe

1 lb. of tomatillos (10-12), husks removed and rinsed well
1/2 large onion, cut into quarters with the skin removed
1 serrano or jalapeno
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
Juice of 1 lime, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons
1/2 cup of cilantro
1/2 tsp. salt

Variations: Add 1/2 avocado to the blender for a creamy tomatillo salsa

Put oven on broil.

Place the washed tomatillos on a not-so-nice baking sheet or one that is lined with parchment paper...the juice from the tomatillos will sometimes burn on the pan making for a dirty job for the dishwasher.

Add the two pieces of the quartered onion and the jalapeno. Drizzle with a little canola oil, about 1 1/2 teaspoons, sprinkle a little salt and toss to combine.

Place the baking sheet in the oven on the top rack and broil for 15-20 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, flip (just like you would a steak on the grill) the tomatillos, onions and jalapeno so that the other side gets cooked.

You'll know it's ready when some of the tomatillos split in half and everything is charred. Remove pan from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the top off the jalapeno and then cut it in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds of both halves or just one half if you would like to keep a little heat in the salsa.

Place the tomatillos, onion quarters and deseeded and stemmed jalapeno in the blender, along with any juice that remains in the pan. Add the cilantro, salt and lime juice and blend until everything is pureed to perfection.

Pour into a serving bowl and serve with tortilla chips, Fritos, chili con queso, etc. This salsa is good served cold, room temperature or warm.

Any leftover salsa will keep up to five days in the refrigerator.
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