Green with Envy

When given the choice of a green or a red salsa, I always choose green. Tangy, but a tiny bit spicy, and full of sabor (flavor), nothing beats a salsa verde. Use it as a dip for crisp tortilla chips, spoon it into or on top of rich and creamy guacamole, smother it on grilled meats, top fried or scrambled eggs or slather it over sauteed fish for an impeccable Mexican themed meal. Its sheer versatility is one of the reasons I should always keep some in the fridge.

Even though I haven't made a homemade salsa--red or green--in quite a while, sometimes all we need is a nudge or the right ingredients on hand to give us the needed inspiracion. I had two poblanos and some tomatillos in the veggie drawer and, when I looked at them, I decided the stars were telling me to make a new twist on my favorite salsa verde. I had never used the tomatillo-poblano combo before but knew it would be fabuloso. David could not have agreed more.

When I searched for a new salsa recipe with these two ingredients, the top one to pop up was by Andrew Zimmern, of Bizarre Foods. Though he is not my favorite food television personality, the recipe captivated me in a way few things do.

I love poblanos--and would give my left arm for a good chile relleno, but I have never been successful roasting them and peeling the black and blistered skin off  so the pepper remains whole and intact for stuffing. Invariably, my chile rellenos end up being more like stuffed and shredded "pieces and parts" of poblanos as opposed to the beautiful work of chile relleno art made by an authentic Mexican chef in a restaurant.

Needless to say, I don't even try making chile rellenos at home anymore, but will gladly try a new salsa verde recipe. The sheer fact that this recipe simply called for roasting the vegetables, blending and then sauteing briefly meant this was the one for me.

In less than 30 minutes, we swore we were somewhere in the heart of Mexico as we savored a magnificent breakfast of a tortilla (made with almond flour by Must B Nutty) layered with a farm fresh fried egg and smothered with copious amounts of just made and still warm tomatillo-poblano sauce. With homemade pickled red onions, for a burst of color and flavor.

This sauce is so good, it will make anyone who eats it green with envy and have them begging you for the recipe. Te prometo. (I promise.)

Buen provecho!
Tomatillo-Poblano Sauce
The Cowgirl Gourmet slightly adapted this recipe from Andrew Zimmern via Food & Wine

Print recipe

This super easy and not spicy but richly flavored green sauce can be made in less than 30 minutes and enjoyed in so many ways. Spoon it over eggs, top it over seared pork or chicken, add it to grilled meats or scoop it with chips and guacamole.

Makes about 4 cups

2 pounds tomatillos, husked, rinsed, stemmed and halved
2 poblano peppers, stemmed, halved and seeded
1 serrano or jalapeno chile, stemmed and halved
1 large onion, quartered
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt, for roasting, and 1 teaspoon salt when cooking the sauce
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Preheat the broiler. On a rimmed and aluminum foil lined baking sheet, toss the tomatillos with the poblanos, serrano or jalapeno, onion and drizzle with olive oil tossing well to coat. Sprinkle with dried oregano, toss to coat again and spread in a single layer. Broil 5 inches from the heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are blackened in spots.
Scrape the vegetables and every last drop of the juice into a blender and puree until nearly smooth.
Transfer the salsa to a medium saucepan, season with 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Once it starts to boil, turn the heat down immediately and let it cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Continue to stir while it cooks.

Let the salsa cool to room temperature and then stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Taste the salsa and season with a little more salt and pepper if needed. Serve.
Refrigerate any leftovers and use within a week for breakfast or dinner, as pictured below.

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