Sunday, August 16, 2009

Green Dragon Salsa

Salsa is really easy to make and it's worth the effort. You can make combinations you like, it's fresh and you can impress your friends. I don't have a set recipe for this one either, but I have a combination of ingredients I like to use. I call the my Green Dragon salsa because, well it's green for one, and it's hot- to the point you breathe fire. You can take out the jalapenos if you like, for more of a Green Non-Fire-Breathing Reptile Salsa.

The following ingredients will make about 30 oz (two fair sized jars) worth of salsa. It will keep in the fridge for a week or so. I'm not sure exactly how long, but it doesn't have preservatives in it, so I'm sure a week maximum is good.

10 tomatillos
2 Poblano peppers
1 Green Bell pepper
1 Hungarian Wax pepper
2 jalapenos
3-4 limes, juiced
1/4-1/2 yellow onion
1-2 garlic cloves
1/2 bunch of cilantro

Directions: Peel off paper-like skin off tomatillos, rinse and cut in half. Place tomatillos (cut side down) and all peppers on a cookie sheet. Set oven to broil and place rack in top 1/3 of oven. Place sheet in oven and check after 3-5 minutes. You want to roast these well, the blacker the better so that the skin comes off nice and easy. Once blackened (it may take longer than 5 minutes) flip peppers and blacken the other side.

While this is happening prepare a bowl full of ice water. Once ingredients are done roasting you want to place them in the ice water to shock them and cool them down. Let them sit for a few minutes when you're able to pick them up bare handed. Peel skin off peppers, removing stems and seeds. Peel outer layer of tomatillos as well. These can be a little tricky seeing that they are already cut in half, but they should hold together while in the ice bath. Place in a blender. Toss in onion, garlic clove, cilantro (stems are okay) and lime juice. Blend it up. Salt to taste. You can add some olive oil too for a little thicker consistency.

Wallah, green salsa. It's great for dipping chips, topping fish tacos or sauteing chicken or pork for a little carnitas. I'm telling you, it's versatile. It's even good to add to the skillet when scrambling eggs for some juevos rancheros.

Tips: If you don't like so much heat you can leave out the jalapenos and substitute in Anaheim peppers for the Hungarian wax. They have nice flavor and they're green. Onion and garlic add lots of flavor, but they also add lots of burps. So if you don't want to be tasting this salsa for days, stick to the 1/4 onion and one garlic clove.

When shopping for tomatillos, most still have the papery skin still intact. Check to make sure worms or bugs haven't gotten to them by peeling back the paper a tad. If you forget to look inside the packaging, you may end up with unusable tomatillos, and they're the real star of the salsa. They add a nice tang that is the main characteristic of green salsa.

Play around with it and have fun. You'll never want to buy salsa again.