Thursday, October 24, 2013

Quick-Cooked Tomatillo-Chile Sauce

Earlier this week I shared a recipe for Fresh Green Tomatillo Sauce, so it now it's time to share one that is a bit farther down the cooked scale. In the previous sauce the flavor profile featured the tartness, but in this sauce acidic notes are muted in favor of a deeper, earthier flavor. It doesn't go as far as Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, which is all about the roasted and smoky flavors, but nicely bridges those two extremes. Again we see chiles, cilantro, and onion making an appearance, garlic and stock fortifying the flavor even further. With that usual cast of characters, this is most certainly a pleasing preparation for any tomatillo lover, but the gentler acidic character will appeal to larger audience of non-tomatillo devotees.

Any of the suggestions I made for Fresh Green Tomatillo Sauce are just as appropriate for this variation, though I heartily endorse its use in the shredded pork chilaquiles pictured above. As I steadily make my way through my freezer cache in order to make room for my impending winter CSA, I am both delighting in the revisiting these summer flavors and sad to see them go. But when you love food and cooking as much as I do, each day has the potential for culinary adventure. Who knows? This concentrated summer flavor just may end up meeting up with hearty winter squash.

Quick-Cooked Tomatillo-Chile Sauce
makes about 2 1/2 to 3 cups
adapted from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless

1 pound (11 medium) fresh tomatillos, husked and washed OR two 13-ounce cans tomatillos, drained
Fresh hot green chiles to taste (roughly 3 chiles serranos or 2 chiles jalapenos), stemmed
5 or 6 sprigs fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lard or vegetable or canola oil
2 cups any low-sodium poultry, meat, or vegetable broth or stock (depending on how the sauce is to be used)
Salt, about 1/2 teaspoon (depending on the saltiness of the broth)

1. The tomatillos. Boil the fresh tomatillos and chiles in salt water to cover until tender, 10 to 15 minutes; drain. Simply drain the canned tomatillos.

2. The puree. Place the tomatillos and chiles (raw ones if using canned tomatillos) in a blender or food processor, along with the coriander, onion, and garlic; if using a blender, stir well. Process until smooth, but still retaining a little texture.

3. The sauce. Heat the lard or oil in a medium-large skillet set over medium-high. When hot enough to make a drop of the puree sizzle sharply, pour it in all at once and stir constantly for 4 or 5 minutes, until darker and thicker. Add the broth, let return to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 10 minutes. Season with salt.

No comments:

Post a Comment