I had all the intention of fixing something to go with the cooked Mexican sauce from my last post, but it was late, the family was hungry, and a couple of plates of nachos were quickly emptied along with the entire bowl of salsa before any pictures could be taken. I will for sure come back to it, but for now, I am moving on to prepare the next pair of sauces: salsa verde cruda o cocida (raw or cooked green sauce).
It is hard to find fresh tomatillos in my area, and that was the main reason to start growing my own. This year will be my fifth season of growing tomatillo from seed; the first green gems will be ready to pick by the end of July; from October until then, it is all from frozen, canned from the store or my home-bottled salsa. This week though, I was lucky to find some fresh at the store, and I jumped at the opportunity to prepare raw green sauce.
For the cooked sauce, the tomatillos may be fresh, but it is not necessary; in the photo, left, I had a bag of whole tomatillos from my garden, that I froze last fall; I used them for the cooked salsa, and took advantage of the fresh batch, next to them, to make the raw sauce. In addition to the tomatillos, the rest of the ingredients are the same for both recipes: white onions, cilantro, hot peppers, lime juice and a pinch of salt (photo, right).
For the raw sauce, first I peeled the husks from the tomatillos, washed and scrubbed them to remove the sticky layer on their skin. The rest of the veggies were washed and cleaned, peeled and sliced coarsely, as shown in the picture, above. Everything went in the blender, starting with pulses, then I switched to blending to incorporate all the ingredients, for about one minute.
For the cooked sauce, since the frozen tomatillos were husked and washed before packing, they went directly form the bag to a large pot with boiling water, over medium/high heat. When they started to change colour, about 5 minutes later, and it was easy to poke them with a skewer, I drained them into a colander. At some supermarkets and international stores, it is possible to find whole canned tomatillos, so that would be an option at this stage, if nothing else is available.
The drained tomatillos went in the blender, along with onion, cilantro, and peppers. I started pulsing until all ingredients were incorporated, and then switched to blending until I got a uniform appearance. I poured the sauce back into the empty pot, added salt and brought it to boil over medium heat.
I lowered the heat, and let the sauce simmer for another 5 minutes, while stirring to avoid burning. I sprinkled lime juice after turning off the heat. I poured it into a heat resistant bowl, and let it cool down.
The two sauces looked pretty next to each other, and they offered two very different flavours even though I started with exactly the same ingredients for both. I think my timing is perfect to plan a fun St. Patrick’s Day meal, using these bright green sauces; more on that in my next post.