Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tomatillo Sauce

I've been hooked on tomatillo sauce since the first time I went to Chuy's.  We had just finished moving in and there was a Tex-Mex joint around the corner.  The decorations were typical Tex-Mex kitschy - a bar covered in bumper stickers and a ceiling covered with hubcaps.  Nothing says class like hubcaps ... oh Austin, I miss you!  I ordered a big as yo' face bean & cheese burrito with tomatillo sauce ... it was love at first bite.

This sauce recipe is excellent.  I meant to try a recipe from the Tex-Mex Cookbook that I picked up while I was home, but it called for Anaheim chilies.  What are the chances that I'm going to easily find Anaheim chiles in Montreal?  The Tex-Mex section at the local grocery stores is sadly non-existent, I'm excited when I see canned pinto beans, and the Val-Mont is the only place near me that carries fresh jalapenos.  Then I realized, I had a recipe I could make using the canned ingredients I had on hand.  Granted, fresh would be better, but a girl's gotta make do with what she can get.  (And now I'm out of tomatillos and will be needing to make a special trip to one of the Latin specialty grocery stores!)

This recipe is great with cheese enchiladas served with a side of Mexican rice.  Follow the recipe here to make the enchiladas, substituting the tomatillo sauce for the chili gravy.  I also substituted Monterrey Jack for Cheddar.  It would also be excellent with chicken enchiladas ... I was just too lazy to buy chicken, cook, and shred it.  It also makes a good chip dip and could be used in burritos ... you get the idea, right?  It's versatile.

I left out the cilantro, because I didn't feel like going to the store.  If you have a Lupe's Tortilla nearby, just go there and order the cheese enchiladas with tomatillo sauce, they're better.  If you live somewhere where you have to explain what queso is, here's the recipe to tide you over until you can get your fix!

Tomatillo Sauce (from Homesick Texan) (adapted from Stephan Pyles and Diana Kennedy)


1 - 2 cans tomatillos, drained with 1/4 - 1/2 cup of liquid reserved and added when you mix everything together (originally I had a giant can and only needed one.  If you're using the 400mL cans, use two.)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 serrano chiles, stems removed, diced (I used pickled ... it turned out okay)
1/4 cup of diced onion
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons of lime juice (or to taste)
A small pinch of sugar
Salt to taste

1. Blend all of the ingredients together.  If you have an immersion blender, do this in a stove-top pan.
2. Heat the salsa mixture and cook on the stove for about 5 minutes.

Easy, right?  It can be served hot or cold.

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