Years ago my husband and I were introduced to tomatillos when we found a recipe from Cooking Light that we wanted to try. These green orbs with green-to-brownish husks were not something we grew up with and probably wouldn’t have been something we picked up in the grocery store if it hadn’t have been for wanting to try the Tangy Pork with Tomatillos, Tomatoes and Cilantro recipe. This recipe has become a “somewhat staple” in our household for at least the last 15 years. And yet until very recently it was the only thing we had ever made with tomatillos. Talk about staying in your comfort zone!
This past weekend changed all that as I started thinking about what I could make for the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge this month. July is “hot pack preserving” which basically means anything that you heat up first and then can in a jar using water bath canning. In Marisa’s introduction to July’s challenge over on her blog she gave a few links to some potential recipes to try. The Tomatillo Green Salsa from the (U.S.-based) National Center for Home Food Preservation caught my eye. Here was a chance to finally use tomatillos in a way that we hadn’t before. And who doesn’t love salsa of any kind?
Here are some pics of the steps along the way:
And here is the finished result. The recipe did say it would make about five pints (5-500ml jars) but I found I only yielded three, not sure why:
Incidentally, the recipe tells you to wear rubber gloves to chop up the peppers and I tried this for a while but then took them off. I made sure not to touch my eyes at any time during the whole process and I was fine. You can make up your own mind on whether you need gloves or not though!
Also, since the recipe was written in terms of “cups of” tomatillos and peppers I ended up buying too much as it was hard to gauge with items I don’t buy very often (can’t tell you the last time I bought an Anaheim Pepper – those were the “long green chiles”.) So I had a bunch of leftover tomatillos and peppers. A couple of days later I used up the extra to make a similar green salsa on the stove top, also throwing in a small leftover bit of chopped up zucchini that I had in the fridge. I layered the salsa with flour tortilla shells, chicken and cheese in a 9 x 13 pan and baked it in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. It was delicious!
Wondering how you would use up this tomatillo green salsa? I was thinking the same and so I asked the question in the Food in Jars Facebook Community. Members had this to offer up:
- Add to chili
- Use in chicken verde enchiladas
- Good on scrambled eggs
- Poach eggs in it for green huevos rancheros
- Layered tortilla casserole with chicken, corn, black beans, cheese
- Steak fajitas
- With shredded chicken over baked potatoes
- With shredded pork tacos
- Simmer sauce for chicken thighs and make tacos, burritos etc
- Salsa verde soup: onions, chicken, chicken stock, cannellini beans, salsa
- With pulled pork in the crockpot
- With tortilla chips or raw veggies
- For breakfast with hasbrowns on bottom, salsa, refried beans and fried egg on top
- In tuna salad
- With fish
- In a salad dressing
As you can see they were bursting with ideas! Clearly these people live in more of a Mexican/Spanish-influenced environment than I do, here in Victoria, B.C.!