Tomatillos, a distant cousin of the tomato, are a favorite sauce ingredient and add a sweet, somewhat tart flavor to sauces and salsas. Personally, I always prefer them cooked over raw. Tomatillos can be either pan roasted or boiled. Originally this sauce was always prepared with boiled tomatillos. The addition of the pan roasting and the richness of chipotle chiles makes a much more elegant salsa, wonderful as a dipping salsa or as a sauce over fish, seafood, poultry and vegetables.
Yield: about 3 cups sauce
3 chipotle chiles, or 1 ½ teaspoons chipotle powder
Water, optional, only for reconstituting whole chipotle pods
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar, optional
2 pounds fresh tomatillos
1 cup fresh onion or 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
Cup fresh cilantro or Italian flat leaf parsley
- Place the chipotles in a quart liquid measuring cup. Add water to cover and vinegar, cover with cellophane wrap and process in a microwave oven for five minutes or until the skin slips on the flesh.
- Slice the tomatillos in half and place cut side down in a heavy seasoned skillet and place over medium high heat. When the center ones have browned on the first side, about five minutes of roasting, turn them and cover and remove from heat.
- After the tomatillos have steamed together and are very soft, place them in the blender jar along with the onion, chipotles and cilantro. Process until pureed, adding chipotle liquid to make a thick sauce that will still slightly run. Taste and add salt if desired. Serve either warm or cool as desired.