Feliz (Feliz?, yeah, Feliz!) Dia de los Muertos!…with salsa verde
With Blogger troubles, I bring this post to you 1 day late. Lucky Day(s) of the Dead lasts more than 1 day!Happy Day of the Dead, everybody! Today, we start what in Mexico and parts of Central America is a multi-day festival to celebrate out Dearly Departed. Often in Mexico people will go to the cemetery and will have a meal at their late family member’s tomb. They’ll clean the tomb and also give a little offering to that person, usually in the form of the food they most liked while alive. This is a much happier feast day than you might imagine. It is a celebration of life recognizing that death is one part of it. Mariachi bands make a lot of money over this holiday spreading their joyous, bombastic sounds near and far. Many of you are probably familiar with the irreverent depictions of skeletons dancing, drinking and merry-making that are produced for this holiday.
Well, today, I harvested some of my precious Mexican tomatillos from the balcony (see below) and made the classic simmered tomatillo salsa verde. Again, of course this recipe comes from Rick Bayless’s Mexican KitchenIngredients:
1 lb whole, husked tomatillos
2 serrano peppers (I actually used 1 small, hot poblano ‘cause I have no serrano on the balcony or anywhere else)
1 ½ tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
salt to taste
Boil a medium saucepan of water ½ full, then add the tomatillos and peppers. Cook for 3-4 minutes until they are soft. Drain and cool. Take out pepper stems and seeds. Place tomatillos and peppers in the bowl of a food processor (or blender). In a frying pan, with 1 tbsp of the oil, brown the onion over medium heat. Then add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Scoop into the food processor along with the other tomatillo mixture. Blend until slightly chunky. In the same frying pan, place the remaining ½ tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Dump the pureed mixture in all at once and let sear and bubble while stirring to keep things from sticking. Music to sear salsa by: “Pedro Navaja” by salsa great, Ruben Blades. Cook this way for 4-5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Simmer this way for 10 minutes. The final texture should be as thick as a standard tomato sauce. Let cool. Taste and add salt and cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips (we have them in Italy!!) or anything you’d like salsa on.