Charred Tomatillo Salsa with Homemade Tortilla Chips

I am, by nature, a red salsa maker. I always have red tomatoes on the vine around, and consequently they have been my default for fresh salsa for years. But recently tomatillos have been on my mind. They won my heart while making John Ash's "White Bean Chicken Chili" a couple of weeks ago, and since then I've been thinking that I need to work on my relationship with these relatives of my beloved tomatoes. I find them quite charming with their curious husks and beautiful bright green color. And I've always loved green salsa - making it at home just doesn't occur to me. I'm a creature of habit and the salsa I make is red. This weekend, though, in an effort to break out of my comfy, cozy, little red salsa box, I decided to make a "salsa verde".

The tomatillos release their flavor when their skins are charred and their flesh is softened a bit. I put them in the broiler for just under ten minutes, turning once and they were perfect. Then I realized I didn't have any tortilla chips in the pantry so... (ahem) I made some. It was my first time, and honestly, they tasted far better than any store-bought brand I've ever liked. And they were so easy - I really believe I'll think twice before buying them next time I find myself standing in the chip aisle at the market. 

I adapted a recipe from Martha Stewart (I know what you're thinking...Martha Stewart for Mexican salsa?) Yes. Martha Stewart for anything. She doesn't disappoint, people. 

If you prefer jalapenos, you can certainly substitute them for the serranos. I like my salsa spicy, but if you like milder salsa, you can use two serranos instead of three. Also, I think next time I'll try using shallots instead of the onion. And then there's the mint. I kind of feel that it was "eh". Not sure I'll include it next time, but definitely worth a try. You might love it.


          2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, and patted dry
          1 cup onion, cut into 1-inch pieces 
          3 serrano chiles, coarsely chopped
          2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
          3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
          2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
          1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

Preheat broiler with rack set in upper position. Place tomatillos on a rimmed baking sheet and broil, turning once, until skins are blistered and charred, about 10 minutes. Remove from broiler. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool on baking sheet.

Meanwhile, place onion, chiles, lime juice, cilantro, mint, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Quarter tomatillos and add them, along with any accumulated juices from the baking sheet, to the bowl of the food processor; pulse just until combined.

Transfer salsa to refrigerator and let chill before serving. Salsa can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Makes about 4 cups.

To make homemade tortilla chips:

          6 corn tortillas
          1/4 cup canola oil
          salt to taste

Cut the tortillas in half, then in quarters, then in eighths.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tortilla chips, twelve at a time. Fry for about 15-20 seconds, then turn and leave another 10-15 seconds more or until golden.

Pat dry to remove excess oil.

Makes 4 dozen chips.


Adapted from Martha Stewart.

1 comment:

  1. Holy shit this looks yummy. I'm gonna make it tonight.