• Tomatillo-Serrano Salsa

    roasted-tomatillo-salsa.jpg

    Tila’s in Houston has the most delicious tomatillo sauce.  Luckily we found a recipe that tastes pretty much identical to Tila’s, and we’ve been making this sauce ever since we lived in Houston…almost 9 years ago!

    This recipe is from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen (the photo on my cookbook is different, but I assume it’s all the same recipes).

    This sacue is excellent for just about anything: with chips, enchillada sauce, tamale sauce etc.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. tomatillos, husked and rinsed
    • 1 to 3 serranos
    • 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
    • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 2 c. chicken stock
    • 1/3 c. roughly chopped cilantro
    • salt, 1/2 to 3/4 tsp., depending on the saltiness of the broth

    Directions:

    1. The tomatillos and chiles: lay the tomatillos and chiles on a baking sheet and place about 4 inches below a very hot broiler.  when tomatillos and chiles blister, blacken and soften on one side, about 5 minutes, turn them over and roast the other side.  When all sides are roasted, transfer tomatillos, chiles and any accumulated juices to a food processor or blender.
    2. The puree: heat 1 TBSP oil in a deep skillet.  Add the onion and cook, stirring often until deep and golden, about 8 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook a minute longer; then scrape the browned mixture into the processor or blender.  Pulse to a rough looking puree–smooth enough to hold together but rough enough to keep it from being too smooth.
    3. Finishing the sauce: Heat the remaining oil over medium high heat.  Add the Puree and stir constantly for 4 or 5 minutes.  The sauce base sears and sizzles into a darker and thicker mass.  Stir in the broth, return to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer briskly until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 10 minutes.  Stir in cilantro, then taste and season with salt.

    Tomatillo-Serrano Salsa:

    5star.jpg

  • Fish with Jalapeno Cream

    jalapeno-cream.jpg

    This recipe comes from Rick Bayless’s Salsas that Cook cookbook. The premise of the cookbook is a core set of salsa recipes that are used throughout the cookbook in varies other recipes. The jalapeno cream uses the roasted jalapeno-tomato salsa with fresh cilantro. The salsa was very good–good enough to keep in our arsenal of salsas, so that says something! I liked the addition of the cream for the sauce on the fish, but -s thought the cream took away from the roasted distinct flavor of the salsa. He would’ve preferred the fresh salsa over the fish. We’ll definitely make the salsa recipe again, but probably not the jalapeno cream.

    Ingredients for Roasted Jalapeno-Tomato Salsa with fresh Cilantro:

    • 10 medium plum tomatoes
    • 2 jalapenos, stemmed
    • 1/2 small white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
    • 1/3 c. cilantro, chopped
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
    • Fish
    • Hot rice

    Directions:

    1. Broil the tomatoes and jalapenos whole until darkly roasted on all sides, about 15 minutes. Set aside and cool.
    2. Turn oven to 425, and combine the onion and garlic, and roast until onions are browned and wilted and garlic is soft and browned in spots, about 15 minutes.
    3. In a food processor, pulse the jalapenos, onion, and garlic until moderately finely chopped, scraping everything down with a spatula as needed. Scoop into a big bowl. Then add the tomatoes to the food processor, and coarsely puree the tomatoes, and add to the bowl. Add cilantro, salt, and vinegar.
    4. Bake fish in the oven at 350 until done.

    Jalapeno Cream Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 c. Roasted Jalapeno – Tomato Salsa
    • 1/2 c. cream

    Directions:

    1. Add salsa to a saucepan and cook until salsa boils, add the cream and heat through.
    2. Ladle sauce over fish and rice.

    Roasted Jalapeno – Tomato Salsa:

    4star.jpg
    Jalapeno Cream:

    3star.jpg

  • Today’s Macaroni and Cheese-It’s not just for kids

    todays-mac-n-cheese.jpg

    This recipe comes from Rick Bayless’ Salsas that Cook cookbook. This cookbook has 6 core salsa recipes, and each recipe in the cookbook utilizes one of the 6 salsas. I chose to make the Today’s Macaroni and Cheese-It’s not just for kids recipe with the Roasted Poblano-Tomato Salsa. Salsa was good. Mac-n-Cheese was good. Probably won’t be making either of them again, but maybe your tastes differ from ours.

    Roasted Poblano-Tomato Salsa

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. ripe tomatoes
    • 2 medium poblanos
    • 1/2 small red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
    • 1/2 c. tomato puree
    • 1/2 c. water
    • 2 TBSP cilantro
    • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
    • 2 tsp. salt

    Directions:

    1. Broil poblanos and tomatoes until they blister and blacken. Turn so there is an even roast. Remove and place poblanos in a ziploc bag for 10 minutes.
    2. Turn oven to 425. On a baking sheet roast the onion and garlic, until richly browned-about 15 minutes.
    3. Remove poblanos from bag and peel the charred skin from the pepper. Remove the stem and seeds.
    4. In a food processor, pulse onion, garlic, poblanos, tomatoes until its chunky. Pour salsa into bowl. Add tomato puree, water, cilantro, thyme, and salt.

    Today’s Macaroni and Cheese-It’s not just for kids

    Ingredients:

    • 2 c. milk
    • 4 TBSP butter
    • 1/4 c. flour
    • 2 cups Roasted Poblano-Tomato Salsa
    • 3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 tsp. slat
    • 1 lb dried pasta
    • 2 TBSP cilantro for garnish

    Directions:

      1. Prepare pasta as directed
      2. Warm the milk, either in the microwave or on the stove
      3. In a medium-size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the flour and whisk until the mixture turns deep gold, about 2 minutes. Add the warmed milk all at once and continue to whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and comes to a full boil, 4 to 5 minutes. (Whisk diligently and there will be no lumps.) Stir in the salsa, remove from heat, then add the cheese and stir until it melts. Taste and season with salt.
      4. Once pasta is cooked, return the pasta to the pot. Stir in the cheese sauce, then spoon into a serving dish. Sprinkle with cilantro.
      5. Your can also put the mac-n-cheese into a buttered baking dish. Top with buttered bread crumbs and bake at 375 until browned, about 10-12 minutes.
        Roasted Polbano-Tomato Salsa:3star.jpg

        Today’s Macaroni and Cheese-It’s not just for kids:

        3star.jpg