Sunday, September 6, 2009

Salsa Verde


One of the questions on the Newlywed Game was, “What habit do you have that your spouse hates the most?” I’m not sure which one I’d choose, because I’ve got a lot of them, but one near the top of the list would surely be, “Making salsa.” I’m a salsa tinker. Tania hates it. I’m always messing with salsa and hot sauce recipes. The operative word being “mess.” I’m a messy cook. To imitate me cooking, Tania waves her arms around. “You cook like this!” Waves arms around. Which isn’t so bad when something good comes out of it, but in the case of salsa, she’s indifferent to the results. She’s not a salsa head. So it’s a big mess with no payoff. And everything is covered in hot peppers. It's not cool. Still, I continue to tinker.

We just got back from mexico and learned our old friend heather roach was in town, so we arranged a last minute bbq. Just some steaks and my “famous” white beans. Robin and Brandi are fans of the beans, thus they’re famous. In fact, the promise of white beans is the only way to get Robin to visit. While at the grocery store picking up supplies, I felt the menu needed a little something else, so I decided to whip up a little salsa verde for the steaks. It’s cheap, it’s easy, I’ve done it before, and the results have always been good. Even if Tania doesn’t like it. “Tastes like pennies,” she always says.

That night there were some compliments on the salsa verde, and apparently Corbett has been asking for this recipe for some time now, so I thought I should put the latest version of this recipe down on paper.

Salsa Verde II

2 medium-large tomatillos, halved
½ white onion
a few garlic cloves
1 jalapeno
3 serranos
½ of a lime’s juice
¼-½ cup of white vinegar
cilantro
salt

Set oven to 350. Lightly oil a baking sheet and place the first five ingredients on it. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly charred. Place the roasted peppers, onion, and garlic in a blender. Pour in the lime, salt, and the vinegar and coarsely blend. Add the tomatillos and the cilantro to the mix and blend until just mixed. Add more vinegar or water depending on the consistency and taste you like.

Of course the recipe is up for interpretation. The amounts vary depending on the ingredients. Eyeball it and use your cooking sense. For instance, some members of our party found the above a little too hot for their tastes. I consider it in the “medium” department and would even add a habanero next time for more heat. I’ve also learned it takes very little to make a lot. A couple of tomatillos never seemed like enough, so I’d get half a dozen, and then I’d end up with a giant tub of salsa that would last over a month. And the salsa tinker can’t tinker with new recipes until the old one is finished. That’s one of our rules: I can’t buy or make any new hot sauces until I finish what’s in the fridge. The other rule is: clean up.

I can’t believe that I considered the first salsa verde recipe a competition salsa. I was going to have a salsa verde throwdown with our friend Josh in Colorado. It’s much better now. But I was apparently already considering naming and bottling that first batch because I just found a list of possible salsa verde names we created. This batch might be deserving of one of these fine names? Nah, probably the next one. I gots to tinker with the recipe some more.

Swamp Fire
The Algae Business
Goat Piss
Thomas Jefferson’s Bile Collection
The Eighth Ocean
Ancient Pond Scum
Thunder Snot
Yeti Urine
Swamp Wax
Monster Polish
Mexican Rain
Mean Green Wet Dream
Liquid Pollution
Verde Venom
Verde Vomit
Green Darkness
Cthulhu Blood
LA River Sludge
Sludgezilla
Camel Spit
Wharf Water
The Dreaded
It Came From The Cave
Spawn Juice
Death Drool
Monster Piss
Cobra Tears
Cobra Juice
Verderrhea
Space Scum
Very Viscous Verde (VVV = 15)
Veni Vidi Verde
Poison Pepper Piss
Snake Piss
Chunky Green Poison
Super Scum
Filthy Hot Sludge
Hot Green Snot
Lagoon Gone Bad

4 comments:

Structural Ennui said...

I like so many of those names but "Cobra Tears" minces toward the top. I'd be a salsa tinker but I know all my potential guests would ask for the mild option so I've never really gone for it. Perhaps I need more hardy friends?

gbrl said...

DUDE...mexican rain and green darkness!!!!!

fedge said...

verderrhea or thundersnot, one word, lead by a distant margin.

Anonymous said...

Cobra Tears for sure. Awesome. What about these "White Beans"?