Tomatillos are in the tomato family, and in Spanish are known as tomate verde (green tomato). They grow with a husk around the fruit, and as they ripen, the husk slowly pulls away. You know they're ready when the husk is wrinkly and splits open at the bottom. I think they're very cute. And little did I know (until today) that they're also the key ingredient in green salsas...there's obviously not a whole lot of salsa-making at my house.
This sauce is basically a green salsa. It's easy and delicious and infinitely improves your run-of-the-mill taco.
Chicken Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce
Recipe very loosely adapted from Gourmet May 2004
Pictures by Kelly
For tomatillo salsa:
- 1/2 lb fresh tomatillos, husks discarded and tomatillos rinsed and quartered
- 3 fresh green serrano chiles, coarsely chopped (including seeds)
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, quartered
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Purée tomatillos, chiles, onion, garlic, salt, and water in a blender until smooth.
- Heat oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat; add tomatillo purée and simmer, stirring until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in 3 tablespoons of cilantro and simmer 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl.
soft corn tortillas
1 can (14 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed, and warmed
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups chicken breast, broiled and shredded (about 2 breasts)
sour cream for topping
- Assemble taco with beans first, then chicken, tomato, and a large spoonful of tomatillo sauce. Sprinkle with some of remaining 3 tablespoons of cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.