Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Yesterday was chemo day and we started talking with Jose who has his chemo at the same time that we do. The conversation started with food, of course! He had brought in for the nurses and other patients his Apple Quince Chutney. He was a chef at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago and the chutney was one of his specialties. I, of course, asked for the recipe and he said, “No, no, I am writing a book.” I said I want the first copy!! I wanted to pick up the jar and eat his chutney with a spoon which is surprising as I don’t like chutney!

We got to talking about salsas and he said the very best sweetener to balance the acid of the tomatoes or tomatillos was not sugar or honey, but brown sugar. Brown sugar, he said, is wonderful in salsa. Not too much, just enough to give a balance to the acidic flavor.

When we talked about tomatillos, he said to cut a cross in the bottom of the tomatillos to release excess moisture when roasting the tomatillos so the salsa is not too watery. We will see him next week and I can’t wait to talk to him again. I will also ask if I may have his picture for the blog.

Wikipedia describes tomatillos as: The tomatillo fruit is surrounded by a paper-like husk formed from the calyx. As the fruit matures, it fills the husk and can split it open by harvest. The husk turns brown, and the fruit can be any of a number of colors when ripe, including yellow, red, green, or even purple. Tomatillos are the key ingredient in fresh and cooked Latin American green sauces. The freshness and greenness of the husk are quality criteria. Fruit should be firm and bright green, as the green colour and tart flavour are the main culinary contributions of the fruit.  Ripe tomatillos will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks. They will keep even longer if the husks are removed and the fruits are placed in sealed plastic bags with paper towels to absorb excess moisture and stored in the refrigerator. They may also be frozen whole or sliced.  Even though tomatillos are sometimes called "green tomatoes", they should not be confused with green, unripe tomatoes

I roast my tomatillos in a pan but next time I will cut a cross in the bottom like Jose told me does.

Jose likes to flame roast his peppers and tomatillos. I cheat and do mime in the broiler or in a pan for the tomatillos. Until I can talk him out of a recipe here is a salsa you might of missed when it was first posted.


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