roasted tomatillo & corn salsa

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this salsa is a major victory.  i mean, it tastes great – smoky and tangy and sweet and spicy – but the victory comes from the fact that it was produced and consumed without harm to myself or the kitchen.

the last time i made this salsa, i felt like i was starring in my very own adam sandler movie.  jalepeno in my eye, me futily splashing it with water while the sommelier frantically googles for antedotes, then milk everywhere – especially crusted around my red, swollen face.  add in a huge, bleeding cut in my fingertip to distract me, and to top it off, we inaugurated the kitchen fire extinguisher when the broiler got the best of the homemade tortilla chips.

not my finest hour.

at multiple points during this experience, the sommelier suggested perhaps some takeout from the lovely chicken place down the street might be a good idea. this is why he was better in economics . . . he knows a sunk cost when he sees one and is ready to move on. 

but i'm a crazy cook, so i persisted.  and was rewarded with yummy tomatillo salsa! 

this time, having only slightly learned from past mishaps, i decided to step it up and char both the corn and the tomatillos.  which i mananged without burning ANYTHING.  so, let's get started.

have you met the tomatillo?

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when you pull off the papery skins, they kind of look like little, unripe tomatoes.  they're a little sticky, so you have to give them a good rinse.

to make salsa, you can blend them up raw, or roast them under the broiler.

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kind of looks like a marimekko print, don't you think?

i went for roasted, because i also wanted to add some charred corn.  i'd never done this before.  now i've done it twice without burning anything that wasn't meant to be burned!  progress!

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the corn does pop a little, and the inevitable corn silk stuck between the kernels does flare up and burn off a bit.  it kind of freaked the sommelier out, cause he knew i was up to no good.  but i stood back at a safe distance.  had the fire extinguisher out and ready (this particular kitchen safety measure, like the knife skills lesson, was totally the somm's idea).  we worked through it, and it was worth it.

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fact: add this stuff to roasted cherry tomatoes with some lime, cilantro, salt & pepper and the barest splash of balsamic and you'll have yourself a lovely summer salad.  or, enjoy while standing at your cutting board and trying not to drop any on the floor.  mmm.

but we're focusing on the tomatillo today.

blend up your roasted tomatillo with some onion, jalepeno, and lime juice.  stir in the corn, chopped cilantro and salt to taste.

total victory.  and yes, this time we skipped the homemade tortilla chips.

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Roasted Tomatillo & Corn Salsa

adapted from Simply Recipes, via Kuhn Orchards at my local farmers market 

  • 1 1/2 lb tomatillos
  • 2 ears corn
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 to 1 lime, jucied, to taste
  • 2 Jalapeño peppers OR 2 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • Salt to taste

Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well.  Slice in half and roast, cut side down, under the broiler until almost black.

Husk corn and char – carefully – over a gas burner.  Slice kernals from cob.

In food processor, blend tomatillos with onion, lime and jalepeno.  Place in bowl, and stir in cilantro and corn.  Season and enjoy!

2 thoughts on “roasted tomatillo & corn salsa

  1. In our old place, when we had a security alarm, I managed to have the police come two (or was it three?) times because I decided to get a really good sear on something without a good hood and vent, which set off the fire alarm. And I didn’t have a ladder. And I couldn’t reach the ceiling, even in heels standing on my tallest chair. So the fire alarm triggered the house alarm, which triggered another shame-faced encounter with DC’s finest.

  2. oh, i would be in serious trouble with a security alarm like that. i set the fire alarm off all the time just because i can never remember to turn on the fan (plus it’s so loud!) which results in cats scurrying under the bed, doors open, and me fanning the alarm with a broom. delightful.

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