Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 211 - Tomatillo Salsa and Indian Yogurt Marinade

Boy, that Seventh Tally lit a fire under my ass! I have become complacent! I have some cooking to do!

Tomatillo Salsa (p. 179)

This seemed like an interesting project for today. It pops up in the Meats, etc. chapter, following the grilling section, but I'm not grilling any meats today. Instead, I bought a bag of baked tortilla chips for the occasion.

I've never eaten or even touched a tomatillo. Until today, I had no idea what it was, or that it was in the tomato family at all (although the name might have been a giveaway). At Fairway, they're displayed with the chili peppers, and what with the husk covering, I couldn't see the tomato cousin that lives beneath. I imagined something very spicy, but in fact, it's a mild, slightly sour flavor.

Once the husks are removed, you're left with a sticky little tomato-shaped fruit, which you then char to death. Same with a jalapeño pepper. I took Martha's not-that-spicy option, removing the seeds from half the jalapeño, but I could have removed more. It was still pretty spicy, at least to wimpy ole me.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Half the tomatillos go in the food processor (don't use a blender - I tried, but there's not enough liquid to get it going), along with a chopped onion, cilantro, the charred jalapeño, and salt. Once blended until smooth, you chop the remaining tomatillos and add them to the mix.

The texture is great, with smoothness and chunks. And the flavor seems very authentic to me - spicy, delicious, with a nice smokiness. I'm not sure what I would serve this with... Chicken? Steak? I'm fine just eating it with chips.

Who knew that making salsa was so easy?

Although next time I attempt salsa, I'll look for one that has a sweet component in it - that's my favorite.

Jeff: A
Martha: A

Indian Yogurt Marinade (p. 173)

This is an exercise in delayed gratification. You toast and grind and zest and juice and chop and peel and blend to make this marinade, only to pour it over chicken and put it back in the refrigerator for a day.

I wanted to spoon this right into my mouth! There are some amazing flavors in here! To begin with, mustard, coriander and fennel seeds and cardamom pods are pure magic, first toasted, then ground. I'm officially obsessed with Indian spices.

Then, you puree that with lime juice and zest, chopped onion, garlic, and chili peppers, and yogurt.

It seems a shame to create this amazing sauce and then just marinate chicken in it. But I have a feeling that once I taste the chicken, I won't be sorry I put in the time and effort here.

I can't wait until tomorrow!

Jeff: A
Martha: A

Until we eat again....


  1. Ooooo, the marinade sounds heavenly. You're not the only one who cant wait until tomorrow :)

  2. OMG, still reeling from the wonder of it... how will I do it justice??