Thursday, September 18, 2008

Salsa verde: ooh la la

There are a few things that are just staples in our kitchen. One of them is salsa. And in this case, green salsa. I use it in so many things, like spinach enchiladas, weekend breakfasts, and roasts throughout the winter. We make a lot of salsa, or pico de gallo, and last year we froze it. But our freezer is pretty full, what with pesto and berries, so when chiles came into season, and AdRi even brought home some of those famed Hatch Chiles, we tried our hand at canning it. Look at how beautiful these chiles are (Hatch and Poblano)...
combination of chiles
Tangy tomatillos combine with chiles and lime, and it's a delicious combination to eat with chips or mixed into recipes. The air around our house while AdRi grilled the whole chiles smelled like what I imagine all of New Mexico must smell like during Hatch season this time of year. In fact, the chile festival is on our list of places to go: maybe next year?

Roasting the chiles is different than smoking: these beautiful chiles don't need that nasty smoke flavor. Roasting them quickly blisters the skin and sweetens the chiles up, all-the-while easing skin removal.

Chop your onions, tomatillos and cilantro, combine with lime juice, garlic and water and you've got your salsa...
salsa in the making
Cook it all down some, salt it, and can it, baby. Oooh, and I even photographed while canning, how daring is that? Here is my one-handed photograph:
canning salsa
The salsa we used is adapted from my bible of preserving, Preserving the Harvest, but we changed up the chiles to include those tasty Hatch chiles as well.
Green Chile Salsa
18 poblano and Hatch chiles
10 cups/4 lbs coarsely chopped, husked tomatillos with juice
2 cups coursely chopped onions
1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice (12 limes)
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup water
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1. Place the chiles on a hot grill and roast, turning throughout, to blister the skins, about 15 minutes.
2. Discard the membranes and seeds from the chiles. (I make AdRi handle all chiles in our house: as an eye contact wearer, once you've experienced the residual chile burn in your eyes when you remove your contacts 8 hours later is a pain you never, ever want to experience. You can also wear gloves.) Chop the chiles coursely and combine with the tomatillos in a heavy nonreactive saucepan.
3. Bring the mixture to a simmer and add the onions, lime juice, cilantro, water, and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
4. Add salt. Stir well.
5. Ladle into hot, clean jars. Cap and seal.
6 Process in a boiling water bath canner for 30 minutes.


Anonymous said...

Ooooo, you're canning it! This looks great, much different from the version I made yesterday.

Karolcooks said...

I was JUST going to blog about my salsa verde! Hatch chiles are from Hatch, New Mexico, my great state. My mom is going to send me some chile soon as it's harvest time. :) We should have a chile potluck. What do you think?

A Lewis said...

Plus, GREEN is my favorite colour! Yummy.

iamchanelle said...

oh YUM. been wanting to make my own salsa verde...totally going to use your recipe, thanks!!!


Desert Diva said...

We've just ended the "chile roasting" time in Southern New Mexico. Every grocery store you go to has a chile roaster. It looks like this:

The smell of roasting chile is quite wonderful.

When I moved to New Mexico from Indianapolis several years ago, I first lived in Hatch on a little farm. Hatch is just a "little place on the side of the road," and the majority of "Hatch chile" is grown on farms in Deming and throughout the Mesilla Valley.

Your salsa looks delicious. Alas, my salsa consumption is not usually fresh but bought from the local Albertson's and made by El Pinto.

However, I do have some Jim Barker chile in my freezer...

Anonymous said...

I like to use about a third part red onions when I make salsa verde. It makes the color really pop.

Mad props for your steady hands, illustrated by the nearly miraculous canning jar photo.