“OMG, this salsa verde is AMAZING!! Here you have to try some,” I exclaimed as I scooped some of the green tomatillo sauce onto my fork and offered it to my hubby.
We were sitting in a hole-in-the-wall breakfast spot in San Pedro called Happy Diner and oh, what a happy day it was! I had been struggling with figuring out what my salsa verde was missing. It turned out good, but it wasn’t great and I wanted my salsa verde to be out of this world like the one at Happy Diner. The minute I tasted their homemade version, I knew that I needed to add more cumin.
People either love or hate cumin, so I tend to go light with it, but when you make salsa verde, the cumin livens up the flavor and adds an earthy warmth to the salsa that it needs. It provides a slight nuttiness to compliment the tartness of the tomatillos and the tanginess of the lime. It is truly the thing that sets good salsa verde apart from great salsa verde.
Okay, before we go much further, I have to tell you about this Happy Diner place! We went the day after we visited Hollywood Blvd <– check out our post about Hollywood here. My hubby did a quick yelp search, and this place popped up with fantastic ratings and inexpensive prices, so we decided to check it out. The place was totally unpretentious and felt homey and welcoming. The waiter was patient with our three boys as they indecisively ordered their breakfast, which ended up being the best churro waffle I’ve ever tasted! Plus, my coffee cup was never empty. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to check them out!
Okay, back to the salsa verde…
How to Choose Good Tomatillos:
Tomatillos are beautiful green tomato-like fruits that grow in these papery husks. The trick to picking the best ones are to look at the size of the tomatillos. Smaller ones are typically sweeter and the husk should not be dried out or shriveled. They should also be firm to the touch, but not rock hard.
Once you’ve picked out your tomatillos, it’s time to make the tomatillo sauce…after roasting time it only takes like 5 minutes. 🙂
Here’s the Process:
The first thing you want to do is clean the tomatillos. Remove the paper husks, and give them a good wash. They will be slightly sticky to touch once the husks are removed, so washing them is important.
Once the tomatillos have been cleaned, you will want to roast them. The roasting process will give them a nice smoky flavor that will enhance the flavor of your salsa. I put them on a foil lined baking sheet along with a jalapeno and then stick them under the broiler on high for 15 minutes.
Once they are blackened on top, I transfer the tomatillos and half of the jalapeno to a food processor or blender. Then, I add in the onions, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt, cumin and a small amount of chicken stock.
I blend it to a consistency that I like and then serve it with tortilla chips!
- 12 tomatillos, roasted
- 1/2 of a jalapeno, roasted
- 1 medium white onion (about 1.5 cups when chopped)
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Juice of half of a lime
- 1/4 cup of rich chicken stock
- Preheat the broiler on high. While the oven is preheating, husk the tomatillos and wash them off. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and then place the tomatillos and jalapeno on it in a single layer. Once the oven is hot, place the pan of tomatillos into the oven and broil for 15 minutes.
- Once the tops are charred, pull them out of the oven and place them into a food processor or blender. Cut the jalapeno in half and put that in the food processor as well. Then, add in the onion, cilantro leaves, garlic, cumin, salt, lime juice and chicken stock.
- Blend everything together until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Serve with chips and enjoy!
BEFORE YOU LEAVE, BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THESE OTHER RECIPES THAT WILL ROCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!