THANKS TO ALL THE passionate cooks, gardeners, writers and eaters who played along during our Summer Fest this year, we’ve decided to keep the fun going. All fall, every Wednesday, we’ll be featuring a new ingredient from our fall gardens, and I hope you’ll be cooking, reading, writing and eating right along with us.
This week, it’s peppers, another of the vegetables (yes, true, they’re fruits, botanically speaking) that fall into the “polarizing” category, meaning folks either love or loathe them. In my family, everyone, save me, is in the “loathe” camp when it comes to bell peppers, and they eat chiles only if they’re well processed into a spicy sauce. (Tabasco, yes; chiles rellenos, sadly, NO.)
Maybe it’s just as well that my family is indifferent, because peppers don’t grow very well for me. I find that every year, I am lucky to coax to or three off a single plant, at most. Tomatillos, on the other hand, have exploded in my garden, both when planted and when they’ve just appeared as volunteers. And, in a stroke of luck, my whole family loves fresh salsa. I use them, whatever sad jalapenos I may have been able to harvest, some sweet onion and garlic to make a grilled green salsa that my family will eat, on everything from chips and quesadillas to grilled chicken or fish. We also love it on carnitas, the succulent, juicy Mexican roast pork, and often make a whole dinner party around carnitas, rice and beans with fresh salsa and guacamole alongside. Margaritas optional, but welcome.
Grilled Tomatillo Salsa
I make this on a ridged cast iron grill pan, but you could do it on the barbecue or just a cast iron skillet with equally delicious results. Proportions are suggested, but you can adjust them to your liking, and of course, cilantro-loathers can omit it.
1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed
1 large sweet onion, cut into thick (1/2 inch) slices
4 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1 or 2 jalapeno chiles, halved lengthwise, and seeded
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, or more or less to taste
juice of one lime
salt to taste
Heat the grill pan on high heat until it’s smoking. Using tongs, place the tomatillos on the hot surface of the pan, and grill on every side until grill marks appear and the fruits are softened. This can take about ten minutes, and you may have to do them in two batches, depending upon the size of your pan. Remove the grilled tomatillos to a bowl, and repeat the grilling process with the onions, garlic and jalapenos.
When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, coarsely chop them all and combine. Add the lime juice, cilantro and salt to taste. Serve room temperature or cold as an accompaniment to chips, quesadillas, burritos, grilled meats, or anything you like. This would probably make your shoes taste fresh and delicious.
HOW YOU CAN JOIN IN FALL FEST:
So now it’s your turn: Have a recipe or tip that fits any of our weekly themes? You can contribute in various ways, big or small.
Write a whole post, or a comment—whatever you wish. It’s meant to be fun, viral, fluid. No pressure, just delicious. The possibilities:
Simply leave your tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below a Fall Fest post on my blog, and then go visit my collaborators and do the same.
The cross-blog event idea works best when you leave your recipe or favorite links (whether to your own blog or someone else’s) at all the host blogs. That way, they are likely to be seen by the widest audience. Everyone benefits, and some pretty great dialog starts simmering.
THE 2010 SCHEDULE:
Sept 8: Garlic
Sept 15: White (or colorful “white”…but not sweet) Potatoes
Sept 22: Spinach
Sept 29: Apples
Oct 6: Fall Salads
Oct 13: Pumpkin + Winter Squash
Oct 20: Pears
Oct 27: “Mad Stash” (as in what you’re shoving in freezer/jars/dehydrator, etc.)
Nov 3: Root veggies
Nov 10: Brassicas: incl. Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Cabbage or other
Nov 17: Sweet Potatoes
Nov 24: Bounty to Be Grateful For
And in case I forget what week it is, won’t somebody remind me on Twitter? Thanks. We’ll be talking it up there, too.
Check out my fellow-Fest-ers contributiosn for this week using the links below.
Making Hot Pepper-Infused Tequila