Friday, August 21, 2009


There are two places where I consistently get sucked into impulse buying
1. The bookstore
2. The farmer's market

I managed to combine both of these on Thursday into a delectable salsa adventure!

I walked over to the Daley Plaza Farmer's Market at lunch in search of squash blossoms which I had on good authority could be obtained from Nichols Farm. Unfortunately, because of the rain they had been unable to pick any.

So I started to wander about and was seduced by tomatillos! Turn a corner and a basket full of mixed hot peppers for only $3 were batting their hot little eyes at me. I had been thinking salsa that morning as I tried to imagine what I would eat coming off of my fast. Brown rice, black beans and homemade salsa sounded perfect.

Next Borders. Now, I may have turned off the TV, but I still did manage to learn that Chicago's very own, Rick Bayless, won the Top Chef Masters on Wednesday night. And what did I see while wandering through the store, you guessed it, Rick Bayless' "Mexico, One Plate at a Time". I had to buy it for Jason.

So between the book and his website I combined a couple of recipes to make my own.

- 2 plum tomatoes
- 6 tomatillos
- 3 serrano peppers
- 1 medium onion sliced into 1/4 in rings
- 6 small cloves of garlic
- salt and sugar to taste
- squeeze of lime juice *optional

Husk and rinse the tomatillos. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil** and put the tomatoes, tomatillos and peppers about 4 inches under the broiler. Broil for about 5 minutes and flip over for about another 5. The skins should be getting black, the tomatoes will probably have split. Pull out and let cool.

** this cuts down on clean up and makes it easier to capture the juices

Turn the oven down to 425 and on another pan cook the onions and garlic for about 10-15 minutes or until the onion is just starting to brown.

Put the onion and garlic in a food processor and chop roughly. Scrape into a bowl.

Pull the cores out of the tomatoes and put the tomatoes, tomatillos, serrano peppers and their juices into the food processor and pulse. Add to the bowl with the onions and garlic.

Mix these all together and add sugar (if needed to balance the tart) and salt to taste. I like to end mine with a squeeze of lime juice just because.

I put it in a jar and let it sit overnight to allow the flavors to meld together. This salsa is spicy, not for the faint of heart, but the spice mellowed out overnight.

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