Friday, August 17, 2012

T is for: Tomatillo Avocado Salsa with Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips

I'm definitely a chips and salsa girl. (Who isn't?)

But seriously, when I go to a Mexican restaurant, I can't stop my hand from constantly reaching for the chip basket and dunking it in whatever salsa is on the table. And if there is queso or guacamole involved? Forgetaboutit. I end up eating so much that by the time my actual entree comes out, I'm already full.

One of my favorite types of salsa is the spicy green kind. It's made from tomatillos with some jalapeno for a little kick. I've never actually worked with tomatillos before this post, and I can't believe I hadn't. They are way easier than they look and they are delicious.

And since I also love guacamole, I decided to combine some avocados with my spicy tomatillo salsa for a creamy take on a Mexican classic.

First, let's talk tomatillos. They sort of look like green tomatoes, but they are actually a member of the nightside family, related to gooseberries. (I don't actually know what a gooseberry is, but for those of you who do, they are related). Look for firm, bright green fruits. They will have a papery husk on them. Simply remove it and then wash the tomatillos to remove the sticky residue.

You could totally make this with raw tomatillos, but I love the flavor achieved when roasting vegetables in the oven. I combined the tomatillos with some yellow onion, a jalapeno, 3 green onions, a random green tomato that was in my fridge, and a few garlic cloves. I drizzled with some habanero olive oil and popped it under the broiler until everything started to blister, turning as needed. I love when they get kind of charred, but if you don't like that, you can pull them out earlier. To remove the skin from the jalapeno, throw it in a bag for about 10 minutes and then peel it off. (Method described in more detail here).

From here, just pop everything in the food processor, along with some cilantro and lime juice and pulse until combined and smooth. At this point, I thought this salsa was fabulous as-is. In fact, this would make a great sauce for Enchiladas Verdes in place of chiles. But I thought it would be delicious to also add a couple of avocados to the mix...and guess what? I was right! A little spice, a little tang, and some creamy avocado to bring it all home. Season to taste with salt and refrigerate until ready to serve.

When I brought this to the dinner party I was attending, I also busted out some homemade tortilla chips. My friends mockingly said "Of course you made your own tortilla chips." Valid joke, HOWEVER...if you knew how ridiculously simple it was to make your own, you would probably stop eating store-bought ones. All you do is brush them with oil, cut them in wedges, sprinkle with salt and bake in the oven until crispy. See? So simple. And so delicious.

Serve with salsa and get ready for the fiesta in your mouth! Arriba!

Roasted Tomatillo Avocado Salsa with Homemade Tortilla Chips

by Jaymee Sire
Keywords: roast appetizer tomatillo avocado jalapeno tortilla chips Cinco de Mayo Mexican

    For the salsa
    • 1 pound tomatillos, papery husks removed
    • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
    • 3 green onions
    • 1 jalapeno pepper
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 1 green tomato (optional :))
    • olive oil
    • 1/4 cup cilantro
    • Juice from 1/2 lime
    • 1-2 large, ripe avocados
    • salt, to taste
    For the chips
    • 1 package tortillas
    • oil, for brushing
    • salt
    For the Salsa
    1. Place tomatillos, yellow onion, jalapeno, green onions, tomato (if using) and garlic cloves on a sheet pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil and broil until vegetables start to blister, turning as needed. To remove the skin from the jalapeno, throw it in a bag for about 10 minutes and then peel it off.
    2. Place roasted vegetables in food processor, along with cilantro, lime juice and avocado. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Season with salt, to taste and add more lime juice if needed.

    For the Chips
    1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush each tortilla with a little oil, cut them in wedges, sprinkle with salt and bake in the oven until browned and edges start to curl. (about 10 minutes, but check them often)
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    1. Love this post! Will definitely try the recipe. I'm originally from San Diego and therefore by default a Mexican cuisine aficionado. There's this place in Solana Beach (San Diego) named Fidel's that serves what they call a "white" sauce with their chips and salsa. It's tremendous! You've probably had it living in a culinary city like SF, but if you haven't it's a must try.

      1. I used to live in San Diego! Never made it to Fidel's though. :( I loved the white sauce at Miguel's.

    2. Very cool! Did you cover Padres, Chargers etc? Miguel's is great as well! Have many fun memories of days on the SD bay followed by Margaritas at Miguel's in Pt. Loma! Keep up the great blogs! I'm a guy who loves to cook and dine and frequently check your posts for new and fun ideas. Cheers!

    3. I think this is gonna be my new favorite salsa. Love this idea!!


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