Chips & Salsa
Obviously the best part about going out for Mexican food is the chips and salsa. OK – maybe it’s not the BEST part but it’s definitely the BEST START to Mexican food (aside from the margaritas, i’ll take a cadillac)!
How can you help but not fill up on the warm, crunchy, salty chips dipped into the luxurious flavor infusion that exists in those melamine cups full of delicious salsa! Usually, (at a good place) they will bring you at least two different kinds of salsa to load up on (before that massively big wet burrito arrives).
Red vs. Green
Look, I am no salsa hater. I like all different kinds. Seriously, chips and salsa are probably one of my favorite things. So simple, so versatile, and so convenient! You can put salsa on the table at any gathering and before you know it, that’s where everyone’s at.
Red salsas can typically be the ones in restaurants that pack the heat while the green salsas are dubbed mild. That’s not always the case though, so if you don’t LOVE spice like I do, you may wanna be careful before you dip the chip!
My recipe for salsa verde is spicy so take a look at my note on the bottom of the recipe on how to make this salsa more on the mild side!
Can you take the heat?
When making salsa at home and from scratch, it’s important to roast your vegetables and tomatoes. Roasting allows for easy peeling of the skins and for full flavor to awaken.
The easiest way to char your vegetables would be over an open flame like on a BBQ grill or gas stove top…but not all of us have that luxury or ability. If you do, use it as this adds such a fantastic depth of flavor! But please, use caution when working with fire or open flames.
If no open fire is available (darn), use the broiler feature on your oven. If you don’t have a broiler, set your oven to 500 F and roast on a sheet pan.
You’ll want to remove all skins from roasted vegetables. If you don’t want super spicy salsa, make sure you take out all the inner seed from the peppers as they are quite spicy on their own after roasting.
Almost ready for chips
All this talk about salsa and I am ready for some chips. What’s great about salsa verde is it can be used for more than just a dip!
Use my salsa verde recipe to top enchiladas, taquitos, chile quiles, in a breakfast burrito – I mean the list is continuous! Ugh, now I want all of those things, including the wet burrito mentioned earlier as well as now a chimichanga. Did I mention tamales?
But that’s not all…
This spicy green sauce works wonders on chicken, shrimp, or even made into a salad dressing! I know right?!
ANYWAYS! Now that I am completely distracted by food, once you process all your ingredients you can always strain the salsa to deplete some of the tiny seeds contained in the tomatillos.
Using fresh tomatillos does make a difference in flavor. The canned tomatillos are just as good don’t get me wrong. Fresh tomatillos can be hard to come by depending on the season (as it is fairly short) and where you live. Also, if you get fresh tomatillos that aren’t ripe, you are in for bitter, sour city (it’s pretty bad)!
The canned tomatillos are always a safe, flavorful bet so if you aren’t sure about how ripe your stores supply is don’t fret! When looking for tomatillos, find the ones with the tannest, brownest husks (but not rotted or moldy) yet still firm.
Just one more tip…
If for some reason you’re thinking of just subbing out the tomatillos for red tomatoes, I’ll have you know that flavor wise, that will totally be fine BUT the color turns to a very unflattering brown. Almost like a baby…well I don’t need to say it. Just thought I would share that snippet (coming from experience!).
- 5-6 medium, ripe tomatillos or 15oz canned, whole
- 4-5 medium poblano peppers
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 red onion
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Step One
Remove husks from tomatillos if using fresh. Wash the tomatillos, peppers, and cilantro thoroughly. Peel outer layer from red onion.
Place tomatillos (if using canned, omit in this step), poblano peppers, and red onion onto a sheet pan under a broiler. Broil until charred on all sides, about 15 minutes.
You can also fire-roast on the gas stove top (carefully) or on your bbq grill as well.
- Step Three
After decent char is achieved, remove sheet pan from oven. Place roasted peppers and tomatillos in a large bowl and cover with a kitchen towel for 30 minutes. The onion can just hang out while we wait 🙂
After 30 minutes, remove towel from the bowl and peel outer skins from the peppers and tomatillos. Discard the skins. Split the peppers down the middle, removing stems and seeds completely. Chop onion into quarters and tomatillos in half.
If using canned tomatillos, no cutting is necessary they can be processed whole.
Place tomatillos, peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro, and seasonings into a food processor or blender. Process until mixture is smooth, about 2 or 3 minutes. You can place the entire bunch of cilantro into the processor - just cut the stems at the base of the bunch.
To lessen the amount of seeds in the salsa verde from the tomatillos, you can pass the salsa through a fine mesh strainer. Taste the salsa. Adjust seasonings as necessary.
Ready to eat and enjoy!
If you would like this recipe to be less spicy, try using Anaheim chiles instead of poblanos or leave the peppers out completely by substituting more tomatillos.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 36Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 877mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g
Nutritional information is estimated and may not be accurate.
I hope you have enjoyed this recipe. Please let me know how yours turned out in the comments! Say hi to me on social.
Happy cooking y’all.