Because of its versatility and the ease with which it comes together, this is the salsa that "Pati's Mexican Table" host Pati Jinich makes most often at home. It has the right balance of tomatillo tartness and chili pepper heat.
Use it as the base of a meat and potato stew; serve it enchiladas, chilaquiles, quesadillas, tacos, eggs or with tortilla chips.
Make Ahead: The cooked salsa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a few weeks. Its pepper-heat level will diminish over the course of several days.
Yield: (makes 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 pound green tomatillos (husks removed), rinsed
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper (with seeds)
- Leaves from 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 3 tablespoons white onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or more as needed
- 1 tablespoon safflower or corn oil
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Combine the tomatillos, garlic and half the serrrano or jalapeno pepper in a medium pot; cover with water by an inch or two. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatillos change in color from bright to pale green, are cooked through and are soft but are not coming apart.
Transfer the tomatillos, garlic, the 1/2 pepper and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid to a blender; remove the center of the lid and place a dish towel over it so steam can escape. Puree until smooth. Add the cilantro, onion and salt; puree until smooth. Taste and add salt as needed. Also taste for heat; add some or all the remaining chili pepper and pulse to incorporate. (Discard the remaining cooking liquid.)
Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the puree. Once it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 5 to 7 minutes, to form a slightly thickened salsa that is bit darker in color.
Transfer to a container to cool completely. The salsa's ready to serve, or it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to several weeks.
From Pati Jinich, cooking show host and culinary instructor-chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington.
Tested by Pati Jinich.
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