Tomatillo Salsa

Let’s talk about vacations in Mexico for a minute…is there anything better? Basically, your days consist of getting your body out of bed and moved to the closest body of water, be that pool or ocean, as quickly as possible. From there, the entire day is a rotation poolside cocktails and bites, an occasional dip in the water, flipping through magazines, perhaps a little cat nap, another dip in the water, and maybe even a walk on the beach. You talk about maybe going into town to check out the shops, but then you just decide to linger by the water a little longer. By then, the day’s done, and it’s time for more relaxing over a delicious dinner at the best cantina in town.

 

Doesn’t that sound nice? Jeez, it’s been too long since I’ve had a vaca…I’m getting lost in my own imagination! Sadly, there are no Mexican vacations on the near horizon for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep the daydream going at home with some cuisine inspired by those cherished memories…like this tomatillo salsa…here’s how it’s done…

 

tomatillo-salsa

 

Tomatillo Salsa

 

You will need:

 

  • 1 pound tomatillos
  • 1 poblano or pasilla pepper
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 1 small red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • small handful cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1/2 cup canola oil
  • salt & pepper

 

To prepare:

 

  1. Start by removing the husks from the tomatillos, and wash with soap under running water to remove the sticky remnants.
  2. Peel the red onions, and slice into quarter inch disks.
  3. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Toss the tomatillos, red onions, jalapenos, and pasilla (or pablono) pepper with tablespoon of canola oil, salt & pepper.
  5. Add the veggies to the grill pan. Cook until charred on all sides, and remove from the pan.
  6. Place the pasilla and jalapeno peppers in a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 10 minutes, then remove the skin, stem, and seeds.
  7. Add all the veggies, cilantro, garlic and lime juice to a blender or food processor, and pulse several times. Then, with the motor going, slowly pour in the canola oil.
  8. Puree until fully incorporated, but still has texture.
  9. Check the seasoning, and add more salt & pepper, if needed.

 

grilled-onionstomatillo

 

This salsa is the most amazing condiment for one of my all-time favorite Mexican cuisines, carnitas! And the recipe for that, my friends, is coming your way tomorrow!

 

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Cinco de Mayo Guacamole

Yesterday was an interesting day. Things got off to a shaky start at about 10am, right when I was about to head out for a morning spin class. Of course, because I was running late, I had to spill an entire carton of brand spanking new blueberries all over the kitchen floor. It was annoying on many levels…for one, because I wanted to eat the darn things…but also,because daaaaaaaang blueberries are soooooooo expensive. I sadly swept them up and tossed them in the garbage can.

 

Well, things started looking up a bit when I parked near my gym and managed to snag a meter with 1:39 minutes…score! (Meters used to be free on Sundays in San Francisco, but now we have to pay 7 days a week).

 

But then I came back home to work on some cooking projects for the day…and that’s when one of my spice jars came crashing out of the cupboard and exploded all over the kitchen counter. Shattered glass and dried oregano everywhere. Fun. Stuff. You have to just laugh at this stuff, right?

 

Thankfully, I was in the midst of whipping up a batch of this guacamole so, after sweeping up the broken glass, things started looking up significantly yet again. I even stepped on a tiny shard of glass later, and it didn’t even matter…because…well, guacamole!

 

guacamole-con-queso

 

This recipe was inspired by a popular San Francisco restaurant, Mamacita. They serve THE BEST guacamole. Last time I was there, I was like “ok, seriously, what makes this so good?” I decided it’s not just the guacamole itself (which is fresh and delicious, btw), but also the simple garnishes piled on top…diced tomatoes, crumbled queso, and chopped cilantro. The flavors of these ingredients pop so much more when they are piled on top, instead of mixed into the guacamole. I like to serve it on a flat plat so get you a bit of everything in each bite. Here’s how it’s done…

 

guacamole

 

 

Guacamole

You will need:

  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced onions
  • 1 lime
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 small tomato, seeds removed & finely diced
  • 2 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • Fleur de sel

 

To prepare:

  1. Slice the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Roughly mash with a fork.
  2. Add the onions, juice from 1/2 the lime, salt & pepper. Continue to mash and mix until combined, but still a bit chunky.
  3. To serve, spread the guacamole into an even layer onto a plate or small platter. Top with a layer of tomatoes, then queso, and then cilantro.
  4. To finish, squeeze the second half of the lime over the top. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, and finish with a sprinkling of fleur de sel.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips.

 

chip-with-guacamole

 

This is the first of many Cinco de Mayo recipes coming your way this week, and you can find more Mexican recipes here, here, and here.

 

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Friday Round-up // Week 17

Well, my night was pretty fun last night! Kevin and I went with our friends, Chris and Rachel, to check out Michael Chairello’s new Embarcadero restaurant, Coqueta. As expected, it was A-mazing! The space itself is very cool, and there was an utterly bustling crowd there. We ordered a ton of tapas dishes to share. We loved everything, but I would especially recommend the fideua (favorite of the night), croquetas, the housemade chorizo, and the meatballs.

 

Oh yeah…and then this happened…

 

happy-weekend\

 

Here are some of my favorite links for the week…

 

So excited to check out the latest extension of Off Grid at The Presidio this Sunday. Nothing like great food and lots of lush green grass to enjoy a beautiful Sunday.

 

Any of you ladies out there relate to my serious girl crush on Emily Blunt? Just love her…

 

My life has currently been taken over by Candy Crush. I blame Jenny…yes, you Jenny…I’m talking to you!!!!!!!!!

 

I just discovered Fat Amy on Twitter…tee hee.

 

One of our beloved San Francisco steak houses (get the bone-in filet!!!) is opening up a cocktail lounge…Bobo’s Lounge coming soon.

 

OMG, never been so excited about a Project Runway win ever. Not that I doubted for a minute! (PS…so good to have Michael Kors back for a night too!)

 

Hilarious review of Mission Chinese Food via expressions of four-year-old, Desmond Applegreen.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

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Food for Thought

Recently, I came across this quote that has really stuck in my head. I don’t know what it was about this specific quote, since I see dozens of similar motivational quotes plastered all over Facebook and Twitter every day. But this is the one that stuck. Perhaps it’s the simplicity of it. It just kind of hit me when I saw it, “Duh! Of course.”

 

quote

 

I think it’s especially telling for us gals in our (ahem) 30’s, since the weight doesn’t fall off as easily as it used to (at least for me!). I’m making changes by eating a healthy breakfast every day and majorly cutting out wine consumption. I may have missed the March deadline, but I’m still determined to drop the 10 pounds I resolved to lose!

 

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