Friday, April 29, 2011

Green Chili Sauce and Pacific Cod

I'm a big believer in keeping projects.  There are lots of advantages to staying busy and no advantages to being a couch potato.  I've almost always got a few half finished projects.  Right now, I've determined to learn to make green chili sauce using those green tomatillos. 

So off I go to Gateway Produce yesterday afternoon to buy tomatillos and jalapenos.  I'm standing in front of the tomatillos examining and selecting.  I don't have a lot of experience with tomatillos.  Besides me is a lady, clearly Hispanic, putting jalapenos in a bag.  Literally, she must have had a dozen of those things!  I wondered what on earth was she going to do with them and why can't I go home with her to watch.  Most people would have talked to her, asked her what she was making.  I have trouble talking to strangers so I wondered and decided to double my efforts to learn some new things.

I'm cooking from The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howards.  A beautiful little book.

 Tomatillo Mexican Salsa:
1/2 lb tomatillos, husk removed, cleaned and quartered
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper
1/4 large white onion
1 carrot
1/4 c. each:  apple juice and cider vinegar
1/4 t. pickling salt
1/2 t. each ground cumin and dried oregano
1 T. granulated sugar. 

Chop the vegetables coarsely in preparation for the food processor.  Into the food processor and puree the vegetables, then add remaining ingredients. Of course, I had to stop to taste.  Cleared my sinuses right out, but in a good way.  Uncooked, the vinegar was strong, but the jalapenos was right there talking to me.  Into a pot and bring to a gentle simmer.  Maintain for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile prepare hot water canner with boiling water.  Previously, I ran several 1/2 pint canning jars through the dishwasher.  They sat on my counter most of a day.  They heated in the hot water canner while I made this sauce.  I heated and sterilized the lids in another pan, also.  This recipe made 2 1/2 pints plus most of another cup.  I filled the jars to within a 1/2 inch of head space, added the lids and bands and processed for 20 minutes.  If you need more detail about canning, start with a basic canning book.   

Meanwhile I started some Pacific Cod to cooking in a little olive oil and a good hard shake of salt and pepper.  Dinner was Pacific Cod with Green Chili Sauce.   For lunch, I used it as a spread on my sandwich bread then added tuna salad, lettuce from the greenhouse and a tomato slice.  Pretty tasty.  Remember to just get started. 

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