Dangerously Good: Salsa Verde

Ah, preventative measures. 

You know, those little things you do to make sure bigger, bad things don’t happen.  

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Well, apparently when your brain is telling you to take preventative measures, you should probably listen.

As I was charring veggies to make salsa verde - tomato salsa’s brighter, saucier green cousin - and the peppers started bouncing around in the pan because of the heat, I thought to myself: Hmm, I should probably poke some holes in those

But I didn’t. And then the really spicy green chile exploded - and I mean exploded - sending blisteringly-hot seeds flying at my face while I stood there, frozen, holding a smoking, ten-pound frying pan full of bubbling vegetables. Not good.

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Kitchen mishap aside, this salsa verde - literally “green sauce” - is definitely worth pulling out your cast iron frying pan for. And it’ll give you a reason to pick up some tomatillos - those bright green, tomato-like, papery-skinned fruits that have been kicking around the grocery stores lately. Cool, hey?

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Salsa Verde
Salsa verde is great on chips, tacos, huevos rancheros, fish, meat…the list goes on! 
Adapted from Gourmet
Makes about 1.5 cups

Ingredients
½ lb fresh tomatillos (roughly 3 medium tomatillos), husks removed and fruits rinsed*
1 fresh jalapeno, or other hot pepper(s) 
1 clove of garlic
¾ tsp salt
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup water

Directions
1. Poke a couple small holes in the tomatillos, pepper, and garlic.

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2. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron pan over medium heat. Pan is ready when a drop of water evaporates quickly after touching the surface of the pan. Add tomatillos, pepper and garlic to the pan and roast for 10-15 minutes, turning to char evenly.
 
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3. Allow vegetables to cool for a few minutes, then cut pepper in half and discard half of the seeds and membranes**. Transfer vegetables to a blender or food processor. Add salt, cilantro and water, and coarsely puree***. Adjust with water and salt until consistency and flavour are to your liking.

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*I added an extra tomatillo because I found the 1/2 lb version was a bit thin. 
**If you’re using really spicy peppers, be careful not to touch the membranes and seeds with your bare hands (either use a spoon or a knife, or wear gloves). The heat in the peppers can irritate your skin. Badly. I know from (recent, unpleasant) experience. 
***I can’t show you a photo of the pureeing process because I made the mistake of using an immersion blender and a shallow bowl. It was a mess. I don’t recommend trying it. 

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