Husking tomatillos is a sticky, somewhat tedious business. Fortunately a dear friend came by and she and I talked chickens and children while she cheerily helped me peel every single usable tomatillo in the buckets -- and that harvest trug was also full yesterday, from the fallen fruit in the bed. Having her there helped immensely, not only for the work, but because when I'd grimace and flick my sandal off of my foot, she'd calmly say, "Earwig?" "Uh huh," I'd reply, "Toewig," and we'd go on.
Once they were peeled, I shifted them from soapy water to draining rack. I wasn't really trying to get all of the sticky off, just the earwigs, their leavings, and any stray garden dirt or plant matter. Just a dunk and a rinse, really.
Added to them were the outsides of as many peppers as I could get at the market. It was, unfortunately, not a banner day for peppers. If hot hot hot salsa was a good idea, I could have made this with any amount of peppers, but I wanted a mix between the mildness of Anaheims and a tiny bit of Jalapeno. Instead, I got mostly Pasillas. You can also tell that I didn't start the salsa until after dinner. Peeling those babies took up a bigger part of the afternoon than I'd bargained for; and the kids were too hungry to wait for me to finish a batch!
I used the food processor to chop things, because it's faster and also because I don't want a chunky salsa, the way I would if it were going on chips or something like that. I did miss enough that there's going to be chunks, especially of onions. I have bags of frozen chopped onions from the harvest with the soft places, so it's fairly easy to measure.
I prefer lime to lemon juice. After this batch, though, I think I like a mix of vinegar to lime juice the best. As long as the juice is bottled, I believe the acidity is safe for canning. Vinegar would sort of be insurance too.
The trusty food processor turned these
Into this pretty quickly. Sometimes I poured off a little bit of juice -- it tends toward wateriness anyhow.
Spices like cumin and oregano add just the right flavor
And I use kosher salt because I haven't found canning salt in my area yet. It may not be perfect, but it works okay.
Simmer all the sauce for 20 minutes, then put in jars and process. Last night, I doubled the batch (according to the hot pepper amount) and only got nine pints.
That's really pretty terrific - a batch of enchiladas takes about two. It would be more terrific if there weren't the equivalent of another five gallon bucket of peeled tomatillos waiting. I can freeze them, cook them and freeze them, can them whole, or go and get more peppers today and make another double batch. A new recipe for enchilada sauce crossed my radar while I was writing this, with larger amounts than mine. Maybe I'll try that one tomorrow night.
When I went to bed, the cat was nosing after one of the earwigs walking across the floor. Guess I didn't get them all when I swept. Eeew.
The recipe I used can be found here, and it's fairly straightforward.
Tomatillo Green Salsa
- 5 cups chopped tomatillos
- 1-½ cups seeded, chopped long green chiles
- ½ cup seeded, finely chopped jalapeño peppers
- 4 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup bottled lemon or lime juice
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin (optional)
- 3 tablespoons dried oregano leaves (optional)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper