14 August 2008

Tomatillos

Tomatillos are a mainstay of Mexican cuisine and they are quickly making their way into American home gardens. The tomatillo looks similar to a tomato, but smaller...each fruit weighing about 2 - 3 oz. The plants grow to about 4 feet, and the fruits develop inside a papery husk which is shed when the fruit is ready to harvest. They are green to yellow in color, and I've seen one variety that was actually purple in color. They are most widely known as being one of the main ingredients in Green Salsa, for which the recipe follows. Tomatillo Salsa...this is a large batch recipe for canning... 5 1/2 Cups Tomatillos, husked, chopped and cored (about 2 pounds) 1 Cup chopped onion 1 Cup chopped Green Chili Peppers (Serrano Chiles provide much more heat than Jalapenos) 4 Cloves Garlic 2 TBSP minced Cilantro 2 tsp ground Cumin 1/2 tsp Salt 1/2 tsp Red Pepper 1 Cup Vinegar 1/4 Cup Lime Juice Combine all ingredients in a large saucepot. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes. Ladle hot salsa into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust 2 piece caps. Process fifteen minutes in a boiling water canner. Yields about 2 pints. Here's a quick note for you: When working with hot peppers, it will help to wear rubber gloves to prevent your hands from burning. Also, the heat does not readily wash away from your hands, so without gloves, you will most assuredly forget about the hot peppers later on and quite possibly burn other areas of your body, such as eyes and mouth. Source: Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration

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