November 19, 2012
Now this is something you don’t expect when we talk about local seasonal eating in Ireland. Tomatillos. Usually found in (good) Mexican food, these guys are also called tomates verdes (green tomatoes) and they make rather brilliant salsa. There’s very little chopping involved it’s just all the tomatillos in this week’s delivery (250gr) peeled of their papery husks cut in two and tossed into the blender with a couple of cloves of garlic and 1/2 chilli (the whole one if you like things really hot), a pinch of salt. Blast til you have a coarse puree then add half an onion finely chopped, a handful chopped coriander and the juice of half a lime. Taste and add more lime or salt if you think it needs it and you’re good to go.
A step up and the way I really like to go, especially if you decide to make the burritos, is to char-grill all the ingredients before you blast and it goes something like this…..
Char-grilled tomatillo salsa
250gr tomatillos (husked)
1 red chilli – of course if you have any fancier Mexican ones this is the time to bring them forth
2 fat cloves of garlic with the skin left on
1/2 onion finely chopped
A handful coriander chopped
Heat your grill as hot as it will go and place the tomatillos, garlic and chilli on a baking dish under it. Grill until the skins start to blacken turning to ensure everything cooks evenly. Let things cool down then remove the top of the chilli (it’ll add bitterness) and take the skin off the garlic cloves then blast everything with a pinch of salt to a coarse . Add purée the onion and the juice of half the lime. Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary then top with the coriander and serve.
Good nachos and beers mean you’ve Friday evening snacks sorted but if you’re looking for dinner you’ve also made a good start. The sour note you get from fresh tomatillos works really well with fatty things like pulled pork and indeed meat in general and I found that the char-grilled version really complemented the honeyed starchiness of this week’s sweet potatoes. I roasted them for maximum flavour then mashed them up and used this as a base which I spread on each burrito followed by some grated Knockdrinna Sheep’s cheese, a generous amount of salsa, a few dollops of sour cream and generous handful of lettuce. Yummmmmmmmmmmm! It was a big hit and I reckon would be brilliant for big groups.
Roast Sweet Potato burritos with chargrilled tomatillo salsa and Knockdrinna cheese( for 2)
500gr sweet potatoes
1 quantity char-grilled tomatillo salsa (see above)
1 tub sour cream
1 head lettuce
150gr Knockdrinna Sheeps cheese grated (goats would also work well)
4 burritos warmed
Heat the oven to gas mark 6 (200 degrees) .Cut the sweet potatoes lengthways, drizzle with olive oil and place cut side down on a roast tin and place in the oven and roast until tender (about 50-60 minutes). While the sweet potatoes are roasting get all the other stuff ready so you’ll be ready when they are. When the potatoes come out of the oven let them cool slightly before scooping them out of their skins and roughly mashing them. Everything else on the table? Beers out of the fridge? Dinner is served!
Have a brilliant week,