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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)
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I would venture a bet that you’re reading this post as I sit here post-Irene.  No electricity, no water in spite of the deluge of rain we’ve received during the first hurricane the Northeast has experienced in 20 years.  My potted herbs and stringy cherry tomato plants have taken over my kitchen floor.  The patio table stands awkwardly in my living room.  I can only hope that as you read this, that no major damage to our home [that technically isn't even our home anymore] has been sustained, that we are safe, that my family on the south shore of Long Island have weathered this storm in a similar fashion.  That you and your families are safe.  Mother Nature works in such mystifying ways, doesn’t she?  An earthquake and a hurricane in one week.  A winter that us New Englanders will never forget.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa [Salsa Verde]

And through all this, we hunker down and we cook.  We cook to prepare, we cook to pass the time.  Isn’t it in our nature to turn to food and family in times of trouble?  Or is that just the Italian in me?  Either way, I made a big batch of this salsa verde before the hurricane hit this weekend after having made it (and fell in love with it) for the first time for a Tex-Mex-inspired dinner with friends last weekend.  If you’re unfamiliar with salsa verde as I was, put simply, it’s roasted tomatillos and roasted garlic whirred up in the food processor with a bit of heat from the hot pepper of your choice (either a jalapeño or a serrano) added in.  For this recipe, you’ll dry roast the tomatillos and garlic in a hot pan, similar to the method for this rustic roasted salsa.  I can’t say enough about how much we adore this salsa.  Unlike tomato-based salsa which leans towards the acidic side, the roasted tomatillos yield a sweet undertone that blends with a perfect amount of heat from a jalapeño and the addictive flavor of fresh cilantro.  Along with a bag of blue corn tortilla chips on the hurricane preparedness list, this salsa will go a long way to helping you forget about the 80 mile per hour winds howling outside.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1-2 jalapeño, seeded and ribs removed, roughly chopped
  • about 1/3 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 small white onion, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lay the garlic and tomatillos (cut-side down) in the skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the tomatillos are well-browned. Turn everything over and brown the other side (the tomatillos should be very soft). Remove the tomatillos and garlic and add to a food processor or blender. Allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the jalapeño, 1/4 cup of water, onions, cilantro, and lime juice to the food processor, and blend to a coarse purée. Add Kosher salt to taste. Pour into a dish and add more water if necessary, to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency.

Source

source: Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless, as seen on Pink Parsley

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http://www.smells-like-home.com/2011/08/roasted-tomatillo-salsa-salsa-verde/

Shrimp Tacos/Quesadillas with Mango Salsa
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Shrimp Tacos

After posting 3 different bar recipes in the past week, it’s definitely time to lighten things up a little around here.  These tacos and salsa are definitely a better indicators of how we’ve actually been eating recently and the meal such a great way to balance out some of the sweet stuff.   These shrimp tacos are light, super quick, and mucho healthy.   Shawnda actually chose them for her PPQ choice a few weeks ago but I wasn’t really “feeling” them back then.  And I’m not sure why because I knew they would be awesome…which, of course, they were.  I changed things up just a little, using ancho chile powder on the shrimp instead of cayenne and omitting the peppers, onions, and Worcestershire sauce. After an easy sauté, the shrimp are left with a hint of spice but combine perfectly with the cool mango salsa.  Top the tacos with a little lime sour cream (a little lime zest and juice mixed with sour cream) and you’ve got yourself a great meal!

In case you’re wondering about WW PointsPlus (as some of you have asked about), each taco consisted of 3 shrimp on a regular 6″ flour tortilla with about 1 tsp of shredded cheddar (not including sour cream) and was 5 Pts – the mango salsa is free.  Not too shabby!  I actually had quite a bit of salsa left over after only using 1/2lb of shrimp so I made another batch of shrimp yesterday morning while I was running around getting ready for work (roasted them at 425 degrees F for 8 minutes) and ate just the shrimp (9 shrimp) and salsa as a 2 Pt lunch yesterday – score!!

Shrimp Tacos/Quesadillas with Mango Salsa

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

    For the salsa:
  • 2 mangoes, diced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup Thai-style sweet chile sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • For the tacos:
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ancho chile powder
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 8 small (6-inch) tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Instructions

  1. To make the salsa: Combine the mango, jalapeno, onion, lime juice, salt, chili sauce, garlic, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or until ready to serve.
  2. To make the tacos: Rub the shrimp with chile powder and salt. In a large saute pan set over medium-high heat, heat oil and saute the shrimp 3 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they curl and turn pink. Remove the shrimp from the heat and serve the shrimp hot in warmed tortillas with mango salsa and cheese.

Source

source: adapted from The Pastry Queen, by Recbecca Rather

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http://www.smells-like-home.com/2011/05/shrimp-tacos-quesadillas-with-mango-salsa/

Green Chile Crab Cakes with Tomatillo Salsa
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I have been searching for a great crab cake recipe for years. And while I have a list of probably five different recipes I want to try, I pushed this one to the top of this list this week.  It was my turn to choose again for Project Pastry Queen and after loving every savory recipe I’ve made from The Pastry Queen since I became part of the group, I was instantly drawn to this part of the book.  I couldn’t pass up this recipe especially since it leans towards the Tex Mex side of the spectrum (as many of Rebecca Rather’s recipes do) and you all know about my recent Mexican food adoration.  Jalapeños and roasted poblanos in the crab cake with a roasted tomatillo salsa on top? I’m game!

The lump crab really does take center stage in spite of the lengthy ingredient list and we absolutely loved this recipe.  The extra coating of panko on the outside of the cake you’ll apply before frying lends to an extra crispy crust; it’s one aspect I find to be so important in a great crab cake.  I’ll admit that I probably could have baked then broiled them to save a few calories but nothing compares to a fried crab cake, especially when they looked so awesome even before they were cooked!  I was definitely curious about the roasted tomatillo salsa since I’ve never made it before and it was the perfect complement to the crab cakes.  Roasting the tomatillos, just as when you roast tomatoes, brings out the natural sugar in the tomatillo and the subtle sweetness of the salsa blends beautifully with the savory crab cake.  In my opinions, the salsa is a must with these crab cakes and since the salsa recipe makes way more than you’ll need for the 8-10 cakes the crab cake recipe yields, you’ll be able to keep the leftovers in the fridge for a week or two to use up with tortilla chips or in chili, tacos, or fajitas…and this is a good thing because I bet you’ll fall for this salsa just as much as I did.

Make sure you check out what the rest of the group thought about today’s Project!  Next up: Toffee Bar Brownie Torte.

Mango Pineapple Salsa
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Every time I say “salsa” I just want to shout out “SALSA!!” and then dance around a little.  I don’t know what it is about salsa but I just love it so much!  Traditional tomato-based salsa is always on our grocery list because it’s just such a healthy snack but I’m also a huge fan of fruit salsa as well…or more specifically peach salsa.  There’s something about the cool and sweet fruit paired with the savory tomato and heat from the jalapeno that is just so addicting to me.  So when my cousin (speaking of my cousin…I’m still in need of some donations for the Relay for Life team that is supporting her recovery from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma!!) was here to visit a few weeks ago, she offered to make this mango pineapple salsa she learned to make in one of her culinary classes at Johnson and Wales University.  Game. On.

The recipe itself is a piece of cake to throw together – it’s really takes no more than chopping up a bunch of ingredients – but it should be noted that the salsa will need a day in the fridge before you serve it to allow the flavors to really come together.  So in addition to my addiction to peach salsa, I’m totally and irrevocably in love and addicted to this mango pineapple salsa!  The lime juice and red onion take the fruit to another level and the roasted corn (which you could grill instead) is a surprise ingredient that adds more flavor than you can imagine.  The recipe is completely adaptable so if you wanted to leave out the cilantro or add some chopped jalapeno, it will all work just fine.  Do yourself a favor and make this salsa now.  Or at least for your upcoming Memorial Day party!!