Salsa Verde

So, you like Mexican food, but maybe you are getting a little burnt out on that red tomato flavor? Enter the verde! This is a great sauce that you can use for just about any dish you would normally garnish or make with a salsa roja or ranchera sauce and get a great, new taste. It’s easy to make and way more flavorful than the crap sold in cans in the “stuff non-white people eat’ isle. Give it a try, you’ll be pleased.

Salsa Verde

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tomatillos
  • 1/2 large, white onion, chopped
  • 1-to-2 Serrano chili peppers, chopped
  • 1 garlc clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Prep

  • In a small sauce pan, add tomatillos, onion, peppers, and cilanto.
  • Add enough water to just cover the veggies, about 2 cups.

Salsa Verde Progress

  • Add cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Using either a blender or, ideally, an immersion blender that you can stick right in the pot, puree the ingredients.
  • Taste the salsa and add a little more salt, a 1/4 teaspoon at a time until you are happy.

What can I do with my salsa verde?

This sauce is great to use for enchiladas and casseroles, especially if you are looking for an alternative to ranchera sauce. You can also garnish tacos and rellenos, or make a wet burrito by covering in a generous amount of sauce, sprinkling with jack cheese, and baking at 325 degrees for about 5 minutes. You just want the cheese to melt.

If you like to grill, you can use this sauce as a marinade for chicken or garnish on shrimp. The cumin in the sauce makes it very robust so it can stand up to any cut of steak as a garnish, too.

If you are into creative pizzas, you could use this sauce instead of tomato, add slices of cooked steak, chopped white onion, and chopped tomatoes with shredded mozzarella or jack cheese. Sprinkle with cilantro when its out of the oven. Damn, I am making myself really hungry.

Feel free to check out my recipes using salsa verde if you are looking for ideas.

~Nom On

Chicken Verde Casserole

Since I made a batch of salsa verde this past weekend, I have been looking for reasons to use it! This casserole is great because you essentially get all the flavors of sour cream chicken enchiladas with less fuss and prep. So long as you didn’t make your salsa verde too spicy, this dish is kid friendly and I find it comforting for cold weather, but the flavors suit the summertime just fine.

Chicken Verde Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded(Budget Tip: I always keep frozen chicken breasts in the fridge. They can be baked right out of the bag at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Just get them to 160 degrees internal temp, let cool enough to handle, and shred with a fork. It’s cheaper than rotisserie chicken and doesn’t require advanced planning.)
  • 2 cups jack or pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas
    (Note: Yellow corn tortillas are amazing! White corn is what we often grab by default, but give yellow corn a try. It has such a warm flavor.)
  • 2 cups tomato, chopped
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups salsa verde
  • Cilantro, roughly chopped

Garnishes:

  • Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Avocado, thinly sliced and dusted with salt and pepper
  • More salsa!

Prep:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine the chicken, sour cream, and 3/4 cup of the salsa.
  • Grease a square, 8-inch baking pan with a little oil and then coat with about 1/4 cup of salsa.
  • Layer with 4 tortillas, 1/2 of the chicken mixture, the tomatoes, a sprinkle of cilantro, 1/4 cup salsa, and 1 cup of cheese.
  • Add another layer of tortillas, chicken mixture,1/4 cup of salsa, and remaining cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until bubbly and the cheese is melted and lightly browned on top.

Serve with remaining salsa, sour cream, slices of seasoned avocado, and a sprinkle of cilantro on top. This is a hearty meal so you probably don’t need sides, but if you want a side salad I would recommend you cut up a beefsteak tomato and sprinkle the slices with salt and pepper and layer on a few leafs of lettuce. It will compliment the flavors perfectly and not be to much food.

~Nom On

The Verde Burger

This weekend I went on a salsa-making rampage. This led to the need to use it and thus The Verde Burger was born. I call it The Verde because it is full of tasty green things – a thick turkey patty stuffed with avocado and diced jalapeño and drenched in freshly made salsa verde, which, of course, gets its color from the tomatillos and Serrano peppers used to make it. Add slices of Monterey jack cheese and juicy beefsteak tomato, and you got yourself a party.

Verde Turkey Burgers

The Verde Burger

Ingredients

For the patties…

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 large, ripe avocado, cut into small chunks
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the rest..

  • 4 Onion hamburger buns (Orowheat has nice ones if your grocery store bakery doesn’t have any)
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, cut into 4 thick slices
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde, prepared in advance

Optional:

  • 4 leafs of romaine or other leafy, dark green lettuce
  •  Thin slices of red onion
  • Roasted pasilla pepper fillets

Prep

  • Heat up your grill – cast iron griddle, George Forman electric grill, or outdoor grills all work just fine.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the patties and form into 4, thick burgers.
  • Grill the burger patties.
  • Layer the bun with a slice of tomato, the patty, and smother in salsa. You can add your optional garnishes next, if using.

How do I get the perfect burger?

  • Flip the patties only once so each side gets browned.
  • DON’T PRESS on the patties or otherwise fiddle with them beyond the one flip. You will lose all the juices.
  • Don’t overcook. 155 – 160 degrees internal temp is enough. They will finish cooking as they rest.
  • Add your cheese slices right before you remove the patties from the grill. They will melt from the internal heat and not become rubbery or overly melted this way.

I dedicate this burger to Kermit the Frog. It’s not easy being green, but at least he’s got color- coordinated eats.

~Nom On