Garden to Table: Tomatillos & Peppers

I know.  It’s been so long.  Did you miss me?

I didn’t mean to abandon this little blog but life got in the way.  It does that.

Since we last spoke, I finished classes at culinary school and began my required externship as a cook at a wonderful restaurant in Pasadena.  There’s so much to catch up on, but I’m not going to try to cram it all in one blog post, that’s just silly.  Instead I’ll divert your attention with tomatillos.  I like random.

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So my mother-in-law has a garden.  Each year we are lucky enough to receive some of the fruits of her labor, which I can assure you is immense, as she not only battles pests and weeds but birds and squirrels, all to give us beautiful garden-to-table treats.  This year we were blessed with jalapenos, Anaheim and serrano chiles, cherry tomatoes and tomatillos.  Tomatillos are the key ingredient in salsa verde but they’re also great in salads.  They may look like green tomatoes, but they have a tart and slightly bitter flavor.

We used ours to make a tomato/tomatillo salad, which we paired with a marinated flank steak and simply grilled Anaheim chiles.  I quickly grilled the tomatillos to bring out their savory flavor, then added them to the cherry tomatoes with some fresh basil and a little olive oil.  The cherry tomatoes were sweeter and brighter than your typical store-boughts, and the tomatillos gave the salad extra punch.  The Anaheim chiles were slightly hot and bursting with flavor.  Home grown veggies makes any meal more special.

When cooking home grown fruits and vegetables, it’s usually best to keep it simple to allow the flavors to shine through.

Though I love receiving garden goodies, don’t expect me to go and start my own garden any time soon. No green on these thumbs.

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