30 Before 30

#15 – Learn How to Make Really Good Tomatillo Salsa From Scratch (30 Before 30)

Third time really is a charm. It took three tries over the course of 2 months, but I have perfected my tomatillo salsa recipe.

The first time that I tried to make it, I took a recipe from Epicurious. I followed it pretty closely with the exception of adding some garlic (but what don’t I add garlic to?). It was good flavor but was just lacking heat. A moderate success.
The second time I tried to make it, I wanted to add some significant heat. So I used jalapeños this time. I decided to not seed or devein them. That may not have been my best decision ever. It roasts and I get it all puréed and decide to taste it. I thought my face was literally going to catch on fire. It was instant and it was painful. I’m freaking out, because we are having friends over and I can’t serve them face-melting salsa. So I’m googling “my salsa is too hot” and trying to figure out what I can do. They recommend adding more tomatoes. I didn’t use tomatoes. They recommend making another non-jalapeñoed batch and mixing them. I don’t have the supplies. Then, I see on like ten different pages that you should add a little sugar. I have sugar. I try it. It doesn’t do anything. I add a little more and it’s still crazy hot. I let it sit for a little while, trying to decide what to do. I try it and the heat has decreased to a spicy, but more manageable level. But now it’s got this weird sweetness. I don’t like it. Stephen comes home, relieved that I did not actually burn my face off, and tries it. He agrees that the sweetness is not ideal.
The third time was the next day. I grabbed the ingredients on my lunch break so that I could get it together immediately when I got home so it would be ready when everyone came over. This time, I really got it right. To quote Stephen, “Good flavor, subtle heat, but it catches up with you at the end.” It made a little over 2 cups of salsa and after the party, we had probably 2 tablespoons left. I’d say it was a hit.
Next time, I’m making a double batch and jarring it so that it will last longer. I took the Round 2 Salsa to work for my boss to try and she and her daughter liked it so much they’ve requested it. It wasn’t even my best batch. That’s a nice compliment 🙂 It did get better as it sat in the fridge and was less obviously sweet.
I’ll probably continue to tinker with it from time to time and try new things, but if I never do, I am very pleased with Round 3 Salsa.
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