with EL CHAVO!
to make Salsa Verde for Vegetarian Tamales!
A good tamal demands a good salsa. It does the hard work of introducing
the stuffy and boring masa with the wild and crazy fillings that just
don't care about nothing! If it does its job right, it will meld the
flavors appropriately so that your tamal ingredients become one with
their tamal-ness. Without the sauce you just have some ingredients
encased in a
A salsa verde is essential for your Tamal de queso con rajas, aka
cheese and chile tamal. We start with a good amount of tomatillos, take
off the husk and try to rinse off the stickiness.
Once you've cleaned your tomatillos, chop up a large onion into
quarters, and clean some serrano chiles, which will add a nice piquant
quality to your sauce.
Put 'em all in a big pot with water and bring to a boil. Oh yeah, add
lots of garlic. You'll only need to cook this for around 5-10 minutes,
the tomatillos will soften and be ready for blending.
Look at how the color of the tomatillos has changed, and some are
opening up and breaking down! Yikes, just a tad overcooked! But its
okay, it'll all be fine. Its just better if they don't get to that
point. So you should pay more attention than I was.
Blend it up in batches, or all together if you can. Add some fresh
cilantro to the blender as well, its a good herb!
Once you've done that heat up a deep enough pan or pot, add a bit of
oil and give it a few seconds to heat up, then pour the blended
salsa verde in. You will learn to love that hissing and splattering of
the oil and liquid. Let it come to a boil, then turn it down to a
simmer. Add some salt, maybe a bouillon cube or some veggie stock.
Flavor it up! It's gotta be savory and satisfying. Cook it down until
the flavors enhance and the
sauce thickens a bit, or until your guests arrive and you just have to
One tip that I recently read about (but haven't
tried) is to add some masa to the salsa, to thicken the sauce and make
it easier to manage inside a tamal. Its quite a good idea since so much
salsa gets wasted just squirming out of the tamal as you wrap it. It
sounds reasonable enough so I'll try it next time.
A shopping list of sorts for the above:
1 head of garlic
2 1/2 lbs tomatillos, or thereabouts
6-8 chiles serranos, or whatever you can get
1 white onion
1 bunch cilantro
Salt, vegetarian stock cubes, other spices, a sense of what you like.
with EL CHAVO!
to make Salsa Roja for Vegetarian Tamales
Yes, I'll submit a red sauce too. Just give me some time porfas.
Coming up next, getting your fillings ready!
to go to the main tamal page.
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