I know it’s fall and everyone is braising, stewing and pulling out their crock-pots. I’m just not quite there yet. Call it denial. Maybe it has something to do with the amazing weather we’ve been having. Could also be that I got a Weber grill late this summer and after too many years of having a very crappy one, I still want to BBQ. I’m just not done playing with my new toy!
Tomatillos are in season now. Have you ever tried them? They remind me of summers I spent living in Cuernavaca, Mexico during college, studying Spanish. I went there to learn a language. I came back fluent after the first summer and learned so much more. I stayed with the same amazing host family every year. I immersed myself into the culture. I also ate a lot of fantastic food.
Authentic Mexican food is not the same as the tex-mex variety we are often exposed to here in the States. Tacos are simple. They generally consist of a corn tortilla and some meat with fresh tomatillo salsa. Tomatillo salsa or “salsa verde” was actually served alongside every meal I ate at my host family’s table, including breakfast. I got used to eating it with eggs in the morning as well as on top of tacos at dinner. You can make it mild or spicy. It’s very versatile. I had leftovers after making the steak tacos so I sautéed some chicken breasts, poured the salsa over them and then let them simmer for a bit. Both the steak tacos and the chicken came out great and really satisfied my craving for comforting Mexican flavors.
- Tomatillo Salsa
- 5-6 tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed (don't worry if they are a little sticky, it's normal)
- 1 onion cut in quarters
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 4 sprigs of fresh cilantro
- pinch of cumin
- salt, to taste
- 4 sirloin steaks, seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 T vegetable oil
- fresh cilantro
- Place all tomatillo salsa ingredients in a saucepan and just cover with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes until they seem to be able to be mashed with a fork.
- Place in a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are pureed.
- While cooking tomatillos, prepare rice as usual (I add salt and olive oil) and put a few sprigs of cilantro in when you add the rice. Once cooked, you can use a fork to fluff the rice and incorporate the cilantro throughout. It will naturally break into small pieces and disperse easily
- Grill seasoned steaks to desired doneness
- Remove from the grill and let rest for a few minutes before slicing.
- Brush vegetable oil on a large piece of foil, place on the grill and put corn tortillas on it to slightly toast on both sides.
- Remove corn tortillas, layer sliced steak, salsa verde and avocado on top. Squeeze a little lime over your taco and serve along cilantro rice.