It just dawned on me that as a chef, I should really be providing my readers with some more recipes, after all – cooking is what I do for a living! I am making tomatillo salsa today for my farmer markets this weekend and was inspired to post my recipe. Of course, we put it on fatty pulled pork tacos and breakfast tacos with cheese, eggs and white flour tortillas, which – as you all know, is not exactly in my approved registry of ingredients, BUT… of course you can apply this tasty (and semi spicy) tomatillo salsa on your egg whites, grilled chicken or fish and it’s equally delicious! I am constantly looking for ways to spice up my foods, being that we have only so much we can eat and so many ways to prepare our foods. This is why I go to spices, herbs and low calorie/low fat/low sugar condiments to add, in moderation, to my diet. Here’s a picture of the beautiful tomatillos in water – I soak them briefly first before broiling them so I can more easily remove the husk:
Tomatillos should not be confused with, as the name might imply, a green tomato, although it is a relative of the tomato it is more closely related to the gooseberry, and has quite a different taste than a regular tomato. It’s a staple in Mexican and other Latin American cuisines. You can also use tomatillos in stews and soups and make into chutneys and jams. One average/medium tomatillo is about 11 calories, has 0 gram fat, 1 g fiber and 1 g sugar.
This is what they should look like once you pull them out of the broiler – nice and charred:
Below is my recipe for tomatillo salsa (makes a lot – about 2 quarts!)
5 lbs tomatillos, husks removed
2 vidalia onions, sliced into thick circles
2-3 jalapenos (use more if you like more spice), whole
1 bunch fresh cilantro
Place the tomatillos, onions and jalapenos on sheet trays and broil in the oven or roast at high temperature (450-500F) for about 20 minutes or until completely charred. Place in a blender, carefully start pureeing. Add one bunch of fresh cilantro and squeeze the juice from the limes, season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.
Can be stored in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Enjoy a dollop with your favorite foods!
A second recipe I use at the farmer market is beet burgers! These are part of my introduction to Nordic foods, while also trying to keep it healthy. We use a lot of root vegetables in Norway, as the climate is colder and these grow naturally easier in that region. While I won’t eat this during regular days, it’s a great item to eat either post workout or on your carb loading /re-feed days. One beet (about 82 grams) will have about 35 calories, 0g fat, 8g carbs and 6g of sugar. 1 g protein and 2 g fiber. I will shred the beets (quite messy, but worth it!) in a food processor while i mix in the other ingredients, saute them in a pan slightly (with Pam spray of course) and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Enjoy them with fat free Greek yogurt and a nice big salad and you’ve got yourself a kick ass meal! Look how pretty the shredded beets are – I use a mix of golden and red beets but you can do whichever you like:
NORDIC BEET BURGERS
(adapted from Trina Hahneman’s “The Nordic Diet”)
24 oz raw red and yellow beets, grated
1 cup oatmeal
1 egg, 3 egg whites
2 shallots or 1/2 sweet onion, minced and sauteed lightly in pan
fresh dill, thyme, parsley (about 3 tbsp each)
salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix the shredded beets with all the other ingredients above and let mixture sit for about 1 hour before forming into balls or patties (about 2-3 oz each, I weigh them but you can shape them as big/small as you’d like). Saute briefly in hot pan coated with Pam Spray until they are crisp on both sides, place on a baking sheet and place in oven for about 20 minutes .
Here they are ready to be eaten!