Last week, four close friends of mine decided to climb a local mountain. As I am weaker than a Mononucleosis-ridden Woody Allen and bereft of any physical ability whatsoever, I begged off, and promised the quartet a rich Mexican meal upon their arrival home.
Happily, Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill website was there to help, which is filled with dozens, if not hundreds of his well regarded Mexican-style recipes. I spent a good part of an afternoon browsing, until I finally came upon Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba.
Dinner Tonight columnist Nick Kindelsperger wrote about them last year. Deeply flavored and truly delicious, they're everything Bayless recipes are usually hyped up to be. They were also very, very rich, meaning they had to be balanced by lighter sides and appetizers.
Bayless was there for that one, too. His Raw Tomatillo Salsa, useful as a chip dip or condiment, is just about the easiest recipe in the world. Fat-free and calorically inconsequential, it possesses quite a heated kick, but can be tailored to your spice preferences. Serve it with a mango and/or tomato and avocado concoction for a highly healthy, highly palatable salsa bar.
Another option: bring it up a mountain with you. You're gonna need something to eat up there.
- 4 medium (about 8 ounces total) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and quartered
- 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup loosely packed cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water
Add tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, and water to a food processor or blender.
If using a food processor, pulse to desired consistency. If using a blender, begin pulsing on low speed, then blend at a slightly higher speed until the mixture reaches desired consistency.
Taste and add more salt or water as necessary. Serve.