Who doesn’t like a fresh, home-made salsa to liven up their cooking or diet? Salsa is one of those flexible, healthy, basic condiments every home cook should master. And this authentic tomatillo chipotle salsa is sure to bring the house down with its smoky, yet fresh and invigorating flavor. It is a little bit warm without being overly hot.
Flexible because, it can be consumed fresh as is, as a great summer appetizer with corn chips, blue corn tortillas, flatbreads and the like. Or it can be added to other dishes, such as fish tacos or even Mexican-style stews for a little bit of added depth of flavor.
It’s healthy too. Make it yourself and there will be no nasty “additives” so you are in complete control of your diet, knowing exactly what you are putting in your mouth.
The two main ingredients for our salsa are naturally the tomatillos and chipotle peppers. If you aren’t familiar with these ingredients read on to learn more.
A small round green-colored fruit, it is also known as the Mexican husk tomato, due to the fact it grows in a fine paper-like husk. Small tomatillos, have a tart flavor.
Tomatillos are very common in Mexican cuisine, especially any green salsa or green chili. They are a type of nightshade. The nightshade family includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers (capsicums) which includes chili peppers and bell pepper varieties.
Tomatillos have been cultivated in Mexico for centuries and were considered an important food source in Mayan and Aztec cultures.
When in season, you can often find them fresh at a farmer’s market or specialty, Mexican grocery stores. For our recipe, they were not in season and we used a can of tomatillos. This works just as well and can be more convenient depending on where you live.
Chipotle peppers are made by smoking jalapeno peppers. They are commonly added to Mexican or South- Western dishes to add smoky and hot flavor. BBQ sauce, spice rubs, hot sauces and salsa, are all common uses for chipotle peppers.
If you are keen you can make these at home from fresh jalapenos. They are cold-smoked slowly in a smoker for 8-16 hours. The other alternative is to buy the dried version and just add water to reconstitute them. I am not sure I could get them as good as the commercially dried ones so this is one ingredient I am happy to just buy. If you try making them at home, let us know how they turn out.
They are quite hot, just like a jalapeno pepper, so use sparingly. You can always add more if you want it hotter.
Authentic Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa
For the main 2 ingredients, chipotle peppers and tomatillos you can find both of these ingredients at any Mexican grocer or food stockist. When these 2 ingredients are combined with cilantro (coriander), tomato, salad (red) onion, garlic, lime juice and sea salt you will have a salsa representing the real flavors of Mexico.
Our authentic tomatillo chipotle salsa is only 5 minutes work to prepare and ideally works best if you have a food processor, but we have made it with a mortar and pestle and achieved great results.