Life of the Party: Five-Alarm Salsa Verde

My wife improvised this smoked-tomatillo salsa last week, and we were both silent with awe after trying it—it’s that good. I said she must have just channeled her Mexican heritage. She said I’m an idiot, because the only Latin-American branch in her family tree is her step-mom. STILL, this tangy, smoky, spicy salsa is like the nectar of the Aztec gods. And the best part is, it’s so simple even I could make it. Detailed instructions below. Take notes and be the hit of every Independence Day BBQ you attend tomorrow.

—Justin, Men’s Blog Editor

15–20 tomatillos
1 jalapeño
1-2 habanero chilis (100,000–350,000 on the Scoville scale! Proceed with caution.)
1 Anaheim pepper
1 red onion
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup cilantro

1. Chop off the ends of the peppers, quarter the onion, and peel the paper-y sheath off the tomatillos.
(Wash your hands after handling habaneros! Get the tiniest particle in your eye and you’ll be crying, literally.)

2. Toss everything (except the cilantro) on a hot grill. Your friends won’t mind you scooting the steaks over. For extra smoky goodness, use a charcoal grill instead of propane.

3. Toss the golden-brown, grilled pieces into a food processor, seeds and all. Add the cilantro. Pulse lightly (don’t over-blend) to keep a nice, chunky texture.

The finished product. Sweet, smoky, SPICY. One habanero is plenty adequate, even for the average spice enthusiast. Use two if you’re into culinary pain.

The right accessories. Any tortilla chip will do, but Juanita’s are the perfect buttery, flaky complement to this spicy green goo. And—what could be more American than Mexican beer on the Fourth of July?


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