We started tomatillo seeds back in May, and totally ignored them as soon as the seedlings were in the ground. Luckily, these plants don't need a lot of attention and they love the heat. They have become enmeshed with our White Dixie baby butter bean vines in a sprawling mess in the back yard, but it seems to be a happy marriage for all. The White Dixie vines are loaded with massive quantities of fat bean pods, and there are tomatillos in their papery husks hanging everywhere. The tomatillos resemble green Chinese lanterns adorning the plants.
Although we live in Texas, our cooking usually features Asian or Mediterranean flavors. Since tomatillos don't often appear in those cuisines, we opted for a Southwestern soup to use our tomatillos along with our Anaheim and jalapeno chiles. Ironically, we selected a recipe from rebar written by two Canadian restaurant owners. Even though the authors live in the Pacific Northwest, they know how to make great Southwestern vegetarian food. We love this cookbook, and if we ever make it to Victoria, rebar will be our first stop.
Tomatillo Corn Chowder
adapted from rebar by Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz
8 cups vegetable stock
5 Anaheim chiles, seeded
1 1/2 lb tomatillos, husks removed
1 yellow onion, diced
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp coriander
3 Tbs oregano
4 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 zucchini, diced
2 potatoes, diced
3 cups corn
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
1 tsp black pepper
fresh cilantro, chopped
- Heat oven to 400. Cut Anaheim chiles in half. Toss tomatillos lightly in vegetable oil. Roast chiles and tomatillos on a sheet pan until the skins are slightly charred. Remove from the oven, dice the Anaheims and chop the tomatillos.
- Saute onion in oil over medium high until translucent. Add garlic, 1 tsp salt, and spices. Add the jalapenos, zucchini, potatoes, and 1 tsp salt. Saute for several minutes, then add the stock. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook until potatoes are tender.
- Add corn, chiles, and tomatillos. Simmer 10 more minutes. Add the 1/2 & 1/2, and more stock if needed. Remove 1/2 the soup and puree. Season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with cilantro when serving.
Cheers, The Foodbuzz Editorial Team