Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tangy Green Guacamole with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa w/ Serranos, Roasted Onions & Cilantro: Seriously Delicious & Addicting!

You know those people that attach themselves to a particular appetizer at a party or gathering? They sit or stand close by so they can reach it without effort, sometimes they even protect "their" dish with their body positioned around it and sort of glare at anyone who looks like they might be getting close-- very reminiscent of a hungry lion in the wild, feasting on a newly slain antelope and growling menacingly at any other lion that gets near. If you have more polite friends, family and sometimes acquaintances than I do and you have never witnessed this type of behavior, you will if you make this Tangy Green Guacamole. It is positively addicting!

I am normally not a fan of "stuff" in my guacamole. Just a little lime, salt, and a touch of Tabasco with all that gorgeous avocado is the way I like it. A little cilantro is pushing it. Tangy Green Guacamole blends those creamy avocados with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with Serranos, Roasted Onions and Cilantro (both recipes from Salsas That Cook by Rick Bayless.) The salsa is pretty amazing on its own, but the pairing makes for a flavor-packed, almost fruity (in the best possible way) guacamole with a good spicy kick. Serve it with some home-baked corn tortilla chips and watch the pack circle and devour it.

Rick Bayless says, "The roasty flavors of the tomatillos, garlic and onions are the perfect way to underscore the naturally nutty flavors of avocados - especially Hass avocados, the pebbly dark-skin ones. Though this guacamole improves if made an hour or so ahead, it stays looking fresh and green for slightly longer than traditional guacamole (the acidity of the tomatillos helps here), but don't make it more than 3 or 4 hours in advance."

Tangy Green Guacamole
From Salsas That Cook by Rick Bayless
(Makes a Generous 3-Cups)

3 large ripe avocados, preferably the pebbly-skin Hass variety.
1 cup Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish
Salt, about 1/2 teaspoon

Remove the little nub of stem that is still usually lodged at the top of each avocado. Cut each avocado in half by slicing straight down through that spot where the stem was attached, until you reach the pit, then rotating the knife all the way around the pit. Twist the two halves apart, then scoop out the pits. With a spoon, scoop out the soft flesh from the skins, collecting it in a large bowl as you go. Coarsely mash with the spoon (or you can use an old-fashioned potato masher or large fork).

Gently stir the salsa into the avocado mixture, along with the cilantro. Taste and season with salt. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until you're ready to serve. (Not only will the guacamole improve if made half an hour or so before serving, but also it will maintain its fresh look longer if served cold.) Scoop into a decorative bowl, garnish with cilantro sprigs and you're ready to set it out for your guests to enjoy.

Rick Bayless says, "If you've shied away from green salsas, finding them acrid and briny, try this very fresh tasting roasted tomatillo salsa and you'll be won back."

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with Serranos, Roasted Onions and Cilantro
From Salsas That Cook by Rick Bayless
(Makes About 2 Cups)

1 lb (about 7 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
4-5 fresh serrano chiles, stemmed
1 small (4-oz) white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 cloves garlic, peeled
about 1/2 cup water (if needed)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp sugar (optional)

Heat the broiler. Lay the whole tomatillos and serranos on a broiler pan or baking sheet (line it with heavy-duty foil for the greatest ease in cleaning and collecting the juices). Set the pan 4 inches below the broiler and let roast until the tomatillos are softened and splotchy black in places (the skins will split), about 5 minutes. (Your goal is to cook the tomatillos through while they roast, which means they'll have begun their transition from light bright green to olive color on the top side.) With a pair of tongs, flip over the tomatillos and chiles and roast the other side for another 4 or 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Turn the oven down to 425 degrees F. Separate the onion into rings and, on a similar pan or baking sheet, combine them with the garlic. Set in the oven. Stir carefully every couple of minutes, until the onions are beautifully roasted. (They're going to look rather wilted and translucent, even have a touch of char on some of the edges.) The garlic should feel soft and look browned in spots. Total roasting time will be about 15 minutes. (If you like smoky flavors in your salsa, try roasting the onion and garlic on a perforated grilling pan over a moderately low charcoal fire.) Cool to room temperature.

In a food processor, pulse the serranos (no need to peel or seed them) with the onion-garlic mixture until moderately finely chopped, scraping everything down with a spatula as needed to keep it all moving. Scoop into a big bowl, then, without washing the processor, coarsely puree the tomatillos and their juice. Stir them into the bowl. Stir in enough water to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency — in Mexico they like this salsa spicy and pretty runny, the kind of salsa you dribble on rather than scoop up with chips. Stir in the cilantro.

Taste and season highly with salt. Taste again and, if you wish, add just enough sugar to take the edge off the tomatillos' very bright tanginess. If you're planning to use your salsa right away, simply pour it into a bowl and it's ready, or refrigerate it and use within 5 days.

Notes/Results: Just make it! The salsa is excellent and the guacamole is to die for. ;-) Other than a little time to roast the salsa ingredients, both recipes are quick and easy to put together. My tortilla chips are just thick-cut homemade-style corn tortillas sliced into triangles with a pizza cutter, lightly misted with olive oil, and sprinkled with smoked salt, ground cumin and chili powder then baked at about 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, then allowed to sit in the turned off oven another 10 minutes or so to crisp up. I made the salsa the night before, so the flavors had time to come together, then mixed up the guacamole the next night. The extra salsa went into an avocado soup that I will be posting this weekend--it's a very versatile ingredient. I was happy with both of these recipes (a bit too happy with the guacamole as I ate most of it) ;- and I will definitely make them both again.

Our theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs is Salsas and Sauces. We are cooking with Rick Bayless until October so if you have a hankering for Mexican food, come join us.


  1. I love the flavor of tomatillos but never think to buy them myself. I bet the guacamole is delicious. I'll have to try it.

  2. This looks delicious! I would really love to give this a try! 

  3. I am totally one such hoverer.  I love me  a good guac and when I see it at a party, I just can't get enough! Imagine if I actually had it sitting in my

  4. Guilty of protecting what's "mine!"  ;-)
    I agree about stuff in guacamole.  But I tried a Bayless guac last weekend that had the kitchen sink in it ...and it was wonderful!  I know I'd like this one too.  Roasted flavors are fast becoming my favorite.  Your chips are beautiful.  

  5. I love tomatillos, but with avocados even better!! I know I'd hover over this bowl, yum!

  6. So many endless tasty variations to guacamole! I have a favourite classic hummus recipe but love trying new guac combinations. :)

  7. This does sound amazing.   We love tomatillo sauce and I just planted to tomatillo plants in the garden.  (Hope they do better than last summer's.)   I am going to the store for avocados now.

  8. Yum to both of these! Two of my very favorites. They look great! I'm looking forward to getting some tomatillos at the market this year. I tried growing them last year with no luck so I'm going to have to leave the growing to someone else. :)

  9.  I can sometimes get them at the local farmers market but I have not attempted to ever grow them. Sounds like that might be a good thing!

  10.  I hope they grow well! This is a great way to use any tomatillo sauce--although I really liked Rick's. ;-)

  11.  I am kind of the opposite--I'll try any hummus recipe but tend to stick to simple guacamole recipes. ;-)

  12.  I certainly did! ;-)

  13.  Roasting really makes the flavors come alive in this. It's well worth protecting! ;-)

  14.  It spent very little time in my fridge--I was too busy shoveling it into my mouth! ;-)

  15.  I hope you do! It's a wonderful salsa and some of the best guacamole i have ever had. ;-)

  16.  I have tagged some other Bayless tomatillo recipes to try--I am like you,  I never seemed to buy them much before.

  17. I think Rick Bayless is so smart, saying all that stuff!!   LOL-- he's right! I don't think 6 months is going to be enough time to try out all the good things that are in his cookbook.  This looks so good.

  18. Natashya Kitchen PuppiesApril 23, 2012 at 7:15 AM

    Looks delicious! I'd guard it too. You know - I have yet to try a tomatillo! 


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