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“Enchilada Queen” Sylvia Casares Shares Her Secrets In A New Cookbook

Salsa Verde

Courtesy of 'The Enchilada Queen Cookbook'

In Mexico, this is the iconic sauce for chicken enchiladas, and the sauce I use for spinach enchiladas as well. I also use it on chilaquiles, pan-fried tortilla pieces with green sauce. Last-minute additions of cilantro and garlic give this sauce a distinct flavor, and customers rave about it. It is my second best seller after chili gravy. Salsa verde is as popular in South Texas as it is in Mexico.

Salsa Verde

Makes about 4 cups, enough for 8 to 10 enchiladas

1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, rinsed after peeling papery outer skin, cut in half

1/2 large white onion, chopped

1/2 jalapeño, cut into 4 pieces (do not remove seeds)

1 large tomato, cut into 4 pieces

3 garlic cloves, minced

Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the tomatillos, onion, jalapeño, tomato, and 2½ cups water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until all the ingredients are very soft. Set aside off the heat to cool for about 10 minutes.

In a blender jar or work bowl of a food processor, process the garlic, cilantro, and salt until smooth.

Add the tomatillo mixture. Process on high speed until very smooth, about 1 minute.

Set aside for at least 10 minutes to let the flavors mellow before serving. Reheat gently, if needed, on the stovetop or in a microwave oven on low power until heated through.

The sauce may be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.

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