Tomatillos From The Garden Into Tomatillo Sauce for Enchiladas

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Growing tomatillos in the garden was new to us this year. Tomatillo sauce was also new to us, but thanks to our next door neighbor, Jose, we learned how to make authentic Mexican-style enchiladas with tomatillos.

Watching the tomatillos grow from starter plants was an education. It was pretty amazing to watch the transformation when the tomatillo plant starts to form the fruit. First, a green ball grows like a fragile, paper-thin shell that looks like a Japanese lantern only it’s green.

As the plant matures, the inside of the “lantern” will get harder as it fills up with the tomatillo. They will grow to the size of a golf ball or sometimes as large as a baseball. When the inside starts to bulge out of the husk and cracks the husk open, it is time to harvest.

A Little Background About Tomatillos

A little bit about tomatillos: They are native to Mexico and a staple to Mexican cuisine. All of us who love Mexican food have eaten tomatillos if we ever ordered a dish with “salsa verde”. How about a Chile Burger? You would have eaten tomatillos in the sauce of these two yummy meals.

I had the notion that they were going to taste hot, but actually, they have a sweet taste. When Kevin brought the first tomatillo into the kitchen and peeled off the outer husk, he said it felt sticky. He washed it off and carefully took a taste of it raw and discovered it was sweet. He decided to cut it in small pieces and add it into an egg scramble, which was a delicious idea.

Well, we knew our Mexican neighbor, Jose, would enjoy having some tomatillos, and when Kevin brought some, Jose immediately commenced to making tomatillo sauce! Yummy for Kevin. I missed out on this treat, but Kevin was invited to another one of Jose’s culinary delights. Here is how Jose made Tomatillo Sauce for pulled pork enchiladas:

How To Make Tomatillo Sauce

tomatillos peel before cookingPeel the tomatillos and place in a pot of water.

Tomatillos in waterHeat the water to a slow simmer, enough to cook the tomatillos but not a fast boil. The object is to not have the tomatillos burst open in the water.

Tomatillos garlic onion pepperCut up garlic, onion, and a hot pepper. Jose ground these using a mortar and pestle to make a paste. Set aside.

Tomatillos cookedWhen the tomatillos are cooked, scoop them out of the water and place into a blender. Blend with the garlic paste until smooth. Add salt to taste.Tomatillos in blender

Jose spooned some of the sauce on a plate, placed a tortilla on top of the sauce and then spread more sauce on the top side of the tortilla. Top and bottom – that’s the secret!  🙂 Tomatillo sauce on tortilla

Add shredded cheese and, in this case, some pulled pork. Fold the tortilla over in half and serve. Jose said he prefers chicken or fish with the tomatillo sauce because they have a more delicate flavor that goes great with the light flavor of the tomatillos.Tomatillos Enchiladas

And there you have a delicious meal with authentic Mexican tomatillo sauce! Thank you, Jose!

We’d love to hear about your favorite ways of preparing tomatillos. We’ll watch for your comments below!

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