I might as well warn you now - this recipe is by no means a drop dead gorgeous plate that screams "eat me right now!" Alas, the difference that stands between what is pictured in my head and what actually makes its way to the plate is, well, vast at times.
So what did we scratch of the wish list this time? Green tomatoes? Nope. Rotten tangerines? Nope. Tomatillos. Yes, they are a dead ringer for both of the above on the outside, but on the inside they are a most peculiar specimen. Actually part of the gooseberry family, they are sold with their natural papery protective leaves on the outside that encapsulate the entire tomatillo, and are usually by the tomatoes in the super market. As you can see on the inside, they look like they could be a green tomato's stunt double, but lack the watery seeds and instead boast an almost spongy interior, perfect for picking up any flavor you put with them.
I chose to go pretty traditional with my tomatillos and quartered, roasted with onions and parlic, and pureed them into submission for green tomatillo enchiladas. Since I am a sucker for any type of Tex-Mex, Mexican, or Spanish food, I thought that I could just wing this foray into the unknown-ingredient-world guided only by past eating escapades.
Here is the tomatillo sauce, specked with cilantro, up close and personal.
The filling was to die for, and probably the prettiest part of the meal (since the tomatillos lost all of their vibrant green after roasting.) Some poached chicken, and just about every veggie in my fridge, petite diced and sauteed with lots of smokey cumin and garlic.
Green tomatillo enchiladas, all wrapped up, smothered, and ready to be baked.
Up until now the pictures haven't looked too bad. The sauce was a muted mint green, the filling was studded with reds, yellow, and greens, and the enchiladas themselves looked pretty appetizing going into the oven. But when they came out... (makes a face.) Not so much. The sauce had gone from a light green to dark, almost musty green, indicative when you roast something, and not necessarily unappetizing, just not what I was expecting. I suspect more acid, like the juice of one lime, would have been the cure for this.
Regardless of how it looked, my enchiladas tasted fabulous. The filling was savory and smokey, the sauce was pleasantly different, and I took pride in conquering an ingredient I wasn't all that familiar with without a recipe. All in all, a slightly ugly success!
Any requests on what you would like to see as the next ingredient crossed off the wish list?