Category: Mexican

Black Bean Soup with Avocado Salsa

October 3, 2012

To say we have been eating a lot of Mexican food in our new city would be an understatement.  We ate a lot of Mexican food in Seattle but most of it was coming out of my kitchen.  All four of us love it and it is a very veg friendly cuisine.  We knew a move to Northern California would greatly improve our Mexican dining choices and we have not been disappointed.  Mostly we have stuck to kid friendly and quick places, not the fancier ones, but every place we’ve tried has been terrific.

This bounty has not stopped me from continuing to make Mexican food at home.  Actually, I’m not sure this soup can really be called Mexican food because it comes from a British cookbook.  But there are beans and there is a salsa you put on top.  Close enough, right?

There is a time and a place for canned beans which, in my kitchen, is much of the time.  This is not one of those times.  If you wake up on the morning you plan to make this soup and realized you forgot to soak the dried beans overnight, do not despair!  Dried beans benefit from a soak of any length, even if it is just a few hours.  I have never needed to cook any bean more than an hour maybealittlemore, despite what packaging and recipes will tell you.  I will say that buying good beans from a reputable place means that they will be fresher and will take less time to cook.   I will also say be sure to taste your beans to make sure they are cooked through because no one likes a chalky bean.  I will also say (it’s public service announcement day – did you know?) that “don’t salt your beans until they are cooked through otherwise they turn out tough” is an old wives’ tale.  Like most things, beans need salt.

Oh, but how about that soup?  Warm, nourishing, a bit spicy, super good for you.  That is all well and good.  The salsa and garnishes make it into a meal so make sure you have something to put on top.  If you don’t want to take the extra step to make the salsa, just serve it with store-bought salsa, chopped avocados, and plenty of lime and cilantro.  Cheese is nice too.

One Year Ago:  Mexican Chocolate Cake, Pizza with Corn, Chantarelles, and Cilantro
Two Years Ago:  Braised Purple Cabbage with Apples, Pecan Molasses Bundt Cake with Bourbon Glaze
Three Years Ago:  Carrot Soup with Ginger and Lemon, Buckwheat Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms, Holly B’s Peanut Butter Brownies
Four Years Ago:  Dimply Plum Cake

Black Bean Soup with Avocado Salsa
Adapted from Plenty (not Ottolenghi’s book)
Serves 4-6

The cilantro stems is not a misprint.  Cilantro stems have a lot of flavor and are sturdy enough to stand up to a long cook.  You will be blending the soup, so they will disappear.  Save the leaves and use them to garnish the soup.

1½ cups dried black beans
Olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
Stems from ½ a bunch of cilantro
1 small red or green chile, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp. ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock (you can use water)
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lime, plus additional slices for serving

Cover the beans with cold water and leave to soak overnight (or for as long as you can).  Drain and rinse.

Place a soup pot over medium heat.  Pour in just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot, then add the onion, carrot, celery, cilantro stems, and chile.  Also sprinkle in a pinch of salt.  Sauté until the onions browns a bit and the other vegetables are softening, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the cumin, and the garlic and cook for another two minutes.  Stir in the beans, then pour in the stock or water.  Bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for about an hour, or until the beans are tender.  Taste one to make sure.  Add lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper.

Carefully purée the soup either using an immersion blender or a regular one.  You can also use a food processor.  The soup should still have a lot of texture but make sure the cilantro stems are puréed.  Serve garnished with the avocado salsa, crumbles of cheese (Cotija is nice), cilantro leaves, and limes slices on the side.  Sour cream too, if you roll that way.

Avocado Salsa

1 garlic clove
½ tsp. kosher salt
8 ounces fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 avocados, diced
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 scallions, sliced
1 fresh chile, minced
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
Tabasco to taste

Place the garlic clove on a cutting board and chop it coarsely.  Sprinkle with the kosher salt.  Using the flat side of a knife, grind the salt into the garlic, using back and forth motions, until you have a paste.  Scrape this paste off the board and put in a bowl.  Add the rest of the salsa ingredients and stir to combine.  Allow to sit for at least half an hour so the flavors can meld.


Last Day of Work Dinner

May 5, 2012

About a year and a half ago, Randy started a new job.  He had spent 6½ years at Microsoft – a company known for their innovation, excellent benefits, fair pay, exciting opportunities, and grueling schedules.  Randy had a great career there but the work/life balance was out of whack.  When he had the opportunity to join a start-up, working with two close friends, he jumped.  (I wrote more about the job and the decision to take it here.)

Almost immediately, our lives changed for the better.  In the Microsoft days, Randy would leave before 6am and return home around 7:30pm.  He did this to avoid sitting in traffic which is epic on the 520 bridge – the span that connects Seattle to Redmond where the Microsoft headquarters are.  He was pretty good about not working on the weekends or in the evenings, but the job was ever-present.  Like the big elephant in the room that everyone tries to ignore.  He traveled nearly constantly toward the end of his time there.  When he was home, he was exhausted from time zone changes and the stress.  It was not a life that was sustainable for our family.  Fortunately he understood that and together we decided it was time to make a change.

The start-up was 2.1 miles from our house.  It had a more relaxed atmosphere – more work/life balance.  Randy is a self-described “type triple A” personality, so it’s not like he slacked off, but I truly felt like he put family first.  He was home around 6 every night and was able to help with drop-offs and pick-ups which allowed me to create my career and take the job as culinary director at Book Larder.

There were several scenarios for how the job at the start-up would play out and we talked about them from time to time.  Maybe the company would get bought.  Maybe he would get recruited for another job at another company.  Maybe the three friends would get hired as a power team to build something new.  I’m not sure that either of us thought that the company would just implode.  But sadly, that is what happened.

Fortunately, we had some warning.  A couple of months ago, we found out that, unless someone bought the company, the leadership team would be laid off at the end of May.  Randy was incredibly busy looking for a job, networking, taking recruiting calls, while simultaneously helping get the company get acquired and also just doing his day job.  And then, the last ditch effort didn’t work.  His last day was Tuesday.  The company is still there and there are a few people still working on business but Randy is officially unemployed.  We both feel sad about this for many reasons.  He poured a lot into that company both in sweat equity and money.  There are friends who no longer have jobs.  He is a little unmoored being without a job for the first time since he was 18 years old.  Our life and our future is very uncertain right now.

We are extremely lucky in that we have just about 100% certainty that he will get a great job.  He has been interviewing like crazy and has about 10 opportunities that are possible at the moment.  We have enough money stashed away that we don’t have to worry about this little interim period until the next job starts.  He is trying to enjoy having a bit of time and being able to focus on just talking to people and finding the right job.

Almost everyday for the past few weeks I have gotten calls from him about opportunities.  “Would you move to Boise?”  “Would you move to San Francisco?”  “LA?”  “Denver?”  “New Jersey?”  “Luxembourg?”  “South Korea?”  My answers to those questions are complicated.  I don’t want to move.  I want to stay in Seattle.  I want to continue to teach my classes at home and work cool events at Book Larder and stay near my incredible network of friends and my family.  After working so hard to find the right school for Graham, I don’t want to have to start that whole process again.  At the same time, I appreciate that the right job might not be in Seattle.  Randy is a fairly senior guy and those jobs are not a dime a dozen.  He is an amazing man – so smart, so successful, so hardworking.  He should be running a company – if not now then soon.  I can’t hold him back from the next step just because I don’t want to move.  He is respectful of my feelings and is trying hard to keep us here.  But neither of us knows what is next.

(Pardon the intense color on this photo.)

I went on a great blogging trip this week to Monetery with Dole to learn more about their salad greens.  I thought I was leaving on Tuesday but when when I went to print out my boarding pass on Monday night, I realized that the trip was actually Wednesday – Friday.  I was relieved.  I would be able to be home on Tuesday night and have dinner with Randy after his last day of work.  An emotional day for us both.  In order to keep the mood light, I asked him what he wanted me to make for dinner.  Of course he said Mexican.

I taught a class at Book Larder last month using some recipes from some of Rick Bayless’ books.  I love his recipes and decided to do a riff on one for Randy’s Last Day of Work Dinner.  I wasn’t sure what he would think – Randy is kind of a burrito/enchilada/quesadilla guy.  I wasn’t sure this “other” type of dish would fly.  I hate to say it was like a Mexican lasagne because that does a disservice to both Mexican food and lasagne.  But you make a sauce (a salsa really), you layer tortillas with yummy things like sautéed mushrooms and chard and beans cheese, and you bake it.  We loved it.  Like really loved it.  I’m glad that, along with a bottle of special wine and a big salad, we were able to toast the end of this chapter, and begin thinking about the next.

One Year Ago:  Roasted Sesame and Panko Coated Asparagus with Soy-Ginger Drizzle
Two Years Ago:  Chocolate Truffles, Gianduja Gelato
Three Years Ago:  Rhubarb Streusel Tart, Bean Tostadas with Sofrito, Niçoise Salad

Layered Pasilla-Tortilla Casserole with Black Beans, Mushrooms, and Chard
Adapted from Mexican Kitchen
Serves 4-6

I made a lot of changes to this recipe, added in some things, swapped out others, changed the size of the baking dish, but this is still a Rick Bayless recipe.  I used canned beans here because I was short on time but ideally, dried would be best.  This recipe has a lot of components but they come together quickly.  You can always make the sauce the day before.  I would imagine, like lasagne, the whole thing can be assembled earlier in the day and just kept in the refrigerator until you want to bake it.  Add another 5-10 minutes to the baking time if you do so.

For Pasilla Sauce:
½ head of garlic, broken apart but not peeled
6 medium (about 2 ounces) dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. ground cumin
Olive oil
1 cup vegetable broth
Kosher or sea salt

For the mushroom layer:
2 medium portabello mushrooms, black gills scraped out, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ bunch of chard, leaves stripped off the stalks, roughly chopped

For the casserole:
1 small white onion, diced
2 cups cooked black beans (I used 1 15-ounce can, drained)
8 corn tortillas
½ cup sour cream or crème fraîche thinned with a little cream or milk
6 ounces cotija cheese

Make the sauce:
Roast the unpeeled garlic on an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until soft (they will blacken in spots), about 15 minutes; cool and peel.  While the garlic is roasting, toast the chiles on another side of the griddle or skillet.  Do 1 or 2 at a time:  open them first and press down firmly on the hot surface with a spatula; in a few seconds, when they crackle, even send up a wisp of smoke, flip them and press down to toast the other side.  In a small bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and let rehydrate 30 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even soaking.  In a food processor or blender, combine the chiles, garlic, oregano, cumin, and about 1/3 cup of the soaking liquid.  Blend to a smooth purée, scraping down and stirring frequently.  (If necessary, add a little more broth to get the blades moving.)

With a rubber spatula, working the pasilla paste through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl.  Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a medium saucepan, then add the paste and a pinch of salt.  Cook, stirring constantly, until dark and very thick, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the broth and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.  Taste and season with salt.  Keep warm over very low heat.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Make the  beans:
Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and a large pinch of salt.  Cook until brown in spots, about 10 minutes, then add the beans.  Using a potato masher or the back of a large spoon, mash to a coarse purée.  Add water or bean broth to thin the beans, if necessary, to an easily spreadable, but not runny, consistency.  Taste and season with salt.  Cover and keep warm.

Make the mushroom filling:
Heat another tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms and a large pinch of salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms start to give off their liquid.  Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add the chard leaves and sauté until the chard is nice and soft and the pan is mostly dry, about 10 minutes.  Taste for salt and season as needed.

Assemble the casserole:
Spread about 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of an 8×12-inch baking dish.  Put down a layer of tortillas, just barely overlapping.  Top with the beans, another layer of tortilla halves, another 1/3 of the sauce, half the cream, and half the cheese.  Top with the mushroom mixture.  Add a final layer with the remaining tortilla halves, remaining sauce, cream, and cheese.  Bake, uncovered, until bubbly, about 20 minutes.  Let stand for a few minutes to firm up, then cut into squares.


Vegetable Enchiladas

July 25, 2011

Randy has been in his new job for over six months now.  In that time, I can count on two hands the number of times he has traveled for work.  Maybe even one hand.  That is huge for our family.  Before he left Microsoft, he was sometimes gone three weeks of the month.  The boys thought it was strange when he was here during the week.  He was exhausted, I was exhausted.  It was a life that was not sustainable and the travel is one of the reasons he changed jobs.

Now, when it is time for him to fly out, he can’t remember where the business suitcase is.  He has to look hard for his passport.  It takes him more than ten minutes to pack because he is out of practice.  The boys get confused as to why he is not here for dinner.  It is all so much better.  I don’t mind a business trip here and there – it gives us a little break from each other and a chance to miss one another.

Last week, before Randy left town, I decided to make his favorite kind of food.  I figured it would be nice to give him a good send-off and I was ready to try a new Enchilada recipe. I have a favorite but we had some sun last week and mushrooms didn’t feel very summery.  As with that one, this recipe gives you a filling but not heavy dinner – one that just begs for refried beans, lots of guacamole, and cerveza.

Two Years Ago: Asparagus Ragout and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Vegetable Enchiladas
Adapted from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures
Serves 4-6

The Sauce
1 28-ounce can tomato purée
½ cup heavy cream
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 large garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

The Filling
Canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 ear of corn, kernels cut off with a knife
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried epazote (optional)
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
1 14-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 8-inch flour tortillas
1 cup grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Make the sauce
Combine the tomato purée, heavy cream, cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.

Make the enchilada filling
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Place a sauté pan over medium heat.  Pour in just enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then add the onion.  Sauté until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes, then add the zucchini, corn, and dried herbs.  Cook until tender but not mushy, about 7 minutes.   It’s ok if the zucchini gets a little brown.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chiles, beans, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.  Allow to cool slightly.

To assemble the enchiladas, pour a layer of sauce over the bottom of a large casserole dish (or 2 smaller ones).  Spoon one eighth of the bean mixture along the center of a tortilla, then roll the enchilada up.  Place seam side down in the baking dish and repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Spoon the remaining sauce over all the enchiladas, and sprinkle the cheese over top.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes.  Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Beans and Rice

December 27, 2010

Beans and rice.  What does that mean to you?  Meager food?  Hangover meal?  Food you cook when you have no money?  Side dish only?

I myself love beans and rice and have no problem making a meal out of it.  And not because it’s cheap.  Of course, it can’t be just white rice and canned re-fried beans, although if you put enough salsa and guacamole on a dish like that, I would not complain.  Black beans have a special place in my heart because they starred in one of the first “real” meals I ever cooked.  (Cue the story music…)

The year after I graduated college, I moved back to Seattle and lived at home.  I got a crappy job – one that I certainly did not need my brand new shiny degree for, and tried to plug back into the Seattle scene after four years away.  The advantages to living at home were many, not the least of which is that I got to eat my mom’s cooking.  She has always been a good cook, but during the time I was away at college, she also converted to vegetarianism.  It opened so many doors for her creativity and her food got really good.  My mom is territorial in her kitchen, so I was not helping her prepare any meals, but I think I learned by osmosis.  And I certainly learned to deeply appreciate the act of sitting around the table as a family and eating good, healthy, homemade food.

Just as I found an apartment and was preparing to move out, my parents took a trip to Europe.  My brother Michael, who is eight years younger than me, was still in high school and they asked that I stay with him and make sure he didn’t starve.  At the same time, my college friend Darcie was visiting and another couple from college was coming through town as well.  I realized that we all needed to eat and it was time to get in the kitchen.  So I did what my mom always did.  I got out her notebooks and cookbooks and spread them out on the table.  I chose three dishes that sounded good to me and I wrote up my shopping list based on the ingredients needed.  I shopped for the groceries and made the food, all the while being mildly surprised at how natural it all felt.  I lived in Paris for a semester during college and cooked for myself, but it was just me and I made the same four things over and over.  This time there was more responsibility and it came easily.  More importantly, everyone loved the food.  I realized that I could cook.

That little boost of confidence is what got me on the path to loving food and loving cooking.  I remember one of those first three dishes well and it starred black beans that had been simmered low and slow on the stove.  Up until that point, I had not known that beans could taste that good or could be something I craved.  The rest of the dish was a little odd so it did not stay in my repertoire, but I’ve been making similar beans ever since.

I make a fair amount of Mexican food because both Randy and I love it.  (In fact I am teaching Vegetarian Mexican Food class in March.  Find out more here.)  Whatever I make as a main, I always make beans because they are truly my favorite part of the meal.  I have eaten my share of either boring or excessively greasy restaurant rice, so I enjoy making it more to my taste at home.  Last week, I didn’t have the energy to take on burritos or enchiladas but really needed some beans and rice, so I made the rice heartier.  It was my intention to roast two poblano peppers, chop them up, and use them in the rice, but mine had gone south.  I wanted some kind of spicy bite so I opted for canned chiles instead.  If you happen to have poblanos in your refrigerator (doesn’t everyone?), I think they would be awesome here.

Oh, and by the way, don’t forget to tell me what your favorite holiday gift was.  You can win some awesome Vosges chocolate.  Check it out here.

One Year Ago: Peanut Butter (or Caramel) Candy Mini-Brownie Cups
Two Years Ago: Penne with Greek Style Vegetable Marinade

Hearty Beans and Rice
Dana Treat Original
Serves 4-6

Epazote is a delicious herb and can easily be found in the Penzey’s web site, but it is not necessary here.  For the beans, you control their consistency.  I like mine a little soupy but you can make yours drier by not adding as much water.

For the rice
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried epazote (optional)
1½ tsp. ground cumin
1 7-ounce can diced chile peppers, drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup long grain rice
2 cups water
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
¼ cup “lite” sour cream
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt

For the beans
Vegetable or canola oil
1 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
2 tsp. cumin
2 cans black beans, drained

Serve with guacamole and salsa.

Prepare the rice
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil an 8×8 glass or ceramic baking dish.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and a large pinch of salt, and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft but not brown.  Add the garlic cloves, oregano, epazote, and cumin and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.  Add the chiles and corn, and rice and give it a good stir to coat the grains with the fat and the vegetables.  Pour in the water and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook undisturbed for 20 minutes.  Remove the cover, fluff the rice with a fork, then cover for another 5 minutes.

Remove the cover and carefully stir in the cheese, sour cream, and cilantro, trying not to mush the rice too much.  Taste for salt, adding more if necessary.  Scrape the rice mixture into the prepared pan, cover with foil, and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes.

Prepare the beans
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Drizzle in just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and then add the onions and red bell pepper plus a large pinch of salt.  Sauté for 5 minutes, until soft but not brown, then add the garlic and the cumin.  Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.  Add the beans and about ½ a cup of water and turn the heat to medium-low.  Cook, stirring occasionally and adding more water as necessary, until the beans are hot and a bit soupy, about 20 minutes.  Season to taste.

Success and Failure

October 19, 2010

Here is a question.  Which is worse – enduring a recipe fail and having no idea why it failed, or enduring a recipe fail and knowing exactly what you did wrong?  Is it better to kick yourself or the cookbook?

This was supposed to be Enchiladas Verdes.  Corn tortillas filled with an intoxicating mixture of red onion, zucchini, and the season’s last corn – all sautéed with a bunch of cumin until just cooked.  Tomatillo sauce covers the bottom of the dish, the tops of the enchiladas and a handful of cheese is strewn over the top, and the whole dish is baked until melty and gooey.  Sounds good, right?  Where did I go wrong?

Actually, in this case, I know exactly where I went wrong.  Enchiladas typically use corn tortillas as opposed to burritos which use flour tortillas.  Flour tortillas are easy to wrap around filling but corn tend to split if they are not prepped.  The way most recipes instruct you to do this is to heat up some oil on the stove and dip the tortillas one by one in the hot oil.  It is kind of a time consuming process, messy, and not too healthy.

Now.  I don’t pretend to be Cooking Light here.  There are 73 dessert recipes on this site after all.  But in my savory cooking, I really do try to be mindful and keep things healthy.  I have done the tortilla dipping in oil thing before and it pained me to do so.  I figured I could maybe just brush the tortillas with a bit of oil, wrap them in foil, and warm them in the oven.  It did not work.  It was clear from the first enchilada that my tortillas were going to be splitsville.  I was undone by my own attempts at lightening up a dish.

So, I had a double helping of an amazing tomatillo sauce, a terrific filling, lots of tortillas and avocados.  I also had a green rice that I had intended to serve alongside the enchiladas.  I mixed the rice and filling together with about one third of the tomatillo sauce, put it in a baking dish, sprinkled queso fresco on top, and baked it.  I mashed another third of the sauce into the avocados for a super tangy guacamole.  I served the remaining third in a dish to spoon over everything including the black beans I cooked down with lots of onions and cumin.  And with the tortillas, I made these.

I always tell people that my downfall is not brownies, cookies, or cakes (although I like all three), but salty crunchy things.  Like chips.  Specifically tortilla chips.  I can’t have them in the house.  I have a whole shelf of my pantry devoted to chocolate and it stays untouched until I go to bake something with it.  But if there are chips in the house, they do not last more than a day or two.  Sometimes I will buy the low fat ones but they are so unsatisfying – salty cardboard – that it isn’t really worth it.

Making your own chips is so easy and so much healthier than the store-bought version.  I would even argue that they taste better because you control the seasoning.  If you buy nice thick tortillas you get nice thick chips.  And thick chips are great for scooping up huge quantities of tomatillo guacamole.  So, I can’t share the enchilada recipe since I technically didn’t make it but I’ll tell you how I made the chips.  And as an added bonus, I’ll share the tomatillo sauce.

One Year Ago:  Petits Pains au Chocolat

Fresh Corn Tortilla Chips
Dana Treat Original
Makes 24 thick chips

I’m not super exact on measurements here because it so depends on your taste.  I like my chips really salty but if you don’t just use a pinch or two.

6 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil
Kosher salt
About 2 tsp. chile powder, or more (or less!) to taste
1 lime, cut in half

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Using a pastry brush, brush the top of each tortilla with the vegetable oil.  Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a small pinch of chile powder.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas, stacking one on top of the other as you finish.  Using a large sharp knife, cut through the stack both lengthwise and width wise to end up with 24 pieces total.

Separate out the chips and place on a baking sheet.  Put in the oven and bake until the chips become fragrant and start to brown around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and immediately squeeze the juice from the lime over the chips.  Sprinkle with another pinch of salt and allow to cool.

Tomatillo Sauce
Adapted from Fields of Greens
Makes about 2 cups

As written, this recipe will make a loose sauce so don’t expect salsa consistency.  If you want it chunkier, just pulse it in the processor until you reach the desired texture.

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
Salt and cayenne pepper
½ green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked
1 or 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

Pour a little water into a medium-size saucepan; add the onion, a pinch of salt, and a small pinch of cayenne.  Cover and cook the onion without stirring, over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the bell pepper, tomatillos, and chiles.  Cover again and cook until the tomatillos are very soft and have released their juices, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Purée in a blender or food processor until the sauce is smooth, season with salt and more jalapeños or cayenne to taste.  Add the cilantro just before serving.

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