Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Tantalizing Tomatillos

Sometimes referred to as the "Mexican green tomato", the tomatillo has it's own distinct taste. I love the way it grows-beginning with a yellow bloom that hummingbirds love, extending into a parchment paper like packet where the fruit develops and expands to fill the covering. Here in West Virginia, they have a long growing season that extends into the cooler fall months. When picked and covering removed, they are have a sticky sweetness on the outside. Inside they are firm and acidic.

Tomatillos are often diced into salsas. Cooking softens the skin and enhances the taste. I like to combine them with other green vegetables (peppers, parsley and green onions) and saute before adding to enchiladas or casseroles. Some folks add these to guacamole. 

In this recipe, I highlighted the tomatillo uniqueness by inserting the green tomatillo sauce into the center layer of the tortilla casserole.

Chicken Tortilla Casserole with Tomatillo Sauce

(Serves 4)

Tomatillo Sauce
Combine vegetables in small saucepan on stove top. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes. Drain.
5 ounce tomatillos, parchment covering removed and diced
1/4 cup green onions, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced

Grease a small baking dish (mine is 9 X 6 1/2 inch) with olive oil spray.
Bake chicken in a 325F oven for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F. Dice.
9 ounce chicken breast, boneless, skinless
Rotisserie chicken is a speedy substitute!

On stove-top, heat tomatoes and spices.
2/3 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin
2/3 teaspoon chili powder
Dash oregano

Add corn and cooked diced or shredded chicken breast to pot.
1/2 cup corn
Cooked, diced or shredded chicken breast

Mix cornstarch into milk. Add milk to pot.  Heat over medium low heat until mixture begins to thicken, about 15 minutes.
2/3 teaspoon cornstarch, non GMO
1/2 cup skim milk 
Cut each tortilla into quarters.  Arrange 1/3 of tortillas in bottom of baking dish, greased with olive oil spray
 4 corn tortillas
Add 1/2 of vegetable-chicken mix. 
Cover with 1/3 of tortillas.  
Top with tomatillo sauce.
Add 1/2 of cheese.
3/4 cup shredded cheese (mine has parmigiana and cheddar)
Top with 1/3 of tortillas.
Add rest of vegetable-chicken mix, then remaining cheese.
Bake at 325 F for 30 minutes.
Tomatillos are rich in Vitamin A and contain a good amount of vitamin C.



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