Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Drinks: Rita Tomatillo

Inspiration comes from the oddest places. A friend brought over some of her freshly made tomatillo salsa yesterday, but there was a bit too much vegetable juice in the serving bowl, making it difficult to scoop up the the minced tomatillos and chiles. So we drained off much of the liquid, which was too fragrant and tasty to throw away but what to do? A bottle of tequila and a bowl of limes in the kitchen provided the basis for the rest of the ingredient mix, that and an aging bottle of limoncello. No commercial tomatillo salsa will do - they are all too acrid and artificial. And you can bring the heat level up or down, as you wish; next time, I'll try making the salsa by roasting the tomatillos and chiles first, and then maybe use a mezcal instead of blanco.

Rita Tomatillo
(serves four)
5 ounces blanco tequila (preferably a minerally tequila, like El Tesoro)
5 ounces tomatillo salsa water (see below)
1.5 ounce limoncello
juice of one large lime

Pour all over ice and shake vigorously. Strain and serve.

Tomatillo Salsa
1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered
2 fresh serrano peppers, seeded, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, minced
juice of one lime
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste

In a bowl, combine tomatillos, chiles, garlic and salt. Let stand at room temperature for an hour. Add lime juice, cilantro and olive oil, stir and let sit in refrigerator for one hour. Strain liquid to use for Rita Tomatillo; serve the rest with blue corn chips.

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