Queso Frito con Salsa de Epazote (Fried Cheese with Epazote Sauce)
The best American name for this vegetable would probably be “Mexican green tomato”, but they actually taste nothing like regular tomatoes, In fact, the tomatillo is not a tomato at all. The tomatillo has a tart, lemony flavor that is enhance when cooked (especially roasted) and is an excellent base for salsas. While salsa (salsa verde) is the most popular way to enjoy tomatillo, they can be used in other ways. Tomatillos contain high amounts of vitamin A&C. Tomatillos are our #2 sales item!
4 cups water
1 pound tomatillos
1/2 medium white onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 serrano chiles
4 sprigs epazote, leaves removed from stems (about 1/2 cup leaves)
1 Tbsp. corn oil
salt to taste
8 slices V&V Chihuahua or similar cheese, 1/2
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup dry bread crumbs
corn oil for frying
Place the water, tomatillos, onion, garlic and chiles in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until the tomatillos are just soft.
Remove the boiled ingredients and put them in a blender with the epazote leaves and just enough of the cooking water to permit easy movement of the blender blades. Puree until smooth.
Heat the oil in another saucepan and add the blended ingredients and cook for 10 minutes. Gradually add the remaining cooking water until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. It should be medium-thick. Add salt as needed.
Dip each slice of cheese into the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumbs. Place the slices on a rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not refrigerate at this time.
Heat the oil in a large skillet until hot but not smoking. Fry the cheese slices, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, then drain on some paper towels and serve immediately with the sauce.
Recipe from El Restaurante Mexicano, July/August 2003.