Salsa de Tomatillo con Crema (Tomatillo Sauce with Cream)

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!

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1 pound fresh tomatillos, husks removed (about 12 large tomatillos)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 commercial corn tortilla
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 fresh serrano or jalapeno chiles, stems and tops removed (more can be used to taste)
1 cup cilantro leaves (1 large bunch cilantro, leaves stripped)
1 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
salt to taste


Place the fresh tomatillos in a medium saucepan and add the water to cover (about 3 cups). Bring to a boil and cook uncovered over high heat until the tomatillos have changed color, about 5 minutes. Drain the tomatillos, reserving l/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

In a small heavy skillet, heat the oil until almost sizzling and fry the tortilla until crisp and golden. Drain it on some paper towels and when cool enough to handle, break it into pieces.

Place the cooked tomatillos with the reserved liquid in a blender. Add the chopped onion, garlic, chiles, cilantro, broken tortilla pieces and sugar. Process for about l minute, or until the mixture is smoothly pureed.
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over high heat until hot and bubbling. Add the tomatillo mixture and heavy cream. Season with salt to taste, then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until somewhat thickened.

This sauce is wonderful with grilled or poached fish, especially salmon, or pan-fried chicken cutlets.

Yields about 3 to 3-l/2 cups.

Recipe by Zarela Martinez.