Tomatillos

native to: Mexico
in season here: fall
dscf2054_700
Although tomatillos, or husk tomatoes, look like tomatoes in a husk, they’re more closely related to cape gooseberries. They’re normally green and used in sauces, but there are red and purple varieties that can be made into jam. They’re members of the nightshade family and can promote inflammation, although they don’t have as much alkaloid (which is what might be called the pro-inflammatory at issue) as other nightshades.

Tomatillos offer vitamins A, C, and K, niacin, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and fiber. They also have unique antioxidant phytochemicals called withanolides, which have anti-cancer and antibacterial properties, and antioxidant flavonoids such as beta carotene. They’re a low-calorie food, making them a good choice for weight loss, and their niacin helps boost energy levels. Their vitamin A and beta carotene make them good for the eyes.

Read more:
label-style nutrition information for raw tomatillos
Organic Facts
recipes for fermented tomatillo salsa

Index to all blog posts.

Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish.
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.

Pork Tenderloin in Tomatillo Sauce

Tomatillo sauce:
2 lbs. tomatillos, husks removed, washed
2 large jalapenos
1 large onion, cut into wedges
6 – 8 large cloves garlic, peeled
cilantro to taste
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste

Place an oven rack a few inches from the broiler. Arrange tomatillos, jalapenos, onion, and garlic on a roasting pan and place a few inches from the broiler. Broil 5-6 minutes, until they start to char. Turn over and broil another 5-6 minutes, until tomatillos are soft and blackened. Remove from oven and cool about 20 minutes. Split the jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove the seeds (reserve some seeds for a hotter sauce). Place vegetables and their juices in a blender and puree until desired consistency is reached; it should be a little chunky. Add the cilantro, lime juice, and of salt; pulse a few more times to mix. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

Pork tenderloin:
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
bacon grease, lard, or vegetable oil, for browning
2 lbs pork tenderloin, cut into cubes
1/4 cup Mexican-style beer
1 recipe tomatillo sauce (above)

Combine flour, salt, and cumin in a large mixing bowl. Add the pork cubes and gently toss to coat. Brown the pork in hot grease/oil, cooking one layer at a time, about 1 – 2 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon, set aside, and continue with the remaining pork. Deglaze the pan with beer, scraping up any leftover browned bits as the beer bubbles. Return the browned pork cubes to the skillet and add tomatillo sauce. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. May be made a day or two in advance; flavor improves with time.

Serve with:
Small corn or flour tortillas
Cooked rice
Cooked beans
Chopped cilantro
Lime wedges

Adapted from The Kitchn

Index to all blog posts.

Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish.
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.