Wednesday, April 14, 2010

CSA week 19 - Baked fish in hoja santa tomatillo sauce

This is a recipe from Victoria Challancin, the owner of the Flavors of the Sun International Cooking School. It's pretty simple and I made it even simpler because, after making the sauce, I didn't have leaves left to wrap the fish too. Also, I didn't have enough fish so I used some shrimp.

1 share hoja santa leaves, I didn't count. Six? Around that.
6 ounces tomatillos, husked, cleaned and quartered
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 hot chile, seeded or not to your taste I used a seeded jalapeño.
1/6 cup water
salt to taste

0. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Boil a pot of water. Blanch the hoja santa leaves for 30 seconds. Cool immediately to stop the cooking. Strip out the tough stems and roughly chop.

2. Add everything to a food processor and process until fairly smooth. I found I got little chunks floating in a watery sauce so you might want to keep on blending for a while longer.

3. Place seafood in a baking dish. This makes enough sauce for a couple fillets. Cover with sauce. I didn't, but you might want to cover the dish with foil to try to keep the fish moist. Bake until fish is cooked through, 10-15 minutes.

Serve with tortillas or possibly rice. I made tacos because why not?

Hmm...The sauce is slightly spicy, brightly acid from the not-quite-ripe tomatillos (a squeeze of lime takes the unpleasant edge off the tartness), aromatically herbal, rooty and slightly chemical--unmistakably hoja santa. Nothing transformative here, but the hoja santa flavor, a bit much on its own, works better as a balanced element of the gestalt of the sauce. It goes pretty well with the fish, less well with the shrimp (which were kind of funky today. Maybe from overcooking; maybe I just got a bad batch?) and really well with the tortillas. I'm going to try using hoja santa in a corn salad next time I get some or maybe in tamales...Hold on a second, I just added some chipotle to the sauce and the smokiness is great base for the hoja santa's flavors. That's definitely the way I'm going next time around. Just add a little to this sauce and you'll be happy, I'm promise.

1 comment:

redhead83402 said...

Thank you for the tomatillo recipe! I seem to have a plethora of tomatillos, & didn't know what to do with all of them! ( My garden went crazy this year!) Thanks again, & take care!