Tomatillo Salsa

Have you ever tasted a tomatillo? It’s sweet and tangy like a Granny Smith apple and crunchy and pungent like an onion. Sounds strange, eh? Haha, yes. But in a totally delicious way I assure you. The flavor definitely caught me off guard when I tasted the first ripped tomatillo in the garden this year and I’ve been looking forward to trying my hand at salsa verde once I was able to gather enough of a #backyardhaul. This wknd I was finally able to do just that! Tomatillo salsa is sweet and tomato-y on the front end with a nice slow jalapeño heat and a touch of vinegar tanginess to help keep everything well balanced. This recipe is a keeper.

1lb tomatillos, husks removed

1 jalapeno

1/2 medium yellow onion

2Tb white vinegar

2-3Tb cilantro, diced

2-3Tb minced garlic

Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Rinse tomatillos and jalapeño. Pat dry to remove any excess moisture. Place tomatillos and jalapeño on a slotted roasting pan and Broil in the oven on Lo to char or blister them slightly . Make sure to flip halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside.

2. In a blender, combine garlic, onion and cilantro at medium speed. Roughly chop jalapeño and add to the blender. Add tomatillos a little at a time and blend until desired consistency.

3. Transfer salsa from blender to medium sauce pan w/tight fitting lid. Add vinegar and stir to combine. Heat salsa at medium/high heat stirring frequently until liquids begin to evaporate. Allow to cool. Store in refrigerator and enjoy!

Blue Crab Chowder

While it may be 97 degrees, with a heat index of over 100, in South MS I still feel the urge to make a batch of cool-weather chowder. We visited friends in Grand Isle, LA recently for a little R&R, boating, fishing, and crab trappin’. You can catch blue crabs right off of the pier and it’s so much fun. Once you’ve caught a decent number of crabs you boil them in a large pot w/spices and vegetables (similar to a crawfish boil). They are delicious. Our friends were gracious enough to let us bring home the leftover boiled blue crab from our weekend stay. We freshly cracked and ate a few but I ultimately decided to break out the stockpot and add the rest to a delicious soup.

7-10lbs Boiled Blue Crab (approx. 2cups of crab meat)

2 cans Amy’s cream of mushroom

1C heavy cream

1/2C vegetable stock

2Tb corn starch

2Tb avo oil

1C shitake mushrooms diced

1 can unsalted corn, drained

6-8 red potatoes, diced & boiled

1 medium onion, diced

4 Tb minced garlic

1 jalapeño, diced

Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat avo oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion. Saute until aromatic and onion is translucent. Add mushrooms and stock. Turn heat up slightly and allow mushrooms to soak up the stock and soften a bit. Add corn, potatoes, jalapeño and stir to combine. Add cream of mushroom, heavy cream and corn starch and stir well. Allow soup to bubble a bit at medium/high heat then return back to medium heat. Taste test along the way. Add crab (or protein of choice) and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve with crackers, crispy bread or my personal favorite, tomato grilled cheese.