Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - There's nothing like a cool dip to alleviate the heat wave. Don't break out the beach towel, break out the chips. Since local, fresh vegetables are always available in the Puerto Vallarta area, it's easy to whip up a refreshing & satisfying treat.
"I love the tangy flavor of tomatillos, so I use them quite a bit," says Anita Dabbs, a real estate agent with Ron Morgan Properties in Puerto Vallarta and Bucerķas. "When used in recipes they are usually boiled or roasted if you want to add a smoky flavor, you can make any dish taste just a bit different, even guacamole."
Tomatillos are small fruits, which are used as a vegetable, and commonly called "green tomatoes." They are enclosed in a paper-like, light brown husk that must be removed. It resembles a small unripe tomato and is usually green or yellow. The yellow color indicates ripeness, but tomatillos are most often used when they are still green because they are firmer and easier to slice. The flesh is slightly acidic with a hint of lemon.
The Aztecs first grew tomatillos as far back as 800 B.C. and they have been popular in Mexico and other Latin American countries since then.
Anita shares one of her favorite ways to use this vegetable, by adding it to her guacamole. "What I love about this recipe is that the addition of the tomatillos and cilantro give the guacamole a tangy, distinct flavor," says Anita. "A bonus is that the tomatillos add acidity and color, plus the cilantro adds even more color so it does not turn gray, even the next day."
Anita's Tomatillo Guacamole Recipe
4-5 tomatillos husked and boiled until soft
3 large avocados
3 minced garlic cloves
1/2 small onion, minced
1 to 2 serrano chilis minced, depending on the degree of heat you want, you can add more
1/2 bunch of cilantro finely chopped
Pinch of salt, you can use more if you'd like
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Juice of one lime
Drain and puree the tomatillos in a food processor or blender. Then add the minced garlic, onion, serranos, and chopped cilantro, continue processing a bit more to mix thoroughly. In a large bowl mash the avocados with a fork, add the lime juice, the tomatillo mixture, then salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy with your favorite brand of tostados or totopos (chips).
You simply cannot live in Puerto Vallarta and not experiment with various versions of guacamole. Avocados are cheap, compared to the US or Canada and you can always find tree-ripened varieties year-round. If you are trying to cut back on calories and fat, choose baked chips, use tortillas, top your salad or main course or simply eat it with a spoon as a side dish. No matter how you choose to savor it, the smooth texture and flavor will certainly satisfy.Ron Morgan Properties specializes in luxury real estate in the Marina Vallarta area and beyond to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Punta de Mita, as well as along the southern shores of Banderas Bay, from the Romantic Zone, Amapas and Conchas Chinas down to Mismaloya and even Costa Alegre. For more information, visit RonMorgan.net.
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