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Salsa Verde – The Very Versatile Green Machine Sauce

Salsa Verde – The Very Versatile Green Machine Sauce

Listen to the applause circle the globe as I am FINALLY posting the recipe for the Green Machine Salsa Verde.  This recipe starting making the rounds with the Fajita Pot Lucky two years ago and has appeared in various iterations ever since, most recently at the All American BBQ Pot Lucky. Requested on the reg, I found when trying to share the recipe that I had continually been reinventing the ratios and ingredients. This is finally the definitive formula which I tested again just this week for another Pot Lucky, to be posted very soon. 

Salsa Verde Fajita

The Green Machine, while technically a Salsa Verde that can be used on its own in the traditional green sauce way, is so named because it’s a workhorse. Check out the laundry list of possibilities below. I’m not suggesting you try all these things at once – that’s for professionals, kids! – but this fajita above has the Salsa Verde as a marinade for both chicken and veg; it’s mixed with sour cream for the grand dollop, and it’s kicking up the guacamole. Try any one or two at a time, but pace it out. 

Salsa Verde

What is Salsa Verde? 

Unless you are living under a rock, you have no doubt come across this delicious dazzler. Every country has its own version: Italy has pesto, but also a parsley-based verde with capers and anchovies; Mexico’s includes cilantro and chilis; in various Asian countries you will find green curries; and of course, Argentina’s famous chimichurri is chockablock with parsley. The name chimichurri came with the arrival of the Basques in the late 19th century and their word tximitxurri, meaning a mixture of things in no particular order. This, too, is a sort of no rules recipe!

The recipe featured here is Mexican-based. Lots of cilantro, roasted chilis, tomatillos and lime juice. I used Hatch chilis, which are just starting to come into the market right now. They are exclusive to the Hatch Valley in New Mexico, and if you are lucky enough, your local store may have a few days or a week of offering them, most likely from the good people at Melissa’s Produce. Check their site to see if there are any stores near you. (They are at D&W in Grand Haven today!) The chilis, which have an earthy taste and varying degrees of heat, mature in a very short window in late August and September. My store roasts them for me, but I clean off the char and pull out the seeds and stems before zipping to freeze. It makes it infinitely easier to just pull out a few at a time all winter to throw into soups and stews, and, yes, more Salsa Verde, should I run out.

If you don’t get them, feel free to roast some poblanos or even use fresh jalapenos should you be grill-averse after a summer of BBQs.  

How do you thicken Salsa Verde?

Some versions of this yummy sauce may have you reducing down the mixture on the stove to thicken. Me: “Just say no!”  I feel that kills all those bright and beautiful greens and turns it to a dull olive drab.  I have two hacks to help with this. First I add a ripe avocado to thicken things up, and second I add a slow drizzle of olive oil with the processor running to emulsify the sauce. The avo may shorten the life a skosh, but you will go through it quickly so that’s never been a problem. You can also divvy it up into smaller containers and freeze small batches of it. You might even consider an ice cube tray to create portioned cubes of the saucy wonder. I have some in my shop that make large cubes and are covered for both easy stacking and keeping the freezer burn at bay. 

Caprese Verde

Salsa Verde Uses

Here are just a few of the many ways you can mix this green goodness into your daily life:

  • On the table as a condiment (photo below) – amazing with grilled meats
  • As a drizzle on cheeses (above on a Caprese) How about a burrata drizzle?
  • Mixed with sour cream for a dip or dollop (Mexican condiment tray at bottom)
  • Stirred into guacamole for a kick up
  • Mixed with yogurt as a spread (I just used it on steak sliders)
  • Marinade for vegetables, chicken, fish, or meats (vegetables below)
  • Glaze to brush on dishes just before they come off the grill
  • Pizza sauce
  • Spice up a tortilla soup …..or any other soup or stew
  • Eggs, hell yaas! How about that Mexican egg layered number, the chilaquiles?
  • Salad dressing – mix with buttermilk and make it creamy
  • Drizzle on a citrus salad? Grilled fish! Sauteed scallops! Steaks!
  • Anything tortilla based – Tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, y mas! 
  • Cocktails! Shake it up with some lime juice and tequila! How about adding an oyster shooter to that combo? Oh yeah!

Salsa Verde Tableside

However you chose to use it, please report back. Comments and shares keep this blog going. I know you are going to love this and can’t wait to hear how you put this to use. Enjoy!

Vegetables Marinated in Salsa Verde

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Salsa Verde Fajita: white plate with a flour tortilla, grilled vegetables and chicken, sauced with salsa verde and accompanied by an arugula, corn, tomato and avocado salad

Salsa Verde – The Very Versatile Green Machine Sauce


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x

Description

The Green Machine, while technically a Salsa Verde that can be used on its own in the traditional green sauce way, is so-named because it’s a workhorse. Check out the laundry list of possible ideas from marinade, to dip, to dressing, to cocktails.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 roasted Hatch or poblanos chilis, seeds and ribs removed
  • 3 cups arugula, tightly packed
  • 1 bunch of Italian parsley, bottom stems discarded
  • 1 bunch cilantro, bottom stems discarded
  • juice of 4 limes (1/2 cup)
  • 3 medium tomatillos, husks removed and quartered
  • 1 avocado, scooped from the skin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup olive oil plus 1/4 cup water

Instructions

With the motor running, drop the garlic in the work bowl of a food processor until minced.

Add the chilis, arugula, parsley and cilantro in batches, pulsing as you add to create enough room and to chop finely.

Add the lime juice, tomatillos, avocado and salt. Pulse all ingredients until pureed.

With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and water. Scrape down the sides as needed.

Taste to adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper, lime juice or olive oil to balance the flavor. Final seasoning will depend on the chilis used and the “flavorfulness” of your herbs and arugula.

Notes

If you don’t have roasted Hatch chilis in your freezer (autumn is the time to buy them fresh, possibly already roasted by your local store, and stock your freezer for the coming months) nor feel like firing up the grill to roast poblanos, substitute 1-2 fresh jalapeños, ribs and seeds removed

Serve as a dressing, marinade, salsa or sauce. If needed, you can thin with additional lime juice or water. Mix with sour cream or Greek yogurt to make a sauce or dip. Add to guacamole to kick up the guac heat. If using as a marinade, use 1 1/2 Tablespoons per chicken breast or per half-pound of meat.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blender/Processor
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Salsa Verde, Green Sauce

Condiments with salsa verde

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2019. All rights reserved.

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Spring has Sprung: Edamame and Chickpea Fritters

Spring has Sprung: Edamame and Chickpea Fritters

Edamame & Chickpea Fritters

You say fritters? I say falafel? Whatever you do….do NOT call the whole thing off. Something about these little beauties just screams …”summer, she’s a-coming”. For me it’s the serious dose of herbs and lemon juice, my besties for brightening flavor. In this batch of chickpea fritters, you will find an easy-to-prep side dish that is the perfect date for all kinds of “grilled stuff”, as the sign at my favorite beach café in Anguilla advertises. (Uncle Ernie’s in Shoal Bay, if you are in the area! They also advertise fluffy towels and buoyant rafts. Clearly somebody has a thesaurus and knows how to use it.)

Edamame & Chickpea Fritters with chili dipping sauce

Long before the world had Meatless Mondays and Taco Tuesdays, my family had a bit of a weekly ritual that I think was aimed at giving Mom a light night. Normally the preparer of a real square with veggies AND salad AND meat AND potatoes, this night was more of a toaster oven extravaganza…straight from the freezer. Jimmy Dean sausage patties and apple fritters (which were pancake-shaped). She sometimes rustled up a batch of sausage gravy to go with.  Not remotely our normal dining fare, but kind of a treat. That was my first experience with fritters. These bear little resemblance, unless you count shape, and in that case, they are exactly the same.

As I debate whether to call these fritters or pancakes, I lean toward fritter despite the absence of a vat of 375o oil (definitely not my style). But, they simply don’t have the flour/milk/egg batter that qualifies them as a pancake. But fear not! While ingredients-wise they are close cousins to the falafel, they are a clear fan-favorite over that deep-fried golf ball. A quick pan-sauté crisps up the tops and bottoms, leaving them moist and flavorful and begging for a serious dollop of Chili Dipping Sauce.

Chickpea Fritters with Chili Dipping Sauce

In the next post, I will share a grilled spicy shrimp that appears in some of these photos. But in the meantime, these chickpea fritters also make a great base for breakfast, topped with a couple sunny-side up eggs.  And don’t forget the arugula and squash salad.  It pairs well with all of the above.  

Summer squash with spice blend

Pulsing the chickpea fritter ingredients

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Fritters

Edamame and Chickpea Fritters


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 18 patties, serves 6 1x

Description

These veggie fritters are chock-full of chickpeas, edamame and a serious handful of herbs. Serve with something right off the grill or top with eggs sunny-side up!


Ingredients

Scale

Edamame and Chickpea Fritters

  • 1 16-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup edamame, thawed
  • 4 scallions, cut in 1” pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons panko
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Vegetable oil for sautéing

Chili Dipping Sauce

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Make the fritters:

Place the chickpeas, edamame, scallions and garlic in the work bowl of a food processor. Process, pulsing 10-12 times until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the panko, flour, cumin, salt, baking soda, and pepper flakes.

Add the lemon juice, egg white, parsley and cilantro to the chickpea mixture. Stir in the dry mixture until well combined.  

Form patties, using 1 Tablespoon measure.

Add enough vegetable oil to a sauté pan to cover the bottom and heat. Cook the patties over medium heat, in batches, turning after 3 1/2 to 4 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Drain on paper towels. Transfer patties to a sheet pan and hold in a warm oven.

Make the chili dipping sauce:

Whisk together all ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, until serving time.

Dollop atop warm edamame and chickpea fritters.

Notes

The chili dipping sauce makes 1 cup and will keep, refrigerated and covered, for several weeks (not that you will have any left over!)

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Fritters with S&P shrimp

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2017. All rights reserved.

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Asian Marinated Beef with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Asian Marinated Beef with Peanut Dipping Sauce

This spin on a Beef Satay incorporates a marinade and a dipping sauce that both can be used in a myriad of ways.  Use the marinade on pork, chicken or even fish and dip away in the peanut sauce with vegetables, eggrolls and dumplings, or use as a dressing on Chinese chicken salad.

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 1/4 cup grated ginger
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons hoisin
  • 2 Tablespoons black bean garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 pound beef tenderloin, trimmed

Dipping Sauce

  • 14 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic paste (sambal oelek)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro

Directions

Make the marinade: Combine all marinade ingredients and marinate beef for one hour or overnight in a non-reactive pan, covered, in the refrigerator.

Make the dipping sauce: Heat coconut milk in a saucepan until reduced by half.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and whisk together with remaining ingredients.  Store in the refrigerator.

Remove meat from marinade and pat dry.  Sear in 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a hot sauté pan until well browned.  Transfer to a roasting pan and roast in a 450oF oven until desired doneness, about 15 minutes more for medium rare.  Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes.  Carve into thin slices and thread onto skewers.

To serve, fan out the skewers on a serving tray atop a bed of red & yellow diced peppers and sliced scallions. Accompany with a bowl of dipping sauce.

Serves 6-8, as an appetizer