Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa

I am in full-on squirrel mode.  As in, I am really excited about putting food in storage.  I am canning and freezing things as fast as I can.  I canned 14 pints of pickled beets and froze and bagged 4 gallon sized bags of par cooked and sliced beets.   My garden has seen better years.  But my garden is beet strong every year!

Tomatillos are another crop that are silly easy to grow.  I can usually find them in a 3 pack at the greenhouse.  I have previously planted all 3, not knowing how plentiful tomatillo plants are. I cannot STAND to throw away a plant from the greenhouse, even when I know I don’t have room for it.  It breaks my little gardener’s heart.  All of the produce potential tossed to the wayside!

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A view of planting day, before the weeds and chaos takes over…

This year Bill was providing me with margaritas while watching me fill my garden.  I’m not sure what the occasion was that required margaritas in the garden that day, but who’s complaining?!  When it came to the tomatillos, Bill reminded me we only need one plant.  I sent him into the house to refill my glass and popped another tomatillo plant in the dirt!  The margaritas told me that made the most sense.  A month later I spent the afternoon, margarita free, constructing a cage to contain the tomatillos.  They took over the peppers and were threatening to ravage the tomatoes.  Lesson learned?  Margaritas are great in the garden!  And yes, you really only need one tomatillo.  Unless you’re opening a salsa factory…

The salsa I made last year ended up being kind of sweet.  I had to freeze it because the acidity level wasn’t high enough for it to be a water bath canned salsa.  The end result was good.  But not spicy enough and kind of watery when I defrost it.  I’ve been straining it and adding to cottage cheese for a snack.  I’ll throw it into Mexican style soups this winter.

This year I upped the heat and used a new recipe sent from my cousin, who loves to put food in jars as much as I do.  It is from the All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving.  This book is in my Amazon cart.   I’ll read it when the snow is flying to keep my garden dreams alive.

Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa is very easy to make, requires few ingredients and you can whip up a batch or two in an afternoon.  So you didn’t get over served and plant too many tomatillo plants in your garden?!  It’s ok.  While not as good as home grown (my opinion only) tomatillos are available at the grocery store, usually about $2.99 a pound.  The chipotle peppers in adobo sauce can be found with the Mexican food.  They add the perfect amount of heat and smokey flavor.  I doubled this recipe.  You do not have to have a garden to make this salsa and it is a perfect beginner and small batch canning recipe.

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Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa

  • 2 lbs. fresh tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1 small onion, unpeeled and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 to 4 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I used 3)
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Arrange tomatillos, stem side down, and onions, skin side down on a baking sheet.  Wrap garlic cloves in a small piece of aluminum foil and place on baking sheet.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes or until tomatillos and onions are beginning to char and soften.  Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.  When vegetables are cool enough to handle, remove onion peels and add to food processor.  Add juice and remaining ingredients, process until pureed.
  3. Transfer mixture to a large stainless steal or enameled saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.
  4. Ladle hot salsa into a hot jar, leaving 1/2 inch head space.  Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rim.  Center lid on jar rim.  Apply band and adjust to finger tip-tight.  Place jar in boiling water canner.  Repeat until all jars are filled.
  5. Process jars for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude.  Turn off and remove lid.  Let jars stand 5 minutes.  Remove jars and cool.

 

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Finished product!  It’s a little sweet and smokey.  So pretty in the jar!  I made and doubled this recipe twice.  And BOTH times I forgot to take a picture of my charred vegetables.  Rookie blogger mistakes…

Art Mom Weekend, Meal Prep & I Bought a Blog!

I had a new experience this weekend.  My daughter Gwen had her debut art show!  She’s been an artist since day one.  As I youngster, I had to supply my girl with tablets to draw on.  If I didn’t, she would draw on whatever she could get her hands on, including the check book.  Her work is beautiful and her talent is only growing.  I can see myself spending more and more time by her side at art venues.

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See that owl to the right of my gorgeous kid?  (Go ahead!  Click on the picture and enlarge it.  You know you want to!)  That’s mine!  An original piece from Gwen for my birthday.  And the Spider Man comic next to it?  My husband’s Father’s Day present, replicated from his childhood comic book collection.  We get the best gifts from this kid!  My girl is going places!

The rest of my weekend was spent catching up.  With friends, with life, with cleaning, with laundry, with preserving.  My garden, while not the best I’ve ever grown, still has a harvest to preserve.  The beets!  Oh my, the beets!  (An acquired taste, I know)  And tomatillos  are falling off the plant!  Stay tuned for a future blog post to share my Chipolte Tomatillo Salsa salsa recipe.

On to this week’s meal prep!  Monday was the first day of Fall and to celebrate I made Pumpkin Spice smoothies.  Let’s be clear.  I like pumpkin spice but I’m not one of those pumpkin spice fanatics.  I’m not running out searching Ohio for the supposed Pumpkin Spice White Claw or anything.  I’m just enjoying a Fall themed smoothie.  LOL!  00000img_00000_burst20190922210351207_cover

In my containers above I have 2 scoops Vanilla Formula One and 2 scoops Vanilla Protein Drink Mix.  Then I topped it off with some pumpkin pie spice.   I used canned pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie filling, and froze it into cubes in an ice cube tray.  Three Vitamin A and fiber filled cubes go into my blender cup with my mix and water.  So good and so filling!  You could also just add a scoop of pumpkin from the can and some ice.  I made three servings because that’s how many cups were clean.  Aren’t they cute?  But there’s only two up there, right?  I used my trusty former-server-I-can-carry-anything-hands and carried my cups to the table to photograph.  AAANNNDDD I dropped one!  Herbalife everywhere!  So, yes, I get a great discount on the stuff but still!  It isn’t free!  (You could get a discount too!  Just ask me how!)  Needless to say I was a little disappointed in my trusty (not so trusty) hands.

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For lunch I made Protein Egg and Quinoa Salad Jars from SkinnyTaste.com.  These salads were really easy to throw together.  I made a big batch of quinoa in the Instant Pot and froze half of it for future use.  Made as directed in the recipe, these salads were a little too small for me.  Sorry Skinny Taste.  So I bulked them up with more of the low calorie ingredients.  I used a bunch more arugula and tomatoes in each salad.  I also used 1 1/2 hard boiled eggs in each salad.  These salads were great and will be added into the regular lunch rotation.  The avocado did not get mushy or brown because it was in the tangy lemon dressing.  They were SO good.   Snacks this week were celery and hummus.  I didn’t think you needed a picture of that.  I’m sure you can figure it out.  Ha!

We’ve made a big step here at Julie Obsesses.  I say “we” because I’m never blogging alone.  My faithful sidekick Lola, always at my feet, by my side, or in my chair with me.

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But back to our big step!  We bought the blog!  Yes, I purchased my domain name and I am a big girl in the blog world now.  No more wordpress.com  in my name!  It’s officially julieobsesses.com.  And that means I have a little follow box down in the right hand corner.  You can click on it to get my posts sent directly to you email.  Go on, click it…  Make a girl and her dog feel good.

Thanks for reading!

Julie (and Lola)