Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stewed Tomatillos and Tomatoes p. 359-360

This is my first major failure as I've worked my way through this cookbook. I was particularly sad about it because I was so anticipated the deliciousness of two forbidden vegetables that Bryan doesn't normally let me cook.

Things didn't work out from the beginning. The first step is to cook the onions and let them soften. They nearly burned up. Then you add the tomatillos. They need to cook for a long time until they are "mostly dissolved." Mine refused to dissolve at all. In fact, they stayed in tact the entire time. I even tried to mash them with the back of my wooden spoon, only to fail with most of them. After you're impenetrable tomatillos dissolve add in the tomatoes to cook for a little while til they are soft. Not quite as long. Since the onions almost burned the pan had turned almost black and caused some discoloration in the whole dish.

I was utterly disappointed the way this dish turned out and in the flavor of it. If Julia Child says there are no mistakes in cooking just variations, this is a variation you do not want to try.

Served with garlicy-lime fish, coming tomorrow.


  1. This is not the only place that if you would burn the onions if you follow the recipe closely. Other place is the Lo Mein recipe in p. 554 and some stir fry recipes. I havenot cook this one yet, but based on your text, I would change Step 1 to "cooking in medium heat" and scoop out of the vegetables after step 1. In step 2, I would add the stock immediately with the tomatillos and cover the pan after the liquid boiled, and reduce to low heat. Stewing will break up the vegetables most quickly. Paul.

  2. I guess the tomatillos needed to be cut in half before cooking may help. Paul.

  3. After researching the internet, I think this procedure will work. Step 1: Saute the onion and pepper at medium high heat for 5 minutes or medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove the vegetables and reserve. Step 2: Chop the tomatillos to 1/4-1/2" cubes, then saute at medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add stock and stir to mix. If you want finer texture, pour the tomatillos mixture in the blender and coarsely grind. Then add the onion/pepper mixture back to the tomatillo sauce and stew for 30 minutes. Proceed to step 3. Paul.