I never thought I would hear people say, “What are those?” followed closely by, “What do you do with them?” Being from Arizona, tomatillos are a staple in our food, namely Mexican. However, they are very hard to find out here in Maryland which is a shame because they are incredibly easy to grow out here.
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There is only one farm (Flying Plow Farm) that grows them here, that I’ve found, and they are constantly bombarded with questions about what to do with these. The most popular item to make with these is tomatillo sauce, which can be eaten as a salsa or used like enchilada sauce. But, here’s the thing, I’m not really a fan of using tomatillo sauce as enchilada sauce (I make green enchilada sauce with green chilis – the only real way to make green enchilada sauce, heh heh). I generally use tomatillos as is and don’t make them into a sauce.
tomatillo Pork roast 3So, what are tomatillos? Tomatillos are part of the night shade family and a distant relative to the tomato. The fruit is slightly larger than a small tomato and encased in a papery husky. The husk is inedible and needs to be removed from the fruit. The insides of a tomatillo is much meatier and crispier than a tomato. They are also very tart. When I cook with tomatillos, I don’t add lemon juice (unless I’m making a salsa) because it makes it just too tart and acidic for my palate. They are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, lycopene, potassium, flavonoids and folate.
tomatillo pork roast 4Pork and Tomatillos are a classic combination and this is a crock pot version of Tomatillo Pork Roast. Of course, you don’t have to cook this in a crockpot, you can roast this in the oven as well. If you decide to roast this in the oven, the tomatillos will keep more of their shape and the pork loin won’t shred. I rubbed the pork loin with a latin spice mix before placing it over the tomatillos and onions.
If you are looking for more Tomatillo recipes then take a look at the collection on Martha Stewart’s website
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Tomatillo Pork Roast
1 pork loin roast
About 1 pound of tomatillos, quartered and halved
3 small onions, quartered
2 poblano peppers, chopped
1/4 cup white wine, water, or Mexican lager (I used Chardonney)
4 garlic cloves, minced (more or less for your palate)
Cilantro, minced, to taste
Latin Spice, recipe to follow
These are all dried spices:
1/3 t corriander, ground
1/3 t cumin, ground
1/3 t garlic, ground
1/3 t crushed red pepper
1/3 t smoked paprika
1/3 t onion, ground
1/3 t chipotle, ground
1/3 t oregano
Mix all these spices together.
You can substitute regular paprika for smoked paprika as paprika is pretty smoky in itself. You can also omit the chipotle but it does add a nice spicy smokiness.
Tomatillo Pork Loin
Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse. Quarter the large tomatillos and half the small ones. Place in your crockpot or roasting pan.
Quarter onions and place in your crockpot or roasting pan with the tomatillos.
Add minced garlic and cilantro to the onions and tomatillos and mix well.
Add chopped poblanos, salt, pepper, and white wine and mix well.
Pat dry the pork loin and rub all over with latin spice, nestle pork loin on top of the tomatillo mixture.
Crockpot: cook on low (8-10 hours); Roast: Roast at 375F until cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.