Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sweet and Hot, Red and Green, Outside Comes Inside


The October bounty continues!  Just about the best time for fresh veggies from
the garden here in Northern California is October.  Warm days and cool nights,
without the brutal heat of the summer months.

The BEST tomato in the world ..... 'Mexico'
I posted about it earlier this summer.
Tomato 'Mexico'

An heirloom tomato that is varied in color, tending to be pink and green
right off the vine, but ripens on the counter to a deep dark red.  Left too
long on the vine, the woodpeckers will come down from the oak trees to
drill perfectly round holes to drain all the juice out of them.
This is about average, 12.7 ounces .... some weigh in at over one pound.

Extremely juicy, so it is important to slice them on a rimmed board or plate to save
all that deliciousness!  A little fresh basil and some ground pepper, with crumbled Feta 
and Balsamic vinegar yet to come.

One of about a dozen varieties of peppers, both sweet and hot, that I grew this year.
It's been a wonderful year for peppers and our first rain storm of the season this past
weekend just urged them on, with a whole new crop coming on here in the last week of October.

Cayenne (above)

Pablano - my favorite of all the peppers

And the ugly ducklings of the vegetable garden are surely the Tomatillos.

Odd looking little "green tomatoes" with a paper-like husk and a sticky exterior
and very seedy interior with green firm flesh.

Salsa Verde and green sauce for enchiladas are just two of the ways to use this odd little fruit.

There are many variations on the recipes, I tend to maintain the basic flavor of the tomatillos
by not adding a lot of extras to the sauces like cumin and cilantro.  A Pablano or two, along with a Cayenne pepper and the tomatillos roasted in the oven until just turning black, processed in a food
processor and the sauce is good to go!

It is like honey and hot peppers, with the distinct flavor of the tomatillo clear and pure.
I can eat it by the spoonful from the bowl, but usually use it to top a batch of chicken enchiladas.
The sauce can be frozen too! Thaw, put in a sauce pan or double boiler and heat until just warm.

Assemble your enchiladas (these are chicken).  I add an additional layer of flat corn
tortillas crisped on both sides on top of the enchiladas.  I find it maintains the layers
of sauce and cheese better and freezes better too.

The green sauce goes on.

Then a generous amount of cheese!

15-20 minutes in a 400F oven and it's ready to serve

Tomatillos are a great addition to any vegetable garden!

Thanks for coming by again this week for a Sweet and Hot, Red and Green,
Outside Comes Inside Wednesday.


  1. That looks so yummy. My grandkids each had a tomato and pepper plant to tend to this summer. I mistakenly bought a banana pepper plant for one of them and the other two were red & green Bell peppers. I'm sure you know what happened. The banana peppers produced quicker and more plentiful than the bells. Plant envy was going on...lol....

  2. Candy, your tomatoes look scrumptous. Everything here is long dead. Enjoy them. ♥olive

  3. That looks absolutely to die for! Yum!
    I have two small green tomatoes struggling....hoping for maturity!

  4. Stop, you're making me hungry and I already had dinner!

  5. Love the photos and the food looks fabulous. I want that plate full of tomatoes.

  6. Good thing I was eating a brownie while I was looking at your post - or I would have been right over. (" Really great pix.

  7. It all looks so yummy. The tomatoes and feta sounds great. Wonderful photos.

  8. wow, an impressive bounty! Those tomatoes look heavenly.

  9. That looks pretty darn good even though I don't really like Mexican type food. I never saw those Tomatillos. Are they something native to your area?

  10. Yum!! now I'm hungry!! We have some pretty nice tomatoes here in Jersey too!

  11. What a fabulous post. I cannot imagine how long it took to put it all together for us. Buddy and I adore those tomatoes...they are our favorites. I loved the mixed coloration. Yum-Yum. Thanks for sharing.

  12. My peppers are doing very well this year too and the yellow Hungarians are producing like crazy right now, but our tomatoes are getting smaller as the days get shorter...you are lucky to still have them!

  13. Amazing photographs of vegetables. I'm loving that recipe.
    Joyce M

  14. OMG! These look so delicious; I've never had one before. Too bad we can't grow tomatillos here in Nova Scotia. Thanks for making me drool!

  15. My, oh my! Your garden pictures are devine! I love tomatoes...especially the heirloom ones and I do remember your post about Mexico. I will be seeking that tomato out for next years garden.

    As always, a lovely visit to your blog :)


  16. Our tomatoes didn't do well this year, in spring they drowned and in summer they roasted to death. Your's look amazing and the finsihed dish looks so good. I adore your header and song, so festive.

  17. A pink tomato! I love it, and I love all of the beautiful shots of nature's bounty here too. It's only 9AM right now, but my mouth is watering for an enchilada!
    Happy REDnesday!
    p.s. I LOVE your blog header!

  18. Wow what great pictures. Love the garden fare.


  19. Beautiful luscious veggies, beautiful food and beautiful bowls. Love this post.

  20. GREAT BALLS OF FIRE...these look so so good.
    All your photos are marvelous and your veggies to die for.
    I am making this for our dinner tonight and will tell you how we like it. I am not one for chicken, however, so I'll use ground beef.
    O, and Margaritas, for sure !!

  21. 'Scuse me .... gotta get a napkin to wipe the tomato juice off my chin! LOL These are so unbelievably good, more like dessert than a salad.

    Those banana peppers are great producers Donnie!

    Shirley -

    You must come to California. If you haven't eaten Mexican food that appeals to you .... you've been eating in the wrong places!! Even better, take a trip to Mexico for the real thing, not the Americanized version of some of their classics. :-)

    Tomatillos are native to Central and South America. Grow on a vine very similar to the way tomatoes grow, but the vines aren't as hefty. Tons of little fruits on each vine and you need at least two vines, since they don't self-fertilize. I bet some grocers in your area carry them in their produce sections .... they aren't something you would naturally be drawn to unless you are looking for them. :-)

    Sandy - What Zone are you in NS? I think the tomatillos will grow in Zone 6, if you start them in a cold frame or indoors and then put them out in the HOTTEST spot available. :-)

    Thank you all for stopping by and for your lovely comments! Stop back later today for two Halloween tablescapes!


  22. Wonderful...makes me wanna make some Mexican food tonight for dinner...Chile rellenos sound good....hmmmm.


  23. Hey Candy, I just discovered your blog via wordless wednesday. The pictures taken by you are super amazing. I so feel like tasting these dishes now! Really keen to know what camera you use?

  24. Your tomatoes look delicious! The frost already got ours and I miss them! Beautiful pictures!

  25. Thanks ladies!

    Regarding the pictures:
    I'm using a Nikon D90 with the basic kit lens. All credit for the photos should go to the camera and not to me. I am certainly not using the camera to its full potential, since after using it for 6 months I'm still using the no flash automatic mode. :-) I did TRY this time to read the book ..... even bought a "D90 For Dummies" manual .... I got to page 13 and had a major brain freeze. LOL Techie camera stuff just makes my eyes glaze over and my brain disappears. So for now it will still be point and shoot for me!

    Also, remember that I don't show you the images that are failures. :-) For an average tablescape I take 70-100 images to get 30 or so "keepers". For this post I probably took about 50 shots ...... vegetables are very camera friendly subjects!

    Again, thanks for the compliments!


  26. Wow! What a great blog! I love your photos, either you have a very nice camera or you are a fabulous photographer (or maybe both!) I've always wondered what those little funny green things are! Tomatillos! I've seen recipes call for them I just never put two and two together. Your peppers are lucious. We tried for peppers this year but no luck. We have a difficult spot for gardening. The deer are after everything, and pots can be hard, this year we were especially dry but somehow still humid!

  27. I would love your garden. I have never seen the green tomato with the husk.

  28. I don't know where to start...your wonderful photography, the delicious recipe or whining about living in the Midwest instead of California...

    I'll just say everything looks great!

  29. Just ran out 2 days ago to cover the tomatoes and peppers and onion because it was snowing in Utah. Yes, a little early! This looks wonderful, tasty, savory and very fattening, I love it.

  30. I'm happy you all enjoyed your visit here on TLRT!
    It's raining here again this weekend, but the veggies are still coming in like gangbusters. I made three more batches of tomatillo green sauce yesterday ...... yummy goodness for the long wet winter ahead!

    See you next time I hope!



Thank you for your lovely comments.

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