Make Green Tomato Enchilada Sauce Instead...
It was the end of the growing season and I was left with bowls upon bowls of green tomatoes. This is one of the frustrations of gardening in Colorado, so many tomatoes that could have been! In previous years, I would keep an eye on those bowls and pluck the lucky ones that turned red out of the bowls to eat.
But there were quite a few more that went bad than would turn juicey red. So last season I knew I had to find a better way to handle these guys. Green tomato salsa usually comes to mind but I wasn't in love with the idea of canning a hundred pounds of green tomato salsa, so I made one batch and called that good.
Fried green tomatoes are another favorite but the San Marzano tomatoes are a little small for this dish. Rest assured, I still made a batch of those too!
One thing I really love is chicken enchiladas verde. I had never made the sauce from scratch before so I started reading through cookbooks and recipes to compile ideas for my own version using these green tomatoes for the base. The result was the best green enchilada suace I have ever had!
Although you could totally pressure can this recipe, I just freeze it in two cup portions. The easiest way is using silicone portion cups like Souper Cubes. Once frozen, you pop them out and put into freezer bags.
Green Tomato Enchilada Sauce
Start by soaking the dried chiles on hot water. These can soak while you husk and quarter the tomatillos and green tomatoes. Set aside. Chop onions and garlic.
Take your large stock pot and add the fat on medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic until soft. Remove the dried chiles from the warm water and cut off tops. Roughly chop. Remove the tops and seeds of the jalepeńos, roughly chop.
Add to the stock pot tomatillos, green tomatoes, chiles, jalepeńos, chopped cilantro, and 2 quarts of stock. Let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. You want it to be smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can pour half the mixture into a food processor or blender and process in two bathces. I highly recommend an immersion blender though. I use mine to make mayo in less than a minute and it's easier to clean than a traditional blender.
Once processed, return to a simmer for another 30 minutes to thicken. Add salt, pepper, and cumin, tasting to adjust for your personal preference.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. One of the most fulfilling aspects of growing your own food is knowing how much work goes into it. After investing so much time and labor, letting it go to waste is not an option.
We have gotten creative over the years to find ways to save the harvest, even the green tomatoes! So whether you just have an abundance of tomatoes or an early frost is threatening to kill off this year's crop, try whipping up this recipe and let nothing go to waste.
I am truly a believer in 'waste not, want not." What are some ways you like to preserve the harvest that may be creative or not typical? I love adding new recipes to my box!
Francesca, wife and mother of three, eagerly shares day-to-day life on her ten acre farm in northern Colorado.