The other night, some ladies came over to eat tacos. We were celebrating a friend's birthday, and also tacos. It was an easy weeknight dinner party, if you can call it that, since it was really a potluck. I made chicken in the slow cooker (the not-so-secret secret of every weeknight host with a day job). Friends brought guacamole, salsa, lettuce, cheese, shells...you know the drill. When I came home from work during lunch to put the chicken in the slow cooker, I decided to throw together a tomatillo sauce, because I had tomatillos and what else do you do with them?
And it came out really well, but like everything I do in a hurry, I didn't really remember how I made it. Why do I do this? Is it because I'm a pessimist and don't think anything will come out okay? Even though it does fairly often? Is it because I feel a deep shame in believing in myself, because I'm not worthy of love?
Is it because I'm afraid of failure and I'm terrified that writing down an already doomed recipe will only send me further into the abyss of self loathing?
Or am I lazy? I mean, I don't know. You call it.
But the tomatillo sauce turned out to be delicious, and I poured it on everything until it ran out, then decided to try to make it again. The ingredients were still fresh in my mind, so how hard could it be? Not hard at all! No, I'm serious.
So, here's how I did it. I think. Just kidding. This is totally how I did it. After a brief existential crisis, I made it again and wrote it down.
Creamy Tomatillo Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 small white onions
4 cloves garlic
Optional: 2 jalapeños, or 1 habañero, or one of each
1 teaspoon Seasonello (with rosemary, garlic, sage, and pepper) or your favorite seasoned salt
3 tablespoons vinegar (I use rice vinegar, but cider vinegar, white balsamic, or plain old white vinegar will work)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup or more water
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Roughly chop the onions, garlic, and tomatillos. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and add onions, garlic, and peppers, sautéing until soft. Add tomatillos and seasoned salt, stirring to mix. Add vinegar, sugar, paprika, and 1/4 cup water, bring to a boil, then immediately lower heat and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, about 15 minutes.
Let the sauce cool, and add Worcestershire. Puree in a blender in batches, adding water if you want to make the sauce thinner.
Roast the peppers first to add a smokier flavor.
The first time I made this, I didn't have any peppers, so I added a few dashes of Trader Joe's habañero hot sauce. Yum.
If you're planning on serving the sauce to vegetarians, make sure to use a vegetarian Worcestershire sauce.
So, what's the last thing you made that you can't recreate? I believe in you. Do it. Then tell me how you made it.