Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rain, Rain, Rain...and Tomatillos

Will the sun ever come out? I usually harvest first thing in the morning so the produce is as fresh as possible, but yesterday it started to pour right before I was heading out the door to the garden. So off I went in my big over sized rain coat to harvest. I wish that my camera was waterproof, I had rivers running in between my raised beds. My soil running away into the coffee..yikes.

This week I am launching this blog in order to share my experiences as an organic coffee, vegetable, herb and fruit farmer in the Highlands of Panama with recipes, photos and information on cooking, preparations, notes and ideas on the items that I am growing here on the farm. I am hoping that you all will participate by commenting and or sending in your own ideas and recipes to share.

In every garden, there are times when one thing is in excess more than others. Besides rain, this week it is Tomatillos. Tomatillos look like a green tomato but with a papery husk that needs to be removed. They are absolutely wonderful when fresh and add a wonderful zippy, lemony flavor in many recipes. I like to add them at the end of cooking to retain that fresh flavor, but many people do cook them well until they get a stewed consistency. Below is my favorite Tomatillo recipe, Tequila Chicken.

Tequila Chicken

Oil for sauteing
1 Onion, diced
1 smallish Red Bell Pepper
1 Carrot, peeled and diced large
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cut into large cubes
1 T. ground Cumin
1T. ground Coriander
Salt and Pepper
3 or 4 cloves of Garlic, minced
1/2 cup of cheapish Tequila, Jose Cuervo Gold works great!- Save the Don Julio Anejo for drinking!
1 cup of Salsa Verde or 1 lb. of blended Tomatillos
Cilantro for garnish

In a large heated pan, put in a tablespoon or 2 of cooking oil. Saute onion, red bell pepper and carrot for 5-7 minutes on medium-high or until onion starts to brown. Add chicken and cook for 5 more minutes. Toss in spices. Stir and cook until fragrant. Toss in garlic and cook for 1 or 2 minutes. Add tequila, lower heat and using a spatula, scrape up all of the browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan (deglaze). Once everything in the pan comes to a saucy consistency, add the salsa or tomatillos. Cook for 3-5 minutes more. Garnish with Cilantro. Serve with rice.