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Tomatillo Stew

October 12th, 2009

I’ve done a lot of cooking in the past 10 days.  Without planning for it, I embarked on a little experiment: cooking only with what we had on hand.  I resolved to buy nothing but milk for the girls (one exception – my Sunday paper…a girl needs her coupons).  I hadn’t planned ahead to do this but I had been to both the grocery store and Sam’s Club so we had plenty of proteins and veggies on hand.  I hadn’t planned out a menu so there were odds and ends that I didn’t have to make certain dishes that I might have made if I could have run to the store just to pick up one or two items.  I had to be a little inventive and Sabrina had to live without a few of her normal lunch items.  But it led to a couple of interesting creations.  This is one of them.

p1000698I don’t know if I should call this a soup or a stew but regardless of what it is called it was really yummy!  My friend, Tonya, mentioned on facebook that she making some things with tomatillos from her garden.  I said that I loved making salsa verde but that the tomatillos were insanely expensive in the grocery store here.  A few days later, I had a little box of tomatillos and some hot peppers in my mailbox!  (Thank you Tonya – it was a great surprise.)  I kept meaning to make salsa verde with them but kept forgetting to pick up cilantro at the store.  I was afraid they would go bad so I was determined to use them.

Tomatillo Stew

1 – 1.5 lb tomatillos

3/4 lb chicken breast, cooked and shredded

2 1/2 Cups chicken broth

1 or 2 hot peppers (I don’t know what variety she sent…try whatever you like) seeded

1 bag frozen corn, heated

3 cloves garlic

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 tsp sugar

corriander, cumin, salt, pepper

shredded cheese and crushed tortillas for garnish

tomatilloIf you’ve never used tomatillos, they come in a paper husk.  Remove the husk and rinse well.  Then slice them in half and put them on a baking sheet.  (Use one that has a lip so the juices don’t run all over the bottom of your oven.  Not that I would know anything about that.)  Put them under the broiler for 6-8 minutes…until the tops are well browned.  (Last time I talked about the broiler, someone from outside the US didn’t know what that was.  It is a high heat setting in our ovens…kind of like a grill but with the heat coming from the top instead of underneath.)

Take them out of the oven and put them into the food processor – use a blender if you don’t have a food processor.  Add, garlic, onion, 1 teaspoon sugar and hot pepper(s).  Here is where I get scientific.  Add 6 shakes of ground coriander (I didn’t have fresh cilantro and what we call coriander in the US is the ground seeds of the cilantro plant – I hoped it was an adequate substitute) and 3 shakes of cumin.  A few shakes of salt and pepper.  Whirl it up in the processor until smooth.

Throw this mixture into a pot with 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth, the cooked shredded chicken, and the corn.  Allow this to heat on med-low for 20-30 minutes.  Serve with a little bit of shredded cheese and some crushed tortilla chips on top.  You could also put a dollop of sour cream on top.

Variations: This could easily be made vegetarian by using black beans or cannellini beans instead of chicken.  Or reduce the amount of chicken and add some beans too.  Fresh cilantro would be a nice addition too.

And my friend Meredith suggested something that hadn’t occurred to me – if you have a hispanic grocery near you check out their prices on tomatillos.  It might be much more wallet friendly!


This entry was posted on Monday, October 12th, 2009 at 3:00 am and is filed under food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “Tomatillo Stew”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    YUM! I am also doing the same thing this week and probably next week and hope to also post a recipe or two of what I call “everything but the kitchen sink” cleaning out the fridge/freezer experiment. :)

  2. Julie P Says:

    Good for you. We always talk about no store purchases and eating out of the pantry and freezer but then we cave. I’m feeling inspired. Thanks for the motivation.

  3. rachel-asouthernfairytale Says:


    I LOVE tomatillos and I’m insanely jealous that someone sent you a box of tomatillos and peppers! That’s like heaven! :-)

  4. Gardenia Says:

    sounds delicious. and to think you just puilled it all together.

  5. Geri@heartnsoulcooking Says:

    I love tomatillos and make salsa with them, never made a stew with them. I will have to try this recipe soon. THANKS!!! Geri

  6. Hadyn Says:

    That’s what I call “cooking off the shelf” (see my FB profile info).!!! I love grocery shopping, and have to reign it in a bit by making myself cook simply with what’s on hand, as you describe. I also figure it’s my little way of reducing/reusing/recycling/fighting the monster of American consumerism :D All that to say, GO YOU!

  7. Debra Says:

    Thanks for the veggie lesson. So glad you posted a pic since I hate to admit I had no idea what a tomatillo was. Thanks for the cooking inspiration.

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