Fish tacos, yellow rice with chickpeas, tomatillo salsa.
Our first year out of law school, Chuck clerked for a judge. That was a fantastic year. We made friends with all his co-clerks and the clerks for the other judges on the floor. We had dinners together, a couple of weekends away, a particularly fun Oscars party, if memory serves--a good time was had by all. At one dinner party, Chuck's co-clerk, Brian, made this insanely good salsa.
This salsa makes us nostalgic. It also makes us sweat--it is spicy! It's so good that the first year we had a vegetable garden, we planted tomatillos so we'd have a ready supply. They went crazy and took over the garden, and I'm not kidding. It's easier to buy them.
Where did Brian learn to make salsa like this? I have no idea and he wouldn't tell. But he was generous enough to share the recipe, which we still have on his law firm stationery. ("Memorandum: How to Make Salsa.") And now I am generous enough to share it with you.
Tomatillo salsa de arbol
2 t. vegetable oil
6 dried chiles de arbol, stemmed and crumbled
4 garlic cloves, diced
1/3 c. diced onion
2 lbs. tomatillos, cored
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and garlic and cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes, until toasted. Transfer to a food processor; add onion and tomatillos. Process to blend. Makes 2 to 3 cups.