1/2 pound fresh tomatillos, husked, or 1 13-ounce can, drained
1 to 3 jalapeño or serrano chiles, roughly chopped
1 thick slice of onion, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
Salt to taste
16 sprigs cilantro, plus chopped cilantro for garnish
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
Freshly ground pepper
1. If using fresh tomatillos, cover with water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes. Drain and place in a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade. If using canned tomatillos, drain and place in the food processor or blender. Add the chile(s), onion, garlic, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt and half the cilantro. Blend until smooth.
2. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan or in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drop in a bit of puree, and if it sizzles, add all of the puree to the pan (wait a few minutes if the pan isn’t hot enough). Cook, stirring often, until the puree thickens and leaves a canal when you run a spatula down the middle. Add the stock, stir together, bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture has thickened and reduced slightly. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust the salt. Transfer about 1 cup of the sauce to a blender, and add the remaining cilantro. Blend until smooth, then stir back into the pan (the sauce will now be brighter). Keep warm while you cook the salmon.
3. While the salsa is simmering, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil, and lightly oil the foil. Place the salmon on top. Season with salt and pepper. Fill a roasting or baking pan with boiling water, and place it on the oven floor.
4. Place the salmon in the oven, and bake until the fish flakes and white bubbles of protein appear on the surface, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the fillets. Remove from the heat. Place 1/4 to 1/3 cup salsa on each plate, and top with a serving of salmon. Garnish with cilantro, and serve with hot corn tortillas or rice.
Yield: Serves four.
Advance preparation: You can make the salsa several hours ahead. Refrigerate or hold on top of the stove, bring back to a simmer and proceed with the recipe.
This recipe was found on the New York Times Recipes for Health Website.