Tag Archives: green tomato

Keeping up with putting up

We’re just about at then end of our “What do we do with all these green tomatoes?” phase. The answer, this year, is green sauce. I’m not going to waste my time trying to coax them into ripening, which never works anyway.  Here is my basic recipe, which is great as a dip, salsa, or an enchilada sauce.

  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 large clove minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 – 8 cups chopped green tomatoes
  • 1 – 2 cups diced green chili, poblano, jalapeno, serrano etc…
    • leave the seeds in if you want to experience numb lips for several hours after eating
    • be careful not to touch your face while working with the peppers!
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped cilantro (stems also)

Saute the garlic and onions briefly in the olive oil. Add tomatoes, peppers, cumin, salt, and water, and then simmer, covered, till tomatoes are soft. Puree in a blender or food processor, adding the lime juice and cilantro. Let cool and pour into labelled ziplock freezer bags (I recommend the pint size), and freeze flat. I made some stacked beef enchiladas with this green sauce yesterday. I like making stacked enchiladas because you don’t have to fry the tortillas in oil to soften them up for rolling. I know lots of recipes have you fry the tortillas even for stacked enchiladas, but I just oil my baking dish lightly, and then put a spoonful of sauce on the bottom – sort of like making lasagna.

We’re got our first really hard freeze last week (weather.com said 19 F, but I’m pretty sure we were about 10 warmer) so

windowsill basil

I’m going to see if I can keep this basil alive this winter.

the plastic is on the hoop houses and all our houseplants are inside.There is a good stand of arugula going, and I found broccoli and cabbage starts last month and planted those. Leeks are flourishing, pak choi is unstoppable, and there are a few turnips, radishes, and chard. We need to be vigilant for about two week on our nightly “slug patrol” to make sure we get some lettuce to come up and survive.


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Turkey empanadas

After feasting on the traditional Thanksgiving dinner I quickly tire of turkey, dressing, gravy, etc. So what to do with all the leftovers? Tonight I made turkey empanadas and served them with brown rice and salad. Empanada is the somewhat generic term for South American meat-filled turnovers. At Pepe Delgados they call them molotes (an Oaxacan version) and serve chicken and vegetarian varieties on Mondays. I made a “Columbian” style fried empanada, with masa corn flour (and a smidgen of wheat flour) and filled them with chopped turkey, mozzarella cheese, and some homemade salsa verde (recipe below – very similar to Kate’s earlier post When life gives you green tomatoes). I served the empanadas/molotes with extra  salsa verde.

Dough (makes about 15 medium-sized empanadas)

  • 2 cups masa harina (do not use regular corn meal)
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour (this makes the dough less crumbly)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • about 2. 5 cups warm water

Mix all together and knead lightly. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap so that it doesn’t dry out as you make the empandas.


  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked turkey
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup green sauce (or mole sauce, sour cream and chipotle sauce, etc.)

Assembling the empanadas

Pinch off a piece of dough and make a large egg -sized ball. Between two pieces of plastic wrap roll out a 5″ diameter circle. (If you have a tortilla press – which I do – it makes this whole process much easier!). Peel the plastic wrap off one side, and place tablespoon of turkey filling in the center of the disk. Carefully fold the dough over to form a half-moon shape. Use a fork to press the semi-circle edges together. (OK, again, if you have a large potsticker/empanada/turnover press – which I do – this part also goes much quicker.)

Heat vegetable oil, about 1″ deep, in a skillet and fry until golden and crispy. Monitor the heat/temperature of your oil and don’t crowd your pan. The empanadas should be constantly sizzling, but not frying so quickly that the outside is brown before the cheese inside can melt. As you take them out, place the empanadas on a paper towel lined plate and keep warm (or eat immediately!).

Salsa verde

  • 3 cups diced green tomatoes (great way to use all those end-of-the-season tomaters)
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 large cloved garlic, minced
  • 2 to 4 hot peppers, diced (again, use what you’ve got)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup or more water
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice

Place everything except the cilantro and lime juice in a pan and simmer for about 30 minutes. Then puree in a blender with the cilantro and lime juice.  If I have leftover sauce I freeze it in ziplock baggies.

There are zillions of empanada recipes on the interweb, if you don’t have masa or would rather bake them.

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