The other day I was in a kitchen supply store. Waiting in line to check out, I overheard two young guys – each seemingly a chef or chef-in-training, given the fantastic, pinstriped pajama pants – talking about cookware. Then, out of nowhere, one of them asked the other, “So what’s your favorite mother sauce?”
Now, I suppose the question was fair enough. I mean, I’ve never thought twice about it when a buddy asks me, say, whether I prefer the lumberyard at Lowes or Home Depot. But mother sauces? That’s next-level casual-conversation-stuff right there. (If you’re curious, chef #2’s answer was béchamel. My answer is Lowes.)
If you asked me what my favorite mother sauce is, I’d have to go with salsa… runner up salsa verde… bronze medal guacamole. I know they aren’t made from milk or butter – but those count, right?
This may not be a mother-sauce, but it is one mother of a sauce. Enjoy it with chips or slather it on anything remotely edible.
Note to self: find out where they get those pants.
Roasted Salsa Verde
Makes a good-sized bowl
Recipe stolen and adapted from Marcela Velladolid.
- 1 pound tomatillos, peeled, rinsed under warm water, and sliced in half
- 2-3 serrano chiles, whole
- 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Big handful cilantro leaves
- Preheat the broiler to 500 degrees.
- Place everything but the cilantro on a sheet tray, and coat with a couple good glugs of olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper.
- Roast on an upper-rack, turning once, until everything is soft and beginning to char. ~8-10 minutes.
- Remove the sheet tray and let cool until you’re able to handle the vegetables. Slice the serranos in half lengthwise, remove the stems, and scrape out the seeds. Squeeze the garlic out of each husk.
- Add the roasted ingredients along with the cilantro to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Adjust seasoning if needed. If the salsa is too thick, you can add a little water or chicken broth to thin it out.