You can officially call me “tomatillo lady.” At least that’s what my favorite stand at the farmers market has started calling me due to the frequency and quantity of my tomatillo purchases.
I was elated to find tomatillos at my farmers market a few months ago during the summer (can you believe it’s technically fall already!) and I’ve been purchasing a quart pretty much every week. My husband and I have been eating stews, enchiladas, chilaquiles and salsas in an effort to enjoy the abundance of ripe tomatillos while we have them here in Boston. After this brief abundance of tomatillos I will be relegated to the scant pile of bland tomatillos at my local grocery store once again, so it’s been carpe-tomatillo-diem in our home recently. Among the many delicious stews and enchiladas and salsas one clear keeper has emerged, this tomatillo burrata hot pot.
This is technically an appetizer but it is so delicious that I sometimes make it as a meal. This tomatillo burrata hot pot is my take on an appetizer served at áperi, an upscale restaurant in San Miguel de Allende that I visited this summer. Among the three weeks of excellent cuisine, the meal I ate there was one of my absolute favorites.
Although I usually gloss over the appetizers my dinner buddy and I both agreed that we had to try the burrata tibia, which consisted of burrata, roasted tomatillos and grilled tomatoes. I was intrigued by the tomatillo and burrata combo. Tomato, burrata, and bread- yes! But tomatillos…? I was intrigued.
When the small cazuela was placed on our table minutes later, I scooped up the still cool burrata, clearly just nestled in the pot of tomato chunks and tomatillo salsa before being delivered to us. I plopped a dollop of cheese and salsa on a piece of charred bread, tried it and let out a small sigh. It was creamy, tangy, perfection.
The variety of textures and temperatures, the creamy and cool burrata which “cooks” a little on the outside in the residual heat of the tomatillo salsa, which turns the outside into a stringy queso fundido while the insider remains cool cream. The burrata along with the sweet burst of fresh tomatoes, and the crispy crunch of the pan al carbon. Sigh…
Since then I’ve made it a few times and it has been loved by all who try it. The tomatillo pot featured here includes colorful tomatoes from my coworkers garden and the farmers market. The fresh burst of perfectly ripened tomatoes is something else, especially when eaten in the same bite as the cheese, and the tangy tomatillo “Salsa” that is refreshing and not spicy at all. You pretty much need this in your life.
Things have been pretty quiet on the blog recently. After a crazy, food-filled summer, I needed some time to realign priorities and get myself ready for the school year. Year four looks promising and I am thoroughly enjoying my Spanish classes this year.
Apart from tangy pots of things that start with “tom,” I have also been obsessed with this book. It has revolutionized the way I think about food. I am no longer afraid to use salt and I’ve been liberally sprinkling salt on every meal since the fateful day my hands landed on this book.
Because of this book, I have become a big fan of brining chicken and have been using this method religiously. For the first time ever my chicken is well flavored and instead of salt making a delicious, but superficial, coating on my chicken, the salt is inside the chicken giving me the juiciest and most delicious chicken breasts ever.
I’ve also discovered this new way of cooking chicken that practically poaches chicken in its own juice. Take the afore mentioned well seasoned chicken breast, cook it this way and you’ll end up with the juiciest, healthiest chicken there ever was.
On a not so healthy note, I’ve also been eating lots of butter thanks to this hand crock. My husband actually discovered it a friends house and was instantly smitten, it is the first kitchen purchase he’s made in years. This single purchase might account for the five pounds I’ve gained this past month so proceed with caution.
In summary, you should go to your local store and pick up the last few pints of tomatoes, tomatillos and go home to make this tomatillo burrata hot pot. It’s seriously the best.
Happy last days of summer!
Notes: The recipe below is made with boiled tomatillo salsa to make the cooking time shorter but dry roasting your ingredients will yield a more complex salsa. If you can spare an extra 5-10 minutes I highly recommend it! I use a korean clay pot in my photos but any cazuela de barro or small pot with a top will do. This is key because you want to bring your salsa to a low simmer, add the burrata and serve immediately! The longer the burrata is in the hot salsa the more it will cook. It will still be delicious but you will lose some of the contrasting temperature beauty and creaminess of the cheese as it cooks. The original appetizer I ate in San Miguel came with grilled tomatoes but I have exclusively used raw tomatoes, added to heat only for a minute. I like the pot this way because the tomatoes don’t “cook” too much and provide different textures rather than getting mushy but if you try cooking them before, let me know what you think! Finally, the paprika is not optional. Paprika, although a pretty lame spice on it’s own, has a way of transforming into subtly smoky deliciousness when paired with creamy things. On the burrata it takes the tomatillo burrata hot pot to the next level.
Tomatillo Burrata Hot Pot
Cooking + Prep time: 30 mins
Yields: 1 pot
1 lb of tomatillos, de husked and cleaned
½ white onion
1 jalapeño or serrano pepper
Salt, to taste
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, whole or cut into bite size pieces depending on size
1 ball of burrata cheese
A dash of smoked paprika
1 baguette, cut into small pieces and toasted
- Boil tomatillos, onion, and pepper until tomatillos are half olive green and half their original hue (about 5 minutes). Then place them in blender and puree until smooth. Taste and add salt to taste.
- In a small pot with cover bring tomatillo sauce to a low simmer. When sauce is slightly bubbling add cherry tomatoes and turn off.
- With heat off, add burrata. Sprinkle burrata with smoked paprika and cover pot.
- Serve immediately.