Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love that it’s a holiday that celebrates something really positive and universal: being thankful for all the good things in your life. How wonderful is that? Coming from a culture where every holiday is either religious or celebrating a bloody war of some kind, I immediately embraced Thanksgiving when I came to the U.S.
When I was a young college student in the U.S., my new American friends invited me back to their homes to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. This was such a generous gesture, it made me love this country and want to be a part of it even more. I realized what actual hospitality is, when parents, who hadn’t seen their kids in months, went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and welcome in their homes during a holiday that is so family-centered.
And then there’s the food. Thanksgiving introduced me to many new and amazing delights, like cranberry sauce and pecan pie. It also introduced me to some food traditions I never quite learned to like, like pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie, both of which I find strange (who wants dessert made from a side dish?).
Over the years, I’ve cooked many Thanksgiving meals and have invited friends and strangers to share them with me. For the last several years, Steve and I have had our own tradition. We have our Thanksgiving in Paris, where we cook a traditional meal for all of our friends there. We get the turkey from a neighborhood butcher who cooks it for us on the rotisserie. We make everything else, including a traditional dish from Steve’s family called under-the-sea salad, a concoction of cream cheese, lime jello, and canned pears that only an American could come up with.
I don’t have that recipe for you today, but I do have a recipe that Steve makes for roasted tomatillo salsa. It’s perfect for snacking on while everyone is waiting for the turkey to finish, or while they are playing video games or watching football in the living room. The photos and preparation of this recipe post were all done by Steve.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa – Adapted from Epicurious.com
1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatillos or 3 (11-ounce) cans tomatillos
3-5 fresh serrano chiles
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Juice of half a lime
If using fresh tomatillos, remove husks and rinse under warm water to remove stickiness. If using canned tomatillos, drain and measure out 2 cups. Broil onion, chiles, garlic, and fresh tomatillos (do not broil canned ones) on the top rack of the oven, turning occasionally, until tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, about 10 minutes. (Smaller items, like the garlic might need to be removed early.)
Peel garlic and pull off tops of chiles. Put all ingredients in a blender, including cilantro, salt, and lime juice and purée. Chill in refrigerator and serve with tortilla chips.