Kate's Global Kitchen

by Kate Heyhoe


Mexican Chile-Red Tuna
(or Chicken or Shrimp)
with Thick Roasted-Tomatillo Sauce


Serves 4

This festive dish shows off the colors of the Mexican flag: a fiery red entr�e nestled against a bed of vivid green sauce, and accented with streaks of tangy white cream. The flavors of each component make this an exciting dish, perfect for a fiesta or a casual dinner. The Thick Roasted Tomatillo Sauce isn't difficult, but it does take about 20 minutes to make recipe. However. It's well worth the effort and can be made in advance, leaving just some last minute quick-cooking before serving.


Tuna, Chicken or Shrimp:
1 pound albacore tuna steaks
OR: 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
OR: 12 to 16 ounces peeled,
   cleaned shrimp with tails removed

2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground red chiles (mild)
1/8 teaspoon salt

Thick Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
Garnish: Mexican Crema, crème fraiche or sour cream
Garnish: grated queso cotija
   (substitute Romano or parmesan cheese)


1. Blend all marinade ingredients. Coat tuna (or chicken or shrimp) with marinade (should be pasty). Refrigerate 30 minutes to 2 hours.

2. Broil or grill until cooked through; if using shrimp, pan fry in a small amount of oil on high heat. Serve on a bed of Thick Roasted Tomatillo Sauce.

3. Finish the dish by drizzling with a bit of crema, cr�me fraiche or a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with queso cotija or grated romano cheese and serve.


Thick Roasted-Tomatillo Sauce

By Kate Heyhoe
Makes about 2 cups


1 pound tomatillos,
   husks removed and rinsed well
2 teaspoons coriander seed
2 teaspoons cumin seed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 serrano chili
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt


Heat the broiler until very hot. Line a broiling pan with foil for easy clean-up. Place a rack over the foil-lined pan.

Make sure the tomatillos are dry. Place the tomatillos on the rack. Lightly coat with nonstick vegetable spray. Broil very close to the heat until the surface becomes a tan color and chars slightly. Turn the tomatillos over, coat this surface with nonstick spray, then broil until tan and slightly charred. (The oil coating helps the tomatillos char faster.) At this point the tomatillos should be very soft and juices will have accumulated in the bottom of the pan. Pour the juices and tomatillos into a blender.

Warm a small skillet over medium heat. Add the coriander seed and toast, shaking the pan frequently, until aromatic, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour the seeds into a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Toast the cumin seeds in the same skillet until just aromatic, about 20 to 30 seconds. (Be very careful not to burn the seeds or they will taste bitter; if that happens, throw them out and start again.) Pour the cumin seeds into the container with the coriander seeds and grind until powdery.

In the same dry, hot skillet, toast the garlic cloves over medium low heat. You want the cloves to soften and take on a tan color. Turn the cloves after they've cooked on each side. As the cloves soften and toast, break them up slightly, crushing them with the back of a spoon to create more surface area for toasting. Continue to toast until the cloves are soft and most surfaces have some color.

Remove the stem from the serrano chile. Remove the seeds and membranes to keep the heat mild, or add the seeds and membranes if you like it fiery. (I prefer the milder version). Chop the serrano into small bits.

Blend the tomatillos with the serrano chile, toasted spices, garlic, onion and salt until a thick sauce is formed. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm as a bed for grilled, broiled or roasted chicken, pork, fish, or steak. This sauce keeps for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator, but will start to separate after the first day. Bring to room temperature or heat slightly before serving and stir well if separated. (If the sauce is too thick, heating it will cook down the natural thickeners making it spoonable again.)


Tequila Fiesta Recipes: Red Tuna on Green Tomatillos


Kate's Global Kitchen for May, 2000:

Mi Casa Es Su Casa Month:
Celebrating Mexican Home Cooking

5/06/00 Tequila Fiesta Recipes: Red Tuna on Green Tomatillos
5/13/00 Mexican Cheeses: The Whole Enchilada
5/20/00 Epazote & A Pot of Pintos
5/27/00 Mexican Shredded Chicken & Toasted Corn Soup

Also visit Global Destinations: Mexico for more Mexican Recipes.


Copyright © 2000, 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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Modified August 2007