Tom Blanton's Salsa Verde Especial

Yield about 5 1/2 pints

8 cups tomatillos

3 cups green onions, finely chopped (approx. eight to 10 bunches)

4 cups cilantro, chopped (approx. four to five bunches)

3/4 cup minced garlic (approx. 15 cloves)

3 cups fresh lime juice (approx. 15 limes)

4 tablespoons sea salt

4 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon dried oregano, chopped fine (or 2 tablespoons fresh)

1 tablespoon comino, ground

3 cups minced fresh chiles (approx. 30 serranos, 10 jalapeños, 10 cayenne, and 3 to 5 habaneros)

2 pods dried red chile, crushed

1. Soak tomatillos in cold water for 5 minutes to facilitate removal of husks. Remove husks and rinse. Chop fine and place in 3-quart, stainless saucepan, adding any juice that accumulates. Rinse green onions and cilantro well and drain. Keep separate, and chop fine. Reserve 31é2 cups cilantro for later use. Add green onion and 1é2 cup cilantro to saucepan. Mince garlic and add to saucepan.

2. Juice limes and strain juice. Add to saucepan. Add salt, black pepper, olive oil, oregano, and comino to saucepan.

3. Remove stems from chiles and process finely in a processor, or mince finely by hand, being careful to wear latex gloves and avoid touching the eyes or any other sensitive area of the body. Add to the saucepan with the crushed red chile, and stir the contents well.

4. Simmer contents over low heat for exactly 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow to boil. It should retain some of its crunchiness. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the remaining 3 1/2 cups reserved cilantro and stir well. Let sit an additional 30 minutes, and place in a nonreactive container. Refrigerate 24 hours, then serve.

5. God bless Texas!

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