Chicharron en Salsa Verde
- 1 pound tomatillos, husked and washed
- 4 large jalapeno chiles, stemmed
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 medium onion, cut in half
- 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
- 2 bunches cilantro, stems and leaves
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
- 1/2 pound chicharron (fried pigskin, see Note), broken into 1/2inch squares
- For Garnish:
- 10 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1/2 small red onion, very finely diced
- 1/4 small head cabbage, shredded
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- Warm corn tortillas
- Refried pinto beans
- Cooked white rice
Place the tomatillos, jalapenos, and water in a blender or a food processor. Puree just until chunky, then add the onion, garlic, cilantro, and salt and puree for about 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until no large chunks remain.
In a large castiron skillet, heat the lard over mediumhigh heat. Add the blended salsa and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes, or until reduced and thickened. Reduce the heat a little and add the Chicharron. Cover, and continue cooking for about 5 minutes more, or until the Chicharron is soft but not mushy (this may take more or less time, depending on the thickness and freshness of the Chicharron). Serve the Chicharron with warm tortillas, refried pinto beans, and rice. Serve the garnishes in small bowls, for sprinkling at the table.
Note: Chicharron, or fried pigskin, is sometimes available freshly made at good Mexican butchers and markets. It is crusty, golden, and has a unique savory flavor. It is usually kept under a hot lamp. Because it takes a long time to prepare, not many butchers bother, but it is worth calling around to find this unusual product. It bears no resemblance to the pork rind sold in bags.
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