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Holly Geraci

Tomatillos and shrimp!


1. The tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica), also known as the Mexican husk tomato, is a plant of the nightshade family bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos originated in Mexico and were cultivated in the pre-Columbian era. That’s what Wikipedia says and they are right. Martha Stewart correctly tells us that they are related to the Cape Gooseberry, which is known in Hawaii as the Poha, that tart but tasty berry grows inside a husk just like the tomatillo. The difference between a tomatillo and a tomato is that the flesh of the tomatillo is more solid and meaty than a tomato. This is a very tasty one dish meal that you can make and have on the table in about an hour. I always make a large order, and a large saucepan, so that we have leftovers.

2. First, make yourself a pink martini. Then, wash, and clean your shrimp. Turn oven to 350. Take the husks off the tomatillos and cut them in half, or if they are big, in quarters.

3. Chop up your onion and garlic and sauté it in a large saucepan, the kind that are about 3 inches high and look like a large frying pan. Or use a large frying pan! Or a cast-iron skillet. When the onion is cooked just a little bit, toss in the tomatillos.

4. Turn the heat to low, cover and stir until tomatillos get soft and look cooked, about 20 minutes on low heat. Add your shrimp. If you have not cooked your shrimp already, it’s nice to sauté them in a frying pan with a little olive oil to brown them.

5. Cover the shrimp and tomatillos with the Cotija cheese, and bake for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top. Serve in bowls with the tasty juices and some bread.