Friday Fuck Up: Are Those Tortilla Chips in Your Jell-o?

I confess: I don’t like recipes. That, and my tendency to leave out key ingredients even when they are listed right in front of me, makes me a worse-than-average baker.

It’s not that I can’t follow directions; from K*nex to origami, I have personally experienced the power of step-by-step instructions in my life. When I’m in the kitchen, though, I’d rather be swept up in the moment, adding a little of this, a little of that. Generally, the results are, if not supremely delicious, at least edible. Next time I make tomatillo salsa though, I will do so with recipe in hand.

I have made plenty of homemade salsa in my life, so I thought this would be a no-brainer.  I threw the tomatillos in my beloved Cuisinart with some onions, cilantro and salt. I added a little lime juice, sampled, and congratulated myself, but too soon. When I pulled the salsa out of the fridge a few hours later, it had solidified. SOLIDIFIED. MY SALSA SOLIDIFIED.

Or perhaps a better word would be Jell-O-fied. It was more of a slice-and-spread than a dip. Perhaps this would be considered avant-garde in some molecular gastronomy-enlighten circles, but to me, it was just nasty.

It softened when heated, but really, hot salsa? No gracias.

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8 comments

  • BS June 10, 2011  

    oh this has happened to me before! Is it a fridge temperature problem?

  • Lindsey C. June 10, 2011  

    umm, yeah. lol.
    You are supposed to cook the tomatillos before the salsa process can really get underway. I never knew why until today as I have never made it myself before but have read many a recipe about it.

    But, now you know. LOL.. and me too.

    P.S. Hot salsa rocks! especially hot, sexy chipotle salsa. mmmm.

  • gansie June 10, 2011  

    dude. i need way more details. how does this happen? did you miss an ingredient?

  • Dad gansie June 10, 2011  

    What a shame. All those nice ingredients

  • Cindy June 10, 2011  

    It sounds very interesting and DELICIOUS to me. I like the idea of jelled salsa, can you tell me how this happens ?

  • Nick (Macheesmo) June 10, 2011  

    What a strange deal! Try roasting the tomatillos (or grilling them) before salsa-ing them up. That’s what I normally do and have never had a jello issue…

  • erica June 10, 2011  

    i’ve made fresh tomatillo salsa from my garden lots of times (including canning it) and have never pre-cooked the tom’s or had this problem. that’s so weird!

  • Miss K June 11, 2011  

    I really can’t say anymore about how this happened – maybe they were mutant tomatillos from Mars. I know there is such a thing as jalapeno jelly, so maybe there’s a market for this out there. Any chemists with thoughts, in case someone hopes to recreate this?

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