Boiled Palapa Mayo | One March day, on the shores of Puerto Vallarta, I watched two local women begin cooking under a palapa – one of those open huts with a roof made of thatched palm leaves. I had no idea why they were there or who they were cooking for. It was so hot. What was I seeing? Some culinary mirage? Fueled by a few tequilas, my curiosity got the best of me and I meandered on over. What I found was so simple, but something that eventually would become so profound in my kitchen.
It was a large pot of water boiling over a makeshift grill. In that pot, bobbing up and down, was a layer of tomatillos and jalapenos, ever so slowly turning a palish verde (that means green and is the only Spanish word I know). The two chefs noticed my fascination and began laughing at me. After a little translation help from a passerby, I found out they were laughing at my sweet sunburn, but that did not deter me. I asked them why they were straight up boiling everything like that and it turns out that’s the way they were taught from generation to generation. If Mexico says that’s the best way to cook their ingredients, well then it’s good enough for me. This one’s for my two palapa princesses.
- Mayonnaise - 1 cup
- Sour Cream - 2 tablespoons
- Tomatillo - 1, husked
- Jalapeno - 1
- Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoon
- Chives - 1 tablespoon, finely sliced, garnish
- Chipotle Powder - ⅛ teaspoon
- Salt - ⅓ teaspoon
- Fill the saucepan halfway up with water and bring it to a boil.
- Drop in the tomatillo and jalapeno, and boil them for 18 minutes until they turn pale green.
- Strain them and brunoise 2 tablespoons of the tomatillo.
- Deseed and brunoise 1½ tablespoons of the jalapeno.
- Toss them both in the mixing bowl along with the mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, chipotle powder and salt.
- Then get your hand blender in there and buzz it on low for about 30 seconds. Leave it a bit chunky.
- Stir in the chives and that's it!