Well after a long stint of not posting and spending 2 weeks in the UK, I am finally trying to get back on top of things.  This recipe contains Hoja de Santa or root beer plant,  This herb is a large leaf from a tree that we have growing here on the property in Austin.  You can probably find the leaf in latin markets either in the spring or fall.   I love the flavor of the leaf because it is very distinctive but not over powering.  You should always blanch the leaves for a few seconds, before using, to make the leaves tender and rid of any bitterness.  The leaves are normally large and are great for stuffing and wrapping things in which will add a great flavor to your dish.  Hoja de Santa is a main ingredient in green mole sauces ( which I have a recipe for and hopefully can post soon).  This recipe is for a latin style salmon with green tomatillo tequila sauce with fried yuca fries.


4  4oz pieces of salmon cut into rectangular blocks

6 leaves of hoja de santa blanched and de-stemmed

1 jalapeno slice

15 cloves of roasted garlic

1/3 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp butter

Salt and pepper

Tequila Tomatillo Sauce

3 Tomatillos cut in quarters

1 shallots sliced

2 garlic cloves sliced

1 large serrano sliced with seeds

1/4 cup of silver tequila

1/4 cup of cream

1/4 cup of cilantro leaves

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 lime juiced

2 whole yuca

1/3 cup of grapeseed oil (for frying)

Preheat oven to 350

For the yuca peeled with a peeler and slice the yuca into 4 even pieces (1 inch pieces).  Then cut the pieces in half, length wise, and cut out the core running the middle.  The core tends to be very fibrous and tough.  Fill up a pot with cold water and place the yuca in the pot, add salt, and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cook for about 25 to 30 minutes or until they are very tender.  Strain the yuca into a bowl and remove any of the fibrous parts that you might have missed.  With a whisk or spoon mash together the yuca.  You want to leave some of the texture of the yuca so don't mash it like a smooth mashed potato.   Once it has come together, line a square baking dish with plastic wrap and place the mashed yuca into it.  Level the mashed yuca either with a spatula, your hands,  or with another square dish so that it is all nice and even.  Place the pan into the refrigerator to cool completely.

For the sauce add oil, shallots, garlic, serranos, and tomatillos into a sauce pot on medium high.  Add 2 pinches of salt to the vegetables and cook for 7 minutes.  Add the tequila and flambĂ© reduce the alcohol by half and then add the cream.  Cook for 5 minutes and then add the mixture to blender.  Add cilantro and puree until smooth.  Finish the sauce with salt and lime juice

For the Salmon.  Season the salmon with salt and pepper on both sides.  In a food processor place roasted garlic, jalapeno slices, pumpkin seeds, and butter.  Puree the mixture until smooth.  Season with a pinch of salt.  Place a spoonful of the pumpkin seed butter on the top of salmon filet.  Place the salmon filet in the middle of the Hoja de santa leaf and roll it up.  Repeat the steps until all the salmon is prepped.   Place the Hoja de santa salmon onto a cedar plank and place in the over for 9-10 minutes.

Meanwhile in a cast iron skillet place the grapeseed oil and turn on medium high.  Take the yuca out of the refrigerator and un-mold.  Take the plastic off the yuca and using a knife cut french fries out of the yuca.  Place the yuca into the cast iron and fry until golden brown.  Drain onto a paper towel and immediately season with salt.

To serve spoon some sauce onto the plate.  Add the salmon and the yuca fry.  Finish with a light red onion and romaine salad