Old and new bffs in the kitchen (literal vs. figurative interpretations)

July 13, 2010


Oddly enough, I’ve not yet talked about one of my great food loves, salad. Or at least not that I’ve previously keyworded. In addition to pizza, I also always enjoy a good salad, especially if there’s a lot of it. And eating salad from these large stoneware bowls brings me happiness.

I have loved these dishes pretty much from the time I got them. They, and their smaller siblings of which I also have two, were part of a Rainbow Foods store deal; the pattern is called Pinwheel. I originally bought them to use as salad dishes for my at-the-time two rabbits. They came in four colors—the red and eggplant purple pictured, as well as mustard yellow and khaki green. I decided just a little too late that I should have bought four complete place settings with plates, cups and saucers, and all the rest. A large factor in the delay was that I didn’t know which color I wanted to focus on. I also already have three different sets of dishes.

So gradually I commandeered them from my rabbit(s) (what choice did they really have?) and they are now the preferred vessel for my own salads. I particularly think that the purple one sets off the veggie colors quite nicely.


As far as ingredients bffs go, there are four, all pictured. I already knew that I liked the tortilla+refried beans+cheese combo. But I have only relatively recently come to the variations of each that I now favor, plus the fourth brand-new one.

I have loved cheese and used tortillas forever, and for at least a decade have embraced whole beans as well. More recently I realized that refried beans are my friend—the mashing is already done!

Most recently, I tried the Cruz whole wheat tortillas. They are moist and not at all barky and are more nutritious than corn or white flour versions. On a whim, instead of plain refried beans, I dared to pick up a can of refried beans with green chilies. So good! For over a year, pepperjack cheese has been my overall go-to cheese. I use it in cheesy frittatas for breakfast, sometimes in my homemade egg/muffin sandwiches, and almost exclusively in the tortilla situation.

The surprise entry to delicious is the tomatillo. The Cub Foods where I do most of my shopping (because, I kid you not, they are the only store that sells a pound of spring mix salad greens for only $6.99) stocks heavily on the hispanic ingredients (and if I should use a term other than hispanic, do pardon me please). When I am strolling through the produce department picking up my usual tomatoes, onions, zucchinis, mushrooms, bell peppers, and sweet corn, I always think about the suggestion that each time you go to the store, you pick up one thing you’ve never tried before. It seems like a good idea, but I hardly ever do it spontaneously if it’s not something I need for a recipe.

But this time I did. Hello, tomatillo, my new best friend in kitchen, particularly in the context of tortilla+refried beans (with chilies)+cheese (pepperjack), as well as onions and peppers. You are the finishing touch that this amalgamation was looking for. You are a member of the nightshade family, like the tomato, but you have such a different, more savory, somewhat chile-y flavor. You are perfect for thinly slicing and adding, just before I grate the pepperjack. Bake at 400° for fifteen minutes and you have a simple masterpiece.

The Summit EPA is just along for the ride.

One Response to “Old and new bffs in the kitchen (literal vs. figurative interpretations)”

  1. […] fresh tomatillos. Tomatillos are one of my favorite, newer ingredient discoveries. I gave them a shout-out three years ago. You should try them if you are unfamiliar with them. My favorite way to use them […]

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