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

July 13, 2010

Favedisheatoutof_tweak

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.

Favedisheatoutof2_tweak

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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