Tomatilla Salsa

Last night I was cooking grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. Why waste that space around the sandwich. The bag from the CSA Farm included some tomatillas. There were 6-8 of them in various shades of green. They were still wearing their papery wrappers. I rolled them around the edges of the skillet. They cooked in spots. All the cheese sandwiches were finished so there was a nice hot skillet available.

I removed their wrappers and tossed them back in the skillet. Meanwhile, I pulled out a banana pepper, took a tentative bite and declared it mild enough for the sauce. It was chopped and added to the skillet. Please note that I'm not following a recipe for this salsa. I did read a recipe the other day but didn't commit it to memory. Normal salsa uses tomato, onion, pepper, cilantro and a few other things. Next, I grab a small quarter sized onion from the bag, peel and chop it. Into the skillet it goes.

This is salsa so it needs a little heat. With kitchen shears in hand, I head out front. It's almost dark and the porch light doesn't do much for seeing into the leafy depths of the jalapeno plant. I pick by feel, judging the size of the peppers with my fingers, moving from pepper to pepper and deciding on four. With their stems held between my fingers, I maneuver the kitchen shears to clip them free. No fingers were lost during these maneuvers.

Inside, I decide not to detour to the garage for gloves. I'll live dangerously and seed the jalapenos barehanded. That went off without a hitch. The girls decided that they wanted bananas with their sandwiches. The bananas must be sliced. Not a problem, I grab the knife and starts slicing. Later, I hear that the bananas are spicey. Ana wants her sandwich reheated so I toss it into the microwave....the bananas are still on the plate. She later proclaims that her bananas taste like cherries...OK.

So now the skillet contains tomatillos, jalapenos, onion, banana pepper. At some point, I picked out the whole tomatillos and chopped them. Once they started cooking, they began to turn that salsa verde color. Things began to dry out a little in the skillet. I grabbed a lime and squeezed half of it into the skillet. Salt and pepper were added. I turned off the heat and let it sit while I enjoyed my slightly cold cheese and Canadian bacon sandwich.

The salsa is still in the fridge. The right food will be cooked eventually for it to accompany.

I'm beginning to understand the cooking style of my older relatives. There were rarely cookbooks out unless they were baking. It's finally occured to me. Cooking really isn't about recipes. It's about technique. Once you know how to cook things, you don't really need recipes because you can make those up as you go along.

Something Like a Frittata

Morning. Breakfast. Five dozen eggs on my counter. I like to buy eggs in bulk. $4.95-6.99 for 5 dozen at the restaurant supply warehouse. Sure beats $3 a dozen at the grocery store. I like having my eggs for breakfast. It's hard getting the eggs in the fridge because there's a bag of mixed veggies: baby eggplant, banana peppers, tomatillas, etc. I've got some new red potatoes on the counter. Hmmm maybe a frittata of sorts.

First, I slice the potato thin and put it in a nonstick skillet sprayed with some cooking spray. Next a banana pepper cut in half lengthwise and cut into little half circles. A small quarter sized onion gets chopped and added. I let those cook for a while and beat up a couple of eggs. In hindsight, two eggs really wasn't enough egg for this mixture. Three or four would have been better. The beaten eggs were added to the mixture. I kept shaking the pan to make sure it didn't stick. It didn't. Success so far.

Now I need to flip this over and get the other side to cook. Now if I'd used a skillet that had an oven safe handle, I wouldn't have had the next little adventure. I'd have just popped the whole thing under the broiler for a few minutes and it would have been done. But having the skillet with the plastic handle meant other methods of flipping. So I slid the whole thing off onto a plate. That worked well. Next, I put my skillet over the's where things started to go not so well. I'm trying to hold the plate and skillet together. A larger plate would have helped. They were too close in size. The skillet burned my finger, half of the frittata slipped out from between the plate and skillet and fell on the downdraft exhaust. Only a slight mess, it was mostly cooked.

So there's my quick take on a frittata.

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