Saturday, May 1, 2010

Genius, perhaps?

I have two things to share tonight, and while neither is earth shattering, both have some merit which borders on genius.

Firstly, what to do with the dilemma of leftover queso dip with soggy and/or stale tortilla chips. The solution? Some chicken stock, a little cornstarch slurry and a dash of hot sauce and you have tortilla soup. Leftover chicken (or, even, a can of it) would make it hearty enough for a meal. I didn't happen to have any pollo and so my Cinco de mayo soup was supplemented by a salad.

Side note: my mother is from France, and my loyalties lie that way when a choice is to be made. It helps in how to choose World Cup qualifying teams to cheer for. I found out today that the battle celebrated by Mexicans on this day was in defeat of the French. So, why does this country celebrate a battle which was lost? Silly Americans. :o) Of course, I'm not exactly sure how much history or even patriotism is celebrated on this day in this country. It's a little like St Patrick's Day. In Ireland, it's no big deal. Here, it's a reason to start drinking beer with food coloring in it at 7am. Also, have you noticed the curious affinity for Mardi Gras beads that these holidays seem to have picked up? St Patrick's Day, Cinco de mayo, actual Mardi Gras, uh... okay, I've run out of examples. But surely you've noticed it, too. Or is it just bars in Erie that do this?

Anyway, the second kitchen tidbit is a technique I picked up from Alton Brown. Instead of scoring, blanching, then shocking tomatoes to remove the skin, if he's making sauce he recommends using a box grater. Just cut the tomato in half along the horizon, seed it, then grate it on the coarse side of the box grater. The pulp is efficiently removed and you're just left with the skin. Works quickly and is fun to do, too.


  1. How about Christmas? Didn't we appropriate that one from the Christians?