For the past few months, I’ve been keeping a list of things I’ve finally gotten around to trying this year. For what purpose, I couldn’t say because planning an end-of-the-year wrap-up post in May would show remarkable foresight on my part, but the list has been steadily growing nonetheless. On the exotic end of the spectrum, sea cucumber found its way on the list in 2009 (in phenomenal dim sum at Lai Wah Heen in Toronto), but it got much more mundane with red currants (in the “never cooked with” column… also in the “not gonna cook with again” column, if I’m being honest) and gooseberries (also a “never cooked with,” but much more to my liking than the red currants).
Despite my love of trying whatever new thing occurs to me and having a spice cabinet that long ago overflowed to the hall closet, I have lacunae that are downright embarrassing. Which brings us to the tomatillo. Of course, I’ve eaten tomatillos in restaurants many times, but I’ve never gotten around to inviting them into my kitchen before this weekend. When I saw a basket of them at the market being passed over in favor of corn and tomatoes, I decided to remedy the situation without a recipe in mind, and thus bought way too many.
I grilled them along with some jalapeno peppers and blended both with cumin, loads of lime juice, salt & pepper…and some sofrito I had in my freezer. If you’re thinking that sofrito sounds odd in a salsa, I can’t argue, you’re right (at least from my online recipe searches). But I was out of fresh cilantro and thought, “Hey! I always have sofrito in the freezer, thanks to Daisy. And sofrito has cilantro in it. Also onion and garlic. What could go wrong?” And that’s usually where things go pear-shaped — one of my favorite sayings from the old Brit roomies, so forgive the pretense — around here, but not this time. It was a little bit sweeter than a regular tomatillo salsa because of the sweet peppers and tomatoes that hitched a ride with cilantro and the gang, but still great with chips and even better on migas the next morning. And because I made so much, we still have half of the batch in the freezer for the next time I get a craving.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
In the “Where have you been all my life?” column, you’ll find St-Germain elderflower liqueur. Though I’ve been curious about it for a while, picking up a bottle never was a big priority because I’m more of a wine drinker these days, but I finally got around to it after Gil‘s boss recommended a martini starring a gin on Gil’s short list supplemented with St-Germain. Now, everyone has words that make them cringe and “ambrosial” is right up there for me along with “tender” (emotional sense only), but I can’t think of a better word to describe this. It’s even stunning paired with nothing more than seltzer and a few cubes of ice. If only I’d known about it earlier in the summer…
* * * * * * * * * * * *
I’m not sure where this would fall on the list exactly — somewhere between acting my age and putting down roots? — but we got a new refrigerator this weekend! Our old one had been in this house since my first year of college and was getting downright menopausal with its temperature swings, so we took advantage of the Labor Day sales to bring home this beauty. It’s got tons more room, no more side-by-side nonsense, and a functioning water dispenser and ice maker. I’m in heaven. We haven’t named it yet, though — any suggestions?