Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Stay cool - come get a gigantic Iced Coffee!

So today I'm cooking with an ingredient that is new to my pantry - the tomatillo (pronounced to-MAH-tee-YO). If you've ever had a salsa verde or a green sauced enchilada, you've probably eaten one of these husk-tomatoes. They look like firm green tomatoes and grow inside a papery husk. If the husk has peeled back and the fruit is beginning to look yellow it is past its prime. The similarity ends with appearance as it has a sharp, slightly sour taste that is nothing like tomato.

The Turkey Tomatillo is roasted turkey breast, a very spicy tomatillo salsa and havarti cheese grilled on a ciabatta sub roll. The Rowhouse - sun dried tomato, basil cream cheese with cucumbers, sprouts, lettuce, red onions, and Swiss cheese on a toasted ciabatta sub roll.

We also have Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad - herb marinated chicken breast, fresh romaine, aged parmesan curls and homemade croutons and classic caesar dressing (anchovies optional). Made well, this is one of my favorite salads. Sadly, too often the croutons are not much more than stale bread, the parmesan is shreds of rubber and the bottled salad dressing is bland. Like with many foods, elegant simplicity transcends a hand full of modest ingredients - shrimp cocktail, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with homemade jelly and fresh bread, and our little cafe sandwich come immediately to mind.

Finally, you should know Michael threw down the jam gauntlet, as it were, informing me that although blueberry pie was his favorite, he does not like blueberry jam. So sitting on my desk by this very computer is a half-pint jar of Blueberry Marmalade I made yesterday. I'm pretty sure he's going to like this blueberry jam. Bits of orange and lemon rind and just a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg are begging for a toasted english muffin. I also put up three quarts of pickled peaches and fixed a batch of black raspberry jam that did not set. All and all, a very productive day.