May 21st, 2018


C and I are both fond of Mexican food, though we have to modify the recipes, now that I've been advised not to eat cheese and both of us have been told to avoid tomatoes. But in recent years, I've been finding it hard to find good tortillas. I bought many different brands of corn tortillas in supermarkets, but over and over, they would lose their integrity in the process of being cooked; this was often worsened by their sticking to the pan and having bits tear off. Down in San Diego, there was a neighborhood liquor/convenience store a block from us that sold big packages of handmade tortillas of superior quality, but we haven't found such a thing up here.

However, on recent visits to Trader Joe's, I've tried the experiment of buying their store brand of corn tortillas, with good results. I do still need to slide a pancake turner under them and lift them up, and to slide them around the pan, to avoid sticking, but this actually works; the very worst loss of integrity is comparable to my best outcome with supermarket tortillas. And they also have a satisfying flavor. It doesn't hurt that the price works out to less than ten cents per tortilla. . . .

Anyway, for dinner tonight, after preparing soft taco shells, I cooked half a red onion and a couple of inches of Anaheim chili pepper, both finely sliced, in olive oil; added a pound of grass fed ground beef; seasoned with California chili, ancho chili, and cumin; and squeezed half a lime over it all at the end. Then I filled the shells with this and with finely sliced red leaf lettuce. We were both really happy with the flavor.

Now I just hope that Trader Joe's doesn't figure out I like their tortillas and discontinue them. But maybe that's only a conspiracy of supermarkets.