Know when to fold ’em.

TGIF people! (I never, ever thought I’d be someone who’d use that expression—but what I’m starting to realize is that it’s probably best to never say “never.”

Things change. In fact, change is the only constant. And I’ve never been more aware of that fact than in the here-and-now.

Another thing I never realized is how much I like Kenny Rogers. But, I was just sitting here, staring at the photo of the truly delicious soft tacos that I made for lunch when the words to The Gambler popped into my head.

The neural connections between one thing (a folded soft corn tortilla) and another thing (a song about when to quit a metaphorical poker game) are just one of the mysterious aspects about our brains. How do images from the present and the past connect in such a spontaneous and often surprising way? I don’t know. But I sure do enjoy the randomness of it.

I enjoy it almost as much as I enjoyed my lunch. Today’s meal is a great example of using leftovers in a truly spontaneous way. Exhibit A: a big spoonful of my spicy pork sausage and sage from early in the week, augmented with pan-fried slices of apples with cinnamon and honey. What a delightful contrast.

The idea to make tacos came to me upon my discovery of a big pack of La Burrita corn tortillas way in the back of my refrigerator. When I spied them I was like, “oh yeah, those guys,” because they’ve been there for about a million years. But, they seemed OK, so I was game to give them a try.

One of the reasons they’ve been sitting around for a long time is because I’m way more of a flour tortilla type of lady. And, I’m always pretty mystified by corn tortillas, even though I occasionally buy them. My uncertainty is centered on how the hell to heat them up. From experience I can tell you that the microwave is not a good idea. Ditto on wrapping them in foil and letting them sit in the oven. I’ve also had them steamed in restaurants, but they alway seem a bit floppy and sad.

So today, I was inspired to heat them up in a giant cast iron skillet with the perfect coating of fat from my weekend steak-cooking exploits. I turned the heat on high and them let fry. Dang. Why didn’t I do this before? The results were outstanding. The tortillas were soft-yet-browned-and-crunchy.

I definitely knew when to fold ’em.

The fried tortillas were the perfect wrapper for my re-heated sausage and apples. Along with a nice dollop of sour cream and salsa. I think this might be my all-time favorite lunch yet. Now if anyone out there is a corn tortilla aficionado and a regular reader of Bon Appetit, you may be shaking your head. Because after making this lunch, I read the definitive guide to heating a corn tortilla and it explicitly states that you should NOT fry a corn tortilla.

Well, what can I say? I did. And I’m the better for it. But, you be the judge.

One thought on “Know when to fold ’em.

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