Sometimes I am in the mood for a multi-course meal. I love Thanksgiving. I love the many steps of preparation, the many dishes spread on the table, with gleaming accoutrements and candlelight. I love the ritual of sharing platters of holiday foods. I also love the indulgent concept of a desert island meal: appetizer, main course, and dessert. But there are some nights when enough is enough; when I put my sneaker down, and want something plain and simple. I want crunchy, and I want delicious. Give me chips and salsa.
As I sit here smugly typing in my sun-filled studio, I imagine my grown-up self, the more presentable me, laughing and waving away a bag of Doritos. This is total fiction. There is not a bag of Doritos that I wouldn’t just hoover up if I were alone on that desert island. But I try to apply an opaque veneer over my craven self, and mask my baser appetites. It is much more civilized to first roast some veggies, blitz them in a food processor, and deposit that mixture into a decorative bowl. The bowl can then be transferred to the coffee table, where it will join a bowl of gently warmed, locally sourced, lightly salted, artisan, organic corn chips. I will add a large cold glass of cheap white wine, a cloth napkin, and turn on “Julia”. Bliss.
Dinner with Julia Child. It is the perfect dinner. There’s very little fuss, a little muss, plus I am getting a serving of healthy vegetables, and am being kept company by a vibrant force of nature. Naturally, since it is Julia and my own adult self I am trying to impress, I can’t just tip a bag of chemically flavored Doritos down my maw. I need to get my chip fix in an elegant, epicurean fashion. Who really knows what is in those industrial vats from which Doritos emerge anyway?
I love the fresh cilantro in this Food52 recipe: https://food52.com/recipes/77387-roasted-vegetable-salsa
I usually stick with jalapeños, but you might want something with a little more heat: https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/roasted-tomato-salsa.html
With warm weather just around the corner , we will be grilling outside again, and will have extra ears of corn. This recipe is good for leftovers and the odds and ends you might find in the vegetable bin: https://spicysouthernkitchen.com/roasted-corn-salsa/
This is more work than I want to do tonight, but the garlic aioli is divine. I just love Thomasina Miers. https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/aug/30/thomasina-miers-recipe-charred-corn-and-bean-tostadas-jalapeno-aioli
As someone who would happily eat my way through the Frito Lay factory, it never occurred to me that there is a difference between salsa and pico de Gallo. https://www.tastingtable.com/844136/the-real-difference-between-salsa-and-pico-de-gallo/
And here is a handy concept: salsa in the freezer! Make it in bulk, so the next time you want your own evening alone with Julia, you’ll have a tub in the freezer. All you’ll have to add are the chips and the wine. https://vanillaandbean.com/roasted-tomatillo-salsa-verde/
Of course, if you want to make enough to share with someone other than your best imaginary friend, Julia Child, by all means, go forth and spread your deelish munificence.
“I have brought neither book nor newspaper
since reading material is considered cheating.
Eating alone, they say, means eating alone,
not in the company of Montaigne
or the ever-engaging Nancy Mitford.”
– Billy Collins