In the Kitchen with mtbchick

Here is a look at what’s been happening in the mtbchick kitchen for the past week or so. Indulge!

Tomatillos and yellow onions. Photo: Tonya R. Bray

Underneath the crepe-paper shell of the tomatillo is a sticky green tomato. Rinse in hot water to remove the sticky film and slice or quarter for sauteeing. The bitter and tart tomatillo transforms into a sweet and tangy sauce. I like to use the tomatillo in lieu of red tomatoes to mix things up a bit. The taste and texture is much like a green tomato. While I haven’t tried to fry them up like my Mom’s green tomatoes in Oklahoma, I have grilled them. I prefer the tomatillo in the pan– grilling or roasting them gives them a meaty flavor which I am not always in the mood for.

Lettuce from the yard. Photo: Tonya R. Bray

What started out as a packet of seeds is now a bowl full of beautiful heirloom lettuces. Plating a seed is a act of faith. In this day of overloaded ubiquity, the act of planting seeds seems so foreign. A tiny black speck can turn into a giant plant? We have no faith today. We have no patience for faith. This practice of faith I now have causes me to take a few steps back and evaluate the way we are and appreciate what I have.

Lettuce grown in my yard from seeds tastes crispier, more full bodied and seems to have more moisture within than store bought lettuce. A dab of dressing is not necessary, but does bring out the authenticity of the lettuce. Sprinkled with a small amount of Chevre, this bowl of lettuce sated many unknown needs and desires.

A shallot and a lemon will help this two buck chuck shine in the midst of brown butter. Photo: Tonya R. Bray

I’m not entirely finished with cooking with beer, however I finally remembered to pick up some cooking wine during my trip to Trader Joe’s. Two Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw) Sauvignon Blanc is perfect for white sauces. The shallot is one of my favorite additions to any sauce, pizza, salsa or dressing. Somewhere between garlic and onion, the shallot offers harmony to the two strong flavors. And added again to butter, lemon and white wine, the shallot while it may not be noticed, would definitely be missed, much like the Viola in an orchestra.

Vintage glass juicerfor the lemon. Photo: Tonya R. Bray

Found in a local thrift shop, this vintage glass juicer is handy in the kitchen. I’ve always used a hand reamer to juice my citrus until I found this beautiful piece, which was actually a gift to my significant other. It’s vastly easier to use this juicer– mainly because it was such a find. If I can claim being an environmentalist, one reason is because I recycle. Buying vintage items is a form of recycling and practice of sustainability. Instead of consuming another piece of plastic or new item from the box/chain store, I am giving money to a local charity, reusing or repurposing an item, and not buying an item that will break in a month or a year and end up in the landfill. mtbchick has always been about sustainability, at any rate.

It’s a new day, and new seeds are sprouting. I can’t wait to share what’s next, and if you have any questions about what I’m doing in the kitchen send me an email at



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