Comfort food is hard to define—that is, until you really need it. Last night was one of those nights. For most, comfort food conjures up visions of fat, sugar, cream, or chocolate—the classic no-no’s of health. But to my delight, I have found that in the world of food, comfort goes by many other names.
But what about in the heat of the summer, when the wind has whipped the sweat off your skin for an hour and forty-five minute’s bike ride, competing with the sun to brand you its own—what then is comfort food? When you’ve run around all afternoon under the heat of the June sun, carting things in and out of your car—what then will bring you relief? When you get told that a U.S. border guard made a mistake with your documents, rendering your recent 3-hour trip North just to re-enter the country to change your visa 99% pointless? When everything just seems to pile up on one lone innocent Monday—what then is comfort food?
Not one to call the whole thing off and resort to toast for dinner, I pulled some little corn tortillas out of the freezer and got ready to make tostadas. Since moving here, I’ve discovered (not only the true meaning of comfort food) the true meaning of Mexican food. Down here they go way beyond the sloppy burritos and “I could make those at home” nachos peddled by Winnipeg’s Carlos and Murphy’s imposters. But best of all, down here I learned the art of the tostada: quite possibly the world’s fastest, friendliest supper for one.
While my two corn tortillas browned away in the toaster over, I dumped a half a can of black beans in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. A glug of Dinosaur BBQ sauce, and they were ready. Then it went a little somethin’ like this: toasted tortilla, sprinkle of mozzarella, black bean mixture, chopped tomatoes, torn romaine, some of Wegman’s salsa verde, green onions and low-fat sour cream–voila! It would’ve taken me longer to call an order in to Alto Cinco.
Since I couldn’t be bothered with the pictures tonight, I have provided you with some shots of the more accessorized tostadas we made for my folks when they were here in April. For these we fried the tostadas, but tonight I learned that toasted are just as good and of course, healthier. Tostadas are forgiving. Top them with anything that brings you comfort.