Lou & Lucy: Shopping up a storm

  • Tomatillos are kind of like green tomatoes with a papery wrapping. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Published: 1/25/2020 2:14:23 PM
Modified: 1/25/2020 2:14:07 PM

Last Friday, I was being smart and did all my food shopping before the predicted snowstorm. Now that I don’t have to because of the retirement thing, I like to shop when the stores are less crowded. I stocked up on this, that and the other. I got home feeling smug that I was all prepared and wouldn’t have to hit the stores on a Saturday on the day of the snowstorm.

I’m not sure what was going on at the grocery store last Friday, but they were really trying to move the pork. It was buy one get two loin roasts. Buy one get two pork chops or country style ribs. And buy one get one pork tenderloin. It was pork fest, I guess.

I don’t have a lot of room in my freezer so I settled on the tenderloin as my pork bargain. I figured it was a versatile cut and would give me options.

Come Saturday, I decided to make a slow-cooked-warm-the-house-up-with-the-oven-for-a few-hours pork salsa verde stew-like dish.

Wouldn’t you know it, even after all that clever before-the-throngs shopping, I had to go back to the store for a few more ingredients. Again, wouldn’t you know it, the hordes were out shopping like there was no tomorrow.

Before long, crowd mentality took over and I was shopping like there was no tomorrow too. When I was done, I had enough food and wine to last till Thursday at least.

By the time I got home, the slow-cooking idea was out the window and I made the pork stew on the stovetop. It was super easy, except for browning the pork, always a chore in my book. I used the buy one and the get one pork tenderloin cut into cubes. I sautéed onions, garlic, some jalapeño peppers, chopped tomatillos—those funny green tomatoes with a husk on them — then added some cumin, a pinch of oregano, a small can of green chilies and chicken broth to almost cover the ingredients.

As it simmered, I put some Spanish music on, poured a glass of wine and enjoyed my snow day, knowing I definitely did not have to go to the store for quite a while. I served the stew over rice with a garnish of chopped avocado, cilantro, grated cheese and some habanero Tabasco sauce to add some heat. Which really helped to warm things up on a cold, snowy, winter night.

P.S. I roughly followed a recipe from allrecipes.com called Pork Stew in Green Salsa. I say roughly, because I used pork tenderloin, not pork shoulder, and you can be sure I was not going back to the store for marjoram, so I used oregano.

Improvising is OK in a snowstorm. Actually any time.


I’m surprised you didn’t see me at the supermarket. I was the guy with all those pork shoulders in his cart who was signing autographs.

I left the pen and took the pork shoulders home.

Once home, I cut the shoulders in half, vacuum-packed them and stored them in my chest freezer in the basement. I figured on one pork shoulder half for each inch of snow we were supposed to get. I bought three shoulders.

Woke up Sunday morning and looked out the window at the snow. Went back to sleep to dream of summer cookouts and smoked pork.


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