– A “Jane thing”

Normally, I am content to leave the food enthusiams and food blogging to my friend, Marcia, who introduced me to the essays and novels of Laurie Colwin and gave me, more than 15 years ago, a flank steak marinade recipe that has never failed to get oohs and ahhs from my guests.

Once in a while, though, I come across a revolutionary way to do something in the kitchen and I have to step up and spread the word. Years ago, for example, lying on the couch and watching cooking shows on PBS with preschooler Eli, who found them relaxing, I saw Nathalie Dupree cut an onion in such an elegant, straightforward, SENSIBLE way that, not only did I adopt her technique, I converted others, too.

This week, in the kitchen assembling cheese enchiladas from a recipe, I let out an “oh, my god” when I got to the step for heating the corn tortillas.

Jimmy: What?

Jane: Oh, my god. Here’s the most brilliant way to heat tortillas.

Jimmy: How?

Jane: Get this — you heat the first one in the fry pan for a few seconds. Then, you lift up that tortilla with the spatula, and put the next one underneath, and heat it for a few seconds. And then you lift the two tortillas, slide another one underneath with the spatula, and cook for a few seconds. You keep doing that, until you have a stack of 12.

Jimmy: That seems like a Jane thing.

Jane: Yeah, it does.

Not only did it seem like a good idea on paper, it was a good idea upon execution. It worked, beautifully. My old habit (heating them one at a time and then trying to keep the bunch warm in foil or a low oven) now seems clunky.

Life with tortillas? Changed.


Thanks to stranger Elise Bauer, at Simply Recipes, for the tortilla tip included in her pretty delicious “Enchiladas” recipe.

3 thoughts on “– A “Jane thing”

  1. Hi Jane,
    I love that tip from my mom. I even video-taped it somewhere (haven’t gotten around to posting). The tortillas heat up quickly, they all stay warm, and they aren’t soaking in oil. So glad it worked for you.

  2. Elise, lately we have been devouring, also, zucchini fritters made from the recipe on your site. It’s one of those simple recipes that give enormous satisfaction — my favorite kind.

  3. This also works when you are frying tortillas to a crisp (as for tostadas). As they get more crispy, they can be on top of others that are less so but getting there. Yum!

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