Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Paella, Frito Pie, TMI and Matt


Matt, Margie and Sam came to dinner on Saturday. I decided to make a paella because it was the lazy thing to do. Sam was armed with McDonalds so no critique this time. Sam did turn me on to some new apps for my iPad though. Now I am addicted to some cat that copies whatever you say. The cat is really cute and has big teeth.


This is Matt (waving hi to Matt!). Matt is my beer guy. I don't drink beer very often but when Matt picks one I know that it is going to be exactly the kind I like. I recently caught on that my beer guy might be picking beer by the labels. I think he liked this one a little too much.


Sunday night I was hell bent on making this Frito Pie that I saw posted over at Noble Pig My mom used to make something like this called "Imitation Taco's". It wasn't casserolie though. I got to tell you that this is great comfort food.


Also started brining for the Charcutepalooza. We are making a corned tongue and a pastrami. Today I am going to be starting sauerkraut. It is all about brine this month.

So, this is where I have some splainin to do. Last week I saw that one of my measly 80 followers unfollowed this blog. It got me thinking. Not because I need that 80th person (ok, so maybe my feelings were hurt) but it got me thinking about the tone of this blog and my "voice". I know that I am very tongue and cheek (no pun intended) about the things I write about. I know that it looks like at times I am disrespectful and cavalier about the items I am growing or using. I have to say right here and now that I never take for granted the fact that I have enough to eat, or the fact that I am lucky enough to be able to do the things I do. It is of the utmost importance to me where I buy my food and where it comes from. Case in point. I am going to the Cochon & Charcuterie Workshop at Claddagh Farms I am so excited to be going to this you have no idea. I simply want to make my own everything. It isn't for the food itself. It is for the process. I am all about process. The fact that we get to eat it and it was thoughtfully prepared is the bonus.

So, I don't mean to get all preachy but I was in the shower and thinking. Yeah, I do think. I was thinking "Janis, why do you always have to joke about things?" This is when my imaginary Dr. Shrink came talking through my head radio.

Dr Shrink: Janis, why do you make a joke out of everything?

Janis: I...I don't.

Dr. Shrink: Check back on your blog and you will see that you do. You are very rarely serious.

Janis: Well, I think it might stem from my brother being a genius and 8 years older than me and my sister 6 years older and a schmarty pants too. I was the youngest and never could keep up so I became the funny and cute one.

Dr. Shrink: Interesting but I don't buy it for a moment. I just think you are a social wackadoodle.

Janis: Oh, ok.


This is the tongue I am corning. Screw you Dr. Shrink.

Chicken Frito Pie

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-1/2" pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
3 gloves garlic, crushed
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 cups chicken broth
1 (7 oz) can chopped fire-roasted green chiles
2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2-1/2 cups Fritos, divided
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350o F. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat oil over medium high. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then brown on both sides for a total of six minutes. Remove to a plate. Add onion, garlic and chili powder to pot, stirring; saute until tender, 4 minutes.

2. Return chicken to pot, stir in broth, green chiles and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer (uncovered) and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Most of the liquid will evaporate.

3. Add 1-1/2 cups Fritos to a 2 quart casserole. Top with chicken mixture, remaining Fritos and cheese. Bake for 15 minutes.

Serve with cilantro, avocado and sour cream if desired.


  1. Janis - you are a hoot! Did they not read any of your blog posts before they followed you? Or maybe they just cancelled their blog so they dropped off the radar. Anyhow, I love reading your posts and about your processes and the fact that you talk to yourself in the shower..lol.

  2. I'm a bit sarcastic myself, just ask my family! Be yourself and your followers will come :)

    You're a good sport corning tongue...I'd do it, I just wouldn't eat it :) Can't wait to hear about it!

  3. That paella looks wonderful... nice and crusty on the bottom. The Spaniards calls it socarrat and it's the very best part of a paella as far as I'm concerned!

    And don't worry about that 80th follower. Just be yourself, that's the important thing. Keep it cheeky!

  4. OMG. YOu are hilarious! Corning tongue... I need to try that... :)

  5. Oh God! You and your tongue!! No way would I eat that though you are one of my favorite people..the frito pie however brings back childhood in a pristine rush. My mom made something she called tortilla pie. A quite similar concotion

  6. Ha, Ha!!! I love the way you write Janis! Don't change. It's such a fun blog. I love the ideas you explore and your sassy humor.

    Tongue is one of my Hubs favorite types of meat. His grandmother used to make it all the time. LOVES IT! I would make it, as soon and I can get over peeling tastebuds off a giant tongue. I will get there...someday.

    love you!

  7. Don't change a thing. Can't wait to see how the tongue comes out! Chris just had some a Still River Cafe in Eastford, CT. He loved it!

  8. I would be very sad if you stopped being sarcastic! I can't stand drippy over seriousness. I love your writing voice!!!!

  9. You scared me. When I started in on your splainin, I thought you were going to say that you're changing the way you write. I'd have to unfollow you if you did that.

    That's seriously the tongue? I've watched my mom prepare one, pulling off the nubbly top layer, and just about gagged. Have at it, girl.

  10. Ok so I have never heard of you or your blog, and I sure never heard of a corned tongue. But I was searching for a chile pie recipe, and well, here you are. I think you are really funny. I am sorry for my ignorance re: corned tongue, but we just don't eat that down here. Not sure where you are but I am from Tennessee, own a house in Mississippi, and Live in Texas, So Southern, I be :)) I don't have much time today, hence the search for an easy recipe. But I will be back. Also I can be quite sarcastic as well, so keep up the good work. Thanks again for the Laugh.

    Candace Ward