Sunday, June 10, 2007

Big Love & Pie

All of a sudden it started pouring. I can still spy a patch of bright blue sky hovering over NW Portland, though, so maybe it'll be a short shower...

I went to see Waitress last night with Jeremy. (NY Times Review). It's been months since I've gone to a movie. Thanks, Jeremy! (It wasn't a date, I specified no tongue.) The main character is played by Keri Russell, formerly of the WB's Felicity. I can safely say that I never saw one episode, snippet, or scene of Felicity. That girl kinda bugged me with her mane of crazy curls and relationship melodrama (I assumed). Well, I guess she's grown up. The age in her face suits her and makes her appear more like a human. And her hair seems to have calmed down in her old age. Pies, that's her schtick in Waitress. She makes great pies, pies with funny names.
(from gather)
I DON'T WANT EARL'S BABY PIE: Quiche of egg and brie cheese with a smoked ham center
KICK IN THE PANTS PIE: Cinnamon spice custard
I HATE MY HUSBAND PIE: “You take bittersweet chocolate and don’t sweeten it. You make it into a pudding and drown it in caramel..."
BABY SCREAMING IT'S HEAD OFF IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND RUINING MY LIFE PIE: New York style cheesecake, brandy brushed pecans and nutmeg
EARL MURDERS ME BECAUSE I'M HAVING AN AFFAIR PIE: “You smash blackberries and raspberries into a chocolate crust."
I CAN'T HAVE NO AFFAIR BECAUSE IT'S WRONG AND I DON'T WANT EARL TO KILL ME PIE: "Vanilla custard with banana. Hold the banana..."
PREGNANT MISERABLE SELF PITYING LOSER PIE: “Lumpy oatmeal with fruitcake mashed in. Flambé of course...”

In fact, that was the extent of my knowledge about the movie before going, and it was enough. See, I like pie. Anyway, the movie was kind of a dark comedy. I laughed quite a bit but it wasn't a happy movie for sure. What's his name, the Matlock guy was in it and so was Jeremy Sisto, of 6 Feet Under and Clueless fame. Good one. You should see it.

Later, curled up on the couch with a plate of baked chimichangas and a cocktail, I watched the first disc of Big Love. Have you heard of this one? I think it's on HBO, and it stars Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Chloe Sevigny. Bill Paxton is a polygamist in Utah with three wives and three families. They live in three separate houses that are right next to each other with a communal backyard and pool. Big Bill owns a big home store, evidently netting enough to keep his wives and kids (7) in diapers and cars. It's hilarious! Try having three wives to please. There's some LDS/Mormon stuff in there, although the family has to hide the polygamy from the church. In addition, look for some almost full frontal male nudity! Yay, just what I look for in my TV shows. Damn, I need to get cable.

I thought I'd post my baked chimichanga recipe. It's really easy and freezes well. When I was growing up, my mom called it "Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas". However, it is clearly not a quesadilla since it is rolled up like a burrito. In college, my sister and her roommate dubbed it "Pollo de la Bunghole". The beauty of this simple dish is its adaptability. You can use whatever chicken you have on hand. You can add red and yellow bell peppers if you want. Go ahead, get crazy with it. Note that the following measurements are approximate - I've never prepared it the same way twice.

Baked Chimichangas

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 pound shredded cheddar and jack cheese (or more if you're a cheesehead)
One bunch chopped green onions
One large can diced green chilies or jalapenos
One tub salsa (Emerald Valley is my fave)
One can black beans (drained)
10-12 flour tortillas
1-2 tablespoons melted butter

Begin by cooking the chicken in some way. Season it. I use salt & pepper, cumin, chili powder and cayenne. Sometimes I bake it, sometimes I sear it. When the chicken is cooked all the way through (juices run clear, 165 internal temp), let it rest till it's cool enough to handle. Then shred it with a fork, or chop it anyway you like. Place in a big mixing bowl.
Next, add the cheeses, black beans, green chilies, green onions and salsa. Mix it all together. You can taste it at this point, see if it needs more cheese or heat.
Preheat the oven to 425.
Warm the tortillas slightly in the microwave or in a dry pan. They're a lot easier to work with when warm.
Scoop some chicken mixture into a tortilla and roll it up, folding the top and bottom in. Place it in a baking dish. Repeat until you run out of chicken mixture. The chimis should be snug together in the baking dish. Sometimes I use 2 baking dishes.
Brush the melted butter over the top of the chimis and bake them in a 425 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, or when browned and crisp.
Serve with sour cream and more salsa. Guac if you've got it.

One more thing: I recommend not baking the chimis that aren't going to be eaten immediately. What I do is roll 'em all up, bake the ones I'm eating, and freeze the rest in foil packages of two each. They can be baked frozen for 40 minutes or so at 450 degrees, or if you have time, thaw them out and bake as directed above.


Jen said...

I like pi.

allison said...

I make a similar dish but I layer the tortillas, use a chile puree instead of salsa and call it "enchilada casserole" (layering is easier than rolling - and I'm lazy!) My BF says his mom made the same thing and called it "taco stacks." I suppose it really doesn't matter what it's called as long as it tastes good!