Say, "Chicken Frito Pie!"

Thursday, June 28, 2018


Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”)

Gone Girl is one of my absolute favorite movies of all time.  I'm a huge fan of the book as well (I love Gillian Flynn) and I will absolutely watch anything that David Fincher puts his finger prints on (he directed one of my other favorite movies, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).  

I relate to Amazing Amy Elliot Dunne.  Wait, before you start calling my family member to make sure I'm ok,  hear me out: Amy Dunne is the perfect anti-hero.  She begins as a perfectly relatable character, and someone that a lot of women can identify with on a few levels.  She feels the pressure from her parents (and everyone else) to be perfect, beautiful, and successful, but men always feel that she is there for them, and that she exists for their pleasure and amusement.  She is expected to stand by her man when he loses his job, and not put up a fight when he drags her to a town she has no interest in living in.  She does everything she thinks she's supposed to and that she's been taught to do in a relationship: she goes along for the ride, tries to be supportive no matter what, tries to be interested in Nick's interests, and even gives him money so that he can live his dream and open a bar....and she STILL gets cheated on and thrown against the stairwell.  Plus, what woman can't relate to that "cool girl" monologue?!  What sends her into anti-hero territory is when she's finally had enough.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning framing your husband for murder.  What I am saying is that this is a damn well-written character and what makes her so is that even though she's 100% insane and extreme, you kind of don't blame her for it.  She is the perfect hyperbole in embodiment for what a lot of women feel on a regular basis (the scorned woman out for revenge trope is ever-present in film).  Also, I don't mean to scare anyone, but Amy's semi-cold nature and detachment is something I really relate to, because I think my stoic personality and inability to communicate emotions effectively is often perceived as being Amy-esque. I'm also eternally envious of her $500 cut and highlights that she magically gives herself in Neil Patrick Harris's bathroom with a box of L'Oreal Preference that he buys for her (in case you're wondering, this is the shade he gets for her)....Hey, I've come close with just about as much.

In stark contrast to Amy's personality, is Shawna Kelly, the well-meaning, opportunity-seizing, "let me speak to the manager" haircut-having country girl that offers to make Nick Dunne her World Famous Chicken Frito Pie after his wife has gone missing.  Shawn is the kind of girl that Amy hates, and Chicken Frito Pie is the kind of food that Amy pre-death would have also hated.  It's salty, it's bad for you, and it uses name brand snack food in the recipe.  But, giving a healthy, vegan twist I think she might appreciate.  Also, if you pair it with a nice glass of wine I'm sure she'd be fine with it.

Chicken Frito Pie a la Shawna Kelly for Nick Dunne

3/4 bag of Fritos
1-2 cans of black beans (depending on your preference)
1 bag Beyond Chicken Strips, cubed.
garlic powder
chili powder
olive oil
medium hot sauce (for chicken marinade)
So Delicious cheddar jack shreds
2 green onions
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1/3 red onion, diced
1 jalepeño pepper, sliced thin
salt and pepper to taste
Cholula (on top, after baked)

In a bowl, toss the chicken strips with medium hot sauce, garlic powder, chicken powder and cumin with salt and pepper (it's best to leave in the fridge overnight, but just while you prepare the other components is fine too). Let sit. Cut into cubes when thawed.

Preheat oven to 450.

In a large skillet head olive oil and toss in onions and bell peppers.  Sauté until onions are transparent, then toss in beans and marinated chicken.  Cover and simmer under medium heat until flavors have mingled and chicken is cooked through.

Line a baking dish with the Fritos (depending on your dish, you should use anywhere from 1/2-1 bag).  Top with cooked bean and chicken mixture.  Sprinkle enough cheese to cover entire dish and top with green onions and sliced jalapeños.

Pop in the oven and back for around 20 minutes, or until cheese is melty (this brand of cheese melts quite nicely, so does the follow your heart brand shreds).

Also heats nicely for leftovers, Nick Dunne style.
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