Monday, November 9, 2009

Something from the west coast

Our friend Robert posted this on his Live Journal, and yet again, it was too good not to share.
I know that my journal is quickly becoming the equivalent of the recent Britney Spear’s concerts with all this reposting and stuff, but life has been crazy here, and the time and desire to churn out some new content has not been there. I used to write with Robert for Les Wright’s former site Verisimilitude. We met up with him after years of email and chat on Live Journal last year the day of our wedding out in San Francisco and had a great lunch in the city. Anna loved him, as you can see by the pics. He posted a picture of the dish on his site, but I decided NOT to post it here. I won‘t lie, it‘s not pretty. It looks like something the cat either dragged in or hacked up. Sorry Robert. .

First Frost means Tijuana Pie!
Stepped out this morning and ventured my way through the first frost
of fall. The soccer field on the way to the train was covered in frost
- but not quite a crunchy one - - - but hard frosts like that rarely
come to the bay area.

When I was kid - the first frost triggered Tijuana Pie from my mom.
and we all knew it. I can see her seeing us off to school and going to
the kitchen and pulling the recipe card. Tijuana Pie is a crockpot
casserole. Layered in the crockpot between corn tortillas goes refried
beans, tomatoes, ground beef, chorizos, tomatoes, cornl, chilis and
repeated until the crock pot is full. this meal remains one of my most
favorite to this day. It comes out not looking all that great - (it
cooks down to the well, so that it looks like dog food) but man on MAN
does it taste great. My Mom would serve it over a bed of salty
tortilla chips with sour cream and guacamole.

My parents were big believers in 'everyone comes to dinner every
night' - there was NO skipping the evening meal. and as we became
teenagers this became a "whining point" - but nobody was ever late for
first frost tijuana pie night.

I probably won't be making a pot of tijuana pie this week - because
Dave is off on business travel - and well - I know myself - I'll eat
the whole damn crockpot full - along with a bag of tortilla chips - an
entire block of grated cheddar - and enough sour cream and guac to
turn me into a Macy's Float. I think we can all agree that is
something we need to skip. (wink)

But I do pull the photocopy of Mom's recipes out every once in a while
and make a big pot.

Here's Mom's recipe with added fresh stuff....


1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 medium sized can refried beans (I do the low fat low salt version
these days but it's up to you)
1/2 lb. spicy chorizo sausage - finely chopped.
5 large tomatoes sliced in big bite size pieces
8 Bell Peppers (all four colours: red, green, yellow and orange)
sliced into strips.
1 can smoked poblano chiles (most stores 'll have these in the mexican
foods section)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3-4 c. grated cheese
1 (10 oz.) can enchilada sauce
1 (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 (16 oz.) can corn, drained
6 corn or flour tortillas (size depends on size of crock pot)

Brown beef, onion, garlic, and seasonings. Wipe inside crock pot with
oil. Place 1 tortilla in bottom. Spoon on meat mix (mix the hamburger
with the refrieds) - and a little sauce and cheese. Top with another
tortilla and layer on a bean, cheese and corn section. Do a layer of
nothing but fresh tomatoes and bell peppers. Continue layers, ending
with cheese top. Cover and cook low 5-7 hours. Serve with additional
hot tortillas. (sour cream and guac feeding frenzy optional)


  1. as I said in my post - it looks like dogfood with bits of tortilla in it - but BOY HOWDY is it delecious. :) - Robert

  2. Hmmm. I will have to try this. My family loves Mexican food. It never frosts here, so maybe I can do it for a foggy morning!