Jennifer’s Body may have flopped when it came out in 2009, but 10 years later it is finally getting the respect it deserves. Diablo Cody’s script is sharp and snappy, and Karyn Kusama’s direction is slick. Regardless of what you thought you knew about Megan Fox, she is brilliant as man-eating cheerleader Jennifer. It’s a biting (literally) rape revenge film, that also reflects on society’s questionable reactions to tragedy, and the painful dynamic of female friendships. But it’s also wildly campy and entertaining, ripping through all the typical high school tropes.
Food is used throughout the movie to highlight place – Devil’s Kettle, Minnesota, how apt – and theme. Sweet small-town girl Needy (Amanda Seyfried) makes fried bologna sandwiches and offers them to her ferret. Her boyfriend is excited to take her to the Cheesecake Factory before the school dance. The layered red, white and blue Twin Towers shooters Jennifer procures from the bar look as tasty as they are absolutely tasteless. And then, of course, there is the rotisserie chicken that Needy’s mom bought from Boston Market that Jennifer rips into like an animal the night she comes back changed.
Another food mention comes as Needy is begging Jennifer to come home with her and not leave with the band in their creepy white van. The “Northwoods Nachos with Extra Badger Sauce” she tries to tempt her with sound great, but unfortunately were not enough to snap Jennifer out of her trance. They do, however, perfectly encapsulate the quirk of the film and the Midwest setting of Devil’s Kettle, so that’s what we’re making for our recipe!
These Northwoods Nachos take a cue from a classic Midwestern comfort food. “Hotdish” is a casserole, often cheesy, and always topped with crispy tater tots, so we are using tater tots as our base. This makes these nachos, or should I say totchos, charmingly trashy. They are topped with spicy, saucy black beans (bonus movie tie in if you mix in some shredded rotisserie chicken; I served it on the side to keep these vegetarian).
For the Badger Sauce I made a beer cheese sauce appropriate for the area. I used Alton Brown’s recipe for rarebit, and stirred in a can of diced green chilis to make a spicy Minnesota queso. Drizzle some on top, and there’s plenty extra for dipping.
NORTHWOODS NACHOS WITH EXTRA BADGER SAUCE
For the Northwoods Nachos
- 1 pound frozen tater tots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (optional)
- Badger Sauce (see below)
- Optional garnishes: green onions, pico de gallo, salsa, sour cream
Cook the tater tots according to package directions in a large casserole dish. Keep warm.
Heat olive oil on medium-high and fry onion until golden. Stir in garlic and fry another minute or so, then add cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until they are well broken down and starting to caramelize. Add black beans (and shredded chicken if using), and a cup of water. Mix well, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or so until thick, adding more water if necessary.
Spoon on top of tater tots, drizzle with Badger Sauce, and garnish.
For the Badger Sauce
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Pinch coarse salt and some fresh cracked pepper
- 1/4 cup beer (the darker the better)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
- 1 4.5 ounce can diced green chilis
On low heat in a saucepan, heat butter and flour, whisking continuously for several minutes (do not let it brown). Add in dijon, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Stir in beer and heavy cream, then add cheddar. Cook, whisking constantly until cheese is melted and mixture is thick, about 5-7 minutes. Add a little cream to loosen it if necessary, and stir in diced green chilis. Drizzle over Northwoods Nachos and serve extra on the side.
And, check out previous horror confections from Witchy Kitchen here on Nightmare on Film Street, like Michael Myer’s Pumpkin Pie, Crypt Keeper Crunch, Slender Man Creepypasta, a Misery Meatloaf, and more!