Thursday, April 16, 2009

Frito Pie

My southern friends know this little beaut from their moms, aunts and grandmas, from Baptist church lady potlucks, from friends' house dinners. This, my Yankee friends, is Frito pie.

It is exactly as complicated as it sounds - chili on Fritos. Other accoutrements are optional. I made my own chili by browning some ground turkey with onions and garlic, added copious cumin, chili powder and paprika, then tossed in a can of chili beans (the kind that come in a tomato-based sauce). Layer a casserole (preferably the one your grandma purchased in the 70s with Green Stamps, then bequeathed to you upon her passing) with Fritos, then pour the chili over, add a little grated cheese, more Fritos, more cheese. Into a hot oven until the cheese melts. Total phone-in.

Since I wanted extra crunch (two kinds of crunch always being better than one), I spooned my Frito pie over some iceberg lettuce and topped it with sour cream and a julienne of radishes and those spicy carrots from the jar of jalapeños en escabeche. This way you've got the whole city mouse/country mouse thing, all in one bowl.

46 comments:

Maggie said...

Funny! We were just talking about Green Stamps...this looks pretty fabulous.

aleta said...

Okay, as a dedicated Yankee, the idea of southern food, particularly unfamilar southern food, really offends my foodie senses. THAT SAID, I <3 both fritos and nachos and I can't imagine this is anything shy of a highly-caloric miracle food.

Don't tell my local friends, okay?

Lo said...

OK, confession time: I'd pretty much do anything for a bag of fritos. And even after eating breakfast, this feast is calling my name.

Nice call on the escabeche. I'll take somma that too!

glamah16 said...

I saw this a bar once but they called it White Trash Nachos. It was good too. Now you are tempting me to take than can of chili in the pantry and actually buy some Fritos. Devil Woman!

Brooke said...

I can't believe my southern baptist grandmother has never made me frito pie. I feel so betrayed.

Her M-O is putting pickle juice in soups (for kick). But screw pickle juice soup. I want frito pie.

Elra said...

Very unique recipe Heather, I think I am going to like it because it sound crunchylicious.
Cheers,
elra

lisaiscooking said...

As an Austinite, I really should eat more frito pie. Love the turkey used here and the toppings. This could be dinner tonight.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Oh, wow! The Hubz and I were just talking about Green Stamps the other night. I got my first record player there way longer ago than I care to admit!

Love the Frito Pie! It will go perfectly with the Old El Paso tacos I'm planning to make tonight! (Don't judge me. I've had a rough week!) ;)

Jeff said...

I love Frito pie. Brings back great memories of being broke as hell (which for the record was my most favorite time of my life).

Syd said...

They used to serve this to us at school. Why, yes it was a Baptist Academy. Anyway, they just dumped the shit right into the frito bag.

I'm sure it was messy, but I only remember eating the hell out of it.

tons of land said...

you do that voodoo that you do so well. that's the first time you've heard that, right?

Zen Chef said...

Damn! Give me a TV and a beer and i would be all over that frito pie. We need a Voodoolily in NY. Why don't you just move here Voodoolily!? We would go hunting/foraging together on week ends. :-)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Who you callin' a Yankee? (And yeah, I am one). But that's a Midwest THANG, too.

First ate Frito Pie in Kalamazoo and never turned back since.

I think this and tuna-potato chip casserole might be the true American culinary masterpieces.

mr. joe huerta said...

We had a frito pie party last year! I think it's time for another one!

Brittany said...

I have never heard of this, but it looks like it may induce labor. I AM ALL OVER IT!

Christine said...

Oh man, I am trying to eat a little healthier, what was I thinking coming over here! Oh my god. Well, I guess once I shed some of those pounds I put on since starting at my current job, frito pie is where I will be. YUM.

Peter G said...

Oooh! This looks great! Love the iceberg lettuce touch at the end with the jalapenos! Great thinking 99!

Leslie said...

Frito Chili Pies are one of the most delicious things ever!

Heather said...

it doesn't really get better than fritos and greasy chili, huh? yum!!

Manggy said...

Confession! I don't like Fritos. They have no flavor! But this looks like the best way to "fix" them, I love it :) Actually the final product is I think what some people here might call a taco salad. :)

The Cooking Photographer said...

Frito Pie is home to me! Love the trashy dish.

Norm Schoen said...

I think that Lay's put Crack in those damn chips.....

Melissa said...

My mouth is watering.

randomneses said...

I'm not a fan of fritos but this looks good! I've never heard of it until now but I'm getting hungry!

Mindy said...

I used to eat this all the time as a kid at the Little League park...in California! Mmmmm...when I get back to the States, I'm going to introduce this little gem to my daughter!

oneordinaryday said...

You got me at Frito....but in dinner? Can't wait to try it. Sounds fun and delicious. And I haven't given a thought to green stamps since I was a kid. Too funny!
Michelle
http://oneordinaryday.wordpress.com/

Heather said...

Mags - I was surprised to learn that they still have them! But now they're "points".

Aleta - I am also a true Yank, but still have a soft spot for the white trash delicasies.

Lo - They're a perfect food! Only three ingredients: corn, oil and salt. That's practically healthy.

Courtney - Ha! Well don't go out of your way on account of lil' ol' me. :)

Brookie! - My grandma was too busy destroying helpless green beans to make anything like this.

Elra - It is crunchylicious!

Lisa - The turkey makes it healthy.

Susan - I think all of the dishes we had when I was a kid were from Green Stamps. I can't believe S&H is on the web now!

Jeff - I ate so much canned chili with Fritos when I was in college. Never baked it together, though.

Syd - I've heard of people doing that, but it seems unsafe to serve hot food from a plastic bag. :\

B - Yeah, that's totally the first time, you original fool, you.

Stephane - Or better, why can't all my NY friends move to Portland?

Jen - Oh, you mean Frito pie is a Midwest hotdish too? Never tried the potato chips on tuna casserole.

Mr. Joe Huerta - It is definitely that time of year again.

Brittany - It probably would! And then your new bebbeh girl would develop a palate for the finer things right off the bat.

Christine - Except for the chips (not that bad, really), it's not totally unhealthy! At least I added some vegetables. :)

Petah - Thanks, Maxwell Smart!

Leslie - Boy, howdy.

Heather - Well, since I used ground turkey it wasn't that greasy. :P

Marky - Are you kidding? They taste just like corn! Though they lack the punch of a Dorito, they are plenty tasty in my book. :)

Laura - I love tugging at people's heartstrings with trashy comfort foods.

Norm - Tell me about it! We had to make a concerted effort to put the fuckers away before we ate the whole damn bag.

Melissa - So is mine. Wanna make out?

Randomneses - Oh, hunny, there's a whole world of crazy-good flavors out there.

Mindy - It's your legacy to pass down to her.

Oneordinaryday - I get so nostalgic for those types of things, it's odd.

Foodycat said...

I don't know what fritos are...

DocChuck said...

Did someone say "Southerners" and then "...white trash"???

Really?

duodishes.com said...

We've never had frito pie before, and we're quite Southern...It is a bit tempting though. :)

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I haven't had frito pie in forever! Mostly on account of the fritos. But this is good stuff!

Hillary said...

Thanks for this post! Coming from Chicago, I've seen this recipe on our site but I certainly haven't had it before. You make it look and sound good!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

If you're not going to serve it in a Frito bag, then I think Grandma's casserole is the next best thing!

tammy said...

Oh my god, this may be the perfect pregnancy food. And I'm NOT being sarcastic.

Leslie said...

Green stamps were the bomb. OMG..I still remeber a lamp that I save up for!!
Love the frito pie!

KristiB said...

I haven't had this in sooo long! YUM!

Marc @ Norecipes said...

NICE! This is right up there with 7 layer dip and Egg McMuffins in my list of closet addictions.

Kenya said...

Hi Ms. Heather! Ah Green Stamps, remember having to save up like a skillion of them just to get a toaster? lol. I was just a kiddo back then but the mention of Green Stamps sparked up nostalgic memories of all those Fisher Price toys I had....I know I'm not the only one who owned that record player with the different colored records =D

Oh, about the frito pie...forgive me for diverging...your blog is lovely and I simply love frito pies. I mean frito pies make the world go round. I also wanted to mention for anyone wanting to try it, that you could use tator tots instead of fritos; of course then it would be more of chili/cheese tots but what isn't good under chili and cheese?

Thank you for sharing the recipe and your blog with the world. =)

cook eat FRET said...

could one make a cheeto pie?

one, meaning you?

that would be freaking awesome. using those friend harder ones...

anyway, i'd eat any of it, anytime.

Jude said...

From the name alone I thought it was some sort of deep-fried pie. Frito chips were the last thing on my mind.

Toni said...

I've heard of frito pies, but never saw an actual one until your photo. What's not to like? Nachos using fritos instead of the other shaped corn chips? Like, DUH! The only thing I'd add is Hatch green chili from a can. Oh, and crack open a frostie.......

April in CT said...

The very first "meal" I made for my father and myself after my parents divorced was this beauty. It's still one of my favorite trashy dinners.

we are never full said...

holy crap this could possibly be the best hangover meal ever. you're hilarious. i haven't had a frito since 1998, i think.

Peter M said...

Shit...I could eat this for brekkie right now. It's pure TPT genius and yes, I still eat Fritos...sue me!

katie said...

Hello! This is my first time at your blog! Love the excellent fotos and colors. The food hits a sweet spot.

But I do have to draw attention to how fantastically trashy this is dish is. In all sincerity you should send this to the thisiswhyyourefat tumblr. AWESOME.

kyouell said...

I had forgotten that Fritos don't have crap like transfats & such. I may very well make this next week.

BTW, something that popped into my head with all the nausea/morning sickness talk: I thought mine had come back in the 2nd trimester but it just turned out that I needed maternity pants. It was my waistband that was making me sick, not my hormones. Again, just sayin'. I think you've brought out the mama in me towards you. I know I'm not *that* much older than you (43.5).