Frito Pie

So wrong, yet so right.

We’ve been intrigued with this Southern delicacy ever since we first saw it on the menu at one of our favorite dive bars in Williamsburg. This meaty pile of semi-shameful indiscretion is as delicious as it is sounds, whether you’re under the influence or not. Resist the urge to overthink the chili and let a few simple ingredients do work. Just be forewarned, this may replace nachos as your favorite meat/cheese/corn chip combination.

Equipment Needed: 5 Qt Pot with Lid, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Cheese Grater, Can Opener, Wooden Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: You’re eating Frito pie; you should just drink what you want

Suggested Beer Pairing: Whatever’s clever. (see: Eating Frito Pie)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef (we recommend an 80/20 mix) ($3.99/lb)
  • 1 large onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper ($2.99/lb)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans ($1.19/15 oz can)
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes ($2.49/28 oz can)
  • 1 6 oz can can tomato paste ($0.99/6 oz can)
  • 1 TBSP cumin ($3.50/2 oz jar)
  • 1 TBSP chili powder ($1.50/4 oz jar)
  • 2 TSP liquid smoke ($2.89/3 oz)
  • 1 TBSP paprika ($3/2 oz jar)
  • 1 TSP cayenne pepper ($2/3.5 oz jar)
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar ($8.99/32 oz))
  • 1 TSP sugar ($2.39/2 lb box)
  • 1 10.5 oz bag Frito corn chips ($3.29/10.5 oz bag)
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese ($8.99/lb)
  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($8.99/32 oz)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Finely dice your onion and mince your garlic. Wash your jalapeno thoroughly, halve it and remove the seeds and ribs (leave the seeds in if you want a spicier chili).

Finely dice the jalapeno so it melds easier in the chili.

  • Put the pot over medium heat and add your olive oil. Throw in the onions first and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stirring every minute or so, cook the onions for 5 minutes then add the garlic and jalapeno. Cook everything down for another 5 minutes and add in your beef.
  • Salt and pepper the beef, making sure to break it up with your spoon. Stir everything together so the veggies are mixed throughout the meat. Add in the cumin, chili powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper and give it another good stir. Cook the meat mixture until it’s lightly browned, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes or so).
  • Spoon in the tomato paste and pour in the crushed tomatoes. Add the liquid smoke, vinegar, sugar, a few healthy pinches of salt and a good dose of black pepper. Turn the heat to low and let everything simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn’t burn.

Use diced or break up whole canned tomatoes if you want chunkier chili.

  • While your chili is bubbling away shred up the cheddar and set it aside in a bowl for later.
  • Drain the beans and stir them in to the mix. Taste everything and re-season as you see fit. Once the flavors are to your liking cook it down for another 10 minutes to finish it off.

We prefer black beans for this one but go nuts with your legume of preference.

  • Take a handful of Fritos and put them in a soup bowl or plate. Spoon a couple healthy heaps of chili over the top of them and sprinkle cheese over the whole lot.
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One response to “Frito Pie

  1. Pingback: Super Bowl Snacking: The Two Minute Drill | Brothers Brown School of Cooking

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