4/16/06 | All I Want For Easter Is Frito Pie
[ Currently Eating: Fish Tacos ]
Happy Easter everyone! To celebrate this holiday, I would like to call attention to that time honored tradition that is being served on Sunday dinner tables across the nation at this very moment. I’m talking, of course, about… Frito Pie!
Oh I kid you not. Ever since I was reminded about Frito Pie on an episode of King of the Hill, I’d been wanting to try it. Yep, I had never had this delicacy before… you would have expected it to make an appearance on Cheap Eats sooner. But I never had the correct combination of required ingredients from the admittedly simple recipe.
So I went to the grocery store a week back with the express purpose of buying all the ingredients. It wasn’t hard, and luckily Fritos were on sale. $1.25 for a 10 ounce bag.
A word on Fritos… to this day, they’ve stuck with the basic ingredients. It is just Corn, Corn Oil and Salt. That’s it. At least for their original flavor. There are tons of different varieties including Chili and Cheese and Lime and Chile as well as all sorts of shapes like Scoops and Twists.
Side note: I saw this “survival” type show on Discovery where the guy took along a couple of Fritos (not a bag but like 4-5 chips). He didn’t eat them though… instead he used the oil in them as fuel to help get his fire going to cook his Desert Rat. Or is that Dessert Rat. Yum.
Back to the pie. So apparently, this is a “tradition” from Texas which isn’t a stretch since Frito-Lay is based there. Frito-Lay is pretty serious about the usage of their chips in pies… they even have a website devoted just to Frito Pie. The recipe I used is just a basic one, but I’d think even with other additions it would come in under $3 for a good sized pie.
1 can chili (homemade OK too) — $0.99
1 1/2 cups fritos – $0.45
1 cup shredded cheese — $0.25
1/3 cup chopped onion — $0.20
optional parsley sprig — negligible
Preheat the oven to 350°F or so. Spread out about 1/2 the chips on the bottom of a glass pie plate dish or baking dish. Spread about 1/2 the onion and half the cheese on the Fritos. Top with all the chili. Then put the remaining cheese, onion, and Fritos on top of that.
Bake it for about 17-20 minutes and serve it hot. Instant trailer cuisine.
I took them sort of literally with the word “pie” and used a pie shaped glass baking dish. You know, I have to say that I really liked this Frito Pie. It’s great because the Fritos are kinda crispy still and the chili and cheese go really well together. I used Dennison’s Chili that had a mix of meat and beans.
A bit salty overall. I wouldn’t recommend eating this as a meal (which is exactly what I did… had a bit ‘o indigestion afterwards). But as a tailgate snack it’s great. If I had ‘em in the house I might have thrown some chopped Anaheim Chiles or Black Olives on top.
I used mozzarella cheese instead of the cheddar that was called for (got that free from my parents) so everything was really bound together well. Interestingly, after it cools a little you can actually get a spatula and cut up wedges of this stuff almost like a real pie.
I am pretty damn impressed with Frito Pie. I think I’ll do this every Easter.
Cheap Eats Score: 8/10