Sunday, October 2, 2011

Frito "Pie"

Ever heard of Frito "Pie" before?  Didn't think so!  Up until 6 months ago, neither had I.  Bryce's cousin Bryn (who married Melany in May) told us he only knows how to make one dish: Frito Pie.  Our wedding gift of the Williams Sonoma Bride and Groom Cookbook Set has since helped him add a few more items to his list, right Bryn? 

According to trusty Wikipedia, Frito Pie is made of chili, cheese, and Fritos.  It's popular in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.  It can be a true casserole: Fritos topped with chili, and cheese and baked in the oven.  It can also be a bit more mobile, a Frito "boat": a small bag of Fritos cut open, then topped with the chili and cheese and eaten right from the bag!  Bryce claims he's even seen Frito "boats" at sporting event concession stands before.  To me, it sounds equal parts fun and country and I imagine myself eating it at an Indy car race while wearing jean shorts and a free Bud Light tank!    

Just this week the Pioneer Woman sent out a recipe for Frito Chili Pie (which I promptly shared with Bryce) and we happened to have ground turkey meat on hand.  Last night, Frito "Pie" was on the menu and our friends Steve and Christine came over for dinner and game night (intense, competitive, raging game night).  I made the Frito "Pie", Bryce tidied up the apartment, and Steve and Christine were asked to bring either a healthy side dish... or dessert.

Frito "Pie" 
This was enough to serve 4 people dinner and we still had leftovers
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
4 cloves garlic, chopped
8 ounce can of tomato sauce
10 ounce can of diced tomatoes and chilis
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon cumin
2 (generous) Tablespoons chili powder
14 ounce can of kidney beans
14 ounce can of pinto beans
1/2 cup water
Shredded cheddar cheese
2 - 10 1/2 ounce bags of Fritos Scoops

Over medium high heat, brown the turkey and garlic.  (Photos spared for gross-ness.) 

Add the tomatoes and chilis, 

...and the tomato sauce.

Mix well.  Next add the salt, oregano, chili powder, and cumin and mix all that together.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes while the delicious smell fills your home!

While the meat mixture is simmering, drain and rinse the beans well.  Rumor has is that rinsing beans very well makes them the less musical - musical fruit :)  Isn't it a rite of passage that all kids must learn that song?

After the pot has simmered for 25 minutes, add the beans and water.  Mix well then simmer for 10 more minutes.

What I love about recipes that have medium to long in-between times, like this, is that it actually gives me time to clean as I cook.  I know you're supposed to do that, but it seems so unreasonable especially when you're photographing and cooking the food.  Our friends showed up, the kitchen was fairly clean, and dinner was almost ready! 

We went rogue and put the Fritos on plates, then topped them with the chili and cheese and ate them like nachos.  I highly recommend this method!

Frito "Pie" is so surprisingly good!  It's no secret that Fritos are a salty, crunchy, addicting chip.  Adding chili and cheese only made them better and acceptable for meal time!  I like to think that using the ground turkey practically made this a "healthy" recipe.  That counts, right?

Speaking of healthy - when given the option of healthy side dish or dessert, this is what our wonderful guests brought us:

Steve proudly proclaimed that he killed two birds with one stone by bringing dessert with fruit, so it IS healthy!  The desserts were just as delicious are they are beautiful!

So... who wants to come over for the next game night?!

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