The Frito Chili Pie
Heading over to a Super Bowl Party right now? Afraid of turning up empty handed? Just show up with a can of chili and a bag of Fritos, then tell your gracious host you’re going to make an awesome homemade dish. It’s called Frito pie and it’s amazing. We’ve told you about it before, but it warrants bringing back the recipe every Super Bowl Sunday. Enjoy:
So the Super Bowl is this weekend – even people like me that barely watch pro Football know that – and with the Superbowl comes Superbowl parties: an American tradition where everyone’s girlfriends prepare elaborate things to dip Tostitos into while making bets based on which team’s quarterback has a nicer ass. Meanwhile the guys are busy consuming cheap American beers and grunting about running backs and cheerleaders. This year will be no different except that camera crews will probably focus a lot on Kim Kardashian. This will be more divisive than any major football rivalry.
Hopefully by now your friend with the steady job and the big TV has invited you over to his place to join in the festivities (because drinking for 6 hours at a bar gets expensive), but like all great American drinking traditions you can’t just show up empty handed and expect to mooch off his couch space. That’s why this edition of Upgrade Your Comfort Foods, I’ll be focusing on how to make an all-time favorite, down-home, all-american, beer-drinking, fart-inducing dish. Yep, I’m talking about the Chili Frito Casserole.
The Chili Frito Casserole (aka: “Chili Frito Pie”, aka: “Frito Chili Cheese Wrap available only at Sonic”) is one of those dead-simple recipes that basically consists of throwing a bunch of other foods together. In this case you’ll need:
- A bag of Fritos corn chips
- 1 can of Chili
- Grated American Cheese
- an Onion (optional)
- 3 beers (not optional)
PRO-TIP: You might think you’re being clever by buying the “Chili Cheese” flavored Fritos. You’re not, those are gross. Also, if you’ve got some amazing chili recipe, then I guess you could start making that like right now and have it be ready in time for the big game, but let’s face it – there’s a reason this recipe is so simple. It’s because we, as Americans, love being lazy. So, assuming you’ve got the chili part taken care of, here are your quick and easy steps to prepare this bad boy:
Step 1: Crack open that beer. This will all be much more appetizing once you’ve got some alcohol in you.
Step 2: Lay out your casserole dish and open up that can of chili. Keep drinking.
Step 3: This is where it gets a little tricky: you’ll want to alternate layers of ingredients in the casserole dish. Start with a layer of Fritos and cheese. Depending on the kind of chili you bought/made, you may want to add some chopped onion. Then pour on the chili and let it fill in the nooks and crannies. You should be finished with that first beer by now.
Step 4: Layer more Fritos, chili and cheese. Are you drinking beer #2 yet?
Step 5: By now you should have filled up the casserole dish and probably pretty much emptied beer #2. If you’re feeling adventurous maybe you could draw a football in melted cheese on top. Or a cheese rendition of your favorite team’s mascot. Whatever works for you.
Step 6: The home stretch: put that fucker in the oven and bake at 350 degrees or whatever seems appropriate (temperatures and cook times may vary) for 15-20 minutes or about the amount of time it takes you to polish off that third beer.
When you take it out of the oven, have someone carefully drive you over to your friend’s house because a) you’re drunk and b) all that chili could get messy on the bus. Not only will you be arriving to your party with an awesome party dish, but those beers will make the first quarter a whole lot less awkward.
If my instructions weren’t explicit enough, then I’d like to direct your attention for a moment to the soothing Southern vibes of Betty’s Kitchen on YouTube.
Finally, for the Vegans out there I reckon this one would actually be pretty easy to make in a manner that suits your lifestyle. Substitute vegan chili and tofu cheese (I’ll be honest, I have no idea what vegan cheese is made out of) and you should be good to go. The Frito-Lay website says the original flavored corn chips don’t have any pork or lactose in them, but it doesn’t specifically say “vegan” so here’s the number for Frito-Lay customer service if you’d like to ask them: 800-352-4477. Or just go get some hippie chips from Trader Joes.
And if anybody actually makes this, I want to see it in the comments.
Frito pie image from Sweet Tea in Texas.