I believe the Frito Chili Pie in its simplicity started in south Texas. The traditional way to fix it up was to slit the side of the individual serving (wax paper) bag and pour in a ladle of hot dog style chili and add some cheese. Often eaten at High School football games and other sporting events.
In the modern form you should have a good handleful of Fritos tossed in the botton of a bowl, add shredded chedder cheese (or concession style nacho cheese, eww) and finely chopped onions. For the quick and easy verion use a can of hot dog chili such as Wolf brand w/o beans. For the best Frito pie, try the Woolworth chili recipe that is supposed to be the best of the best.
No, I don't know why it is called a pie.
- 2 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pound ground chuck
- 1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cup water (more if necessary)
- 1 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 5 cups Fritos corn chips
- 1/2 pound Cheddar or Monterey jack, shredded
- Optional: chopped onion and diced fresh jalapenos for garnish
Cook bacon in heavy skillet until fat is rendered. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is softened.
Add ground chuck and cook over medium high heat, stirring and breaking up lumps, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour off excess fat and add salt, chili powder, cumin, and tomato paste.
Slowly add water and simmer 10 min, adding more water if necessary. Add beans until heated through.
Divide corn chips among individual wide shallow bowls, top with chili. Sprinkle cheese on top.
Garnish with onion and jalapeno if desired.
(I simmer mine more than the recipe suggests)