I know it’s the middle of December, and we’re in the throes of Christmas and Hanukkah prep and celebrations, and present-wrapping, tree decorating, and cookies, and yada yada yada, but let us pause and not forget that it is still football season! Let us also not forget how freaking amazing the Dallas Cowboys are doing this year. Only TWO losses, neither of which we will be discussing at all! Frito Pie is the perfect game day food, especially once cold weather sets in.
Frito Pie is apparently a Texas thing, but I think its popularity is spreading quite nicely. You basically put beef chili on top of a big pile of Frito corn chips and garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, and whatever else your heart desires. It’s awesome.
Now, I’ve eaten more Frito Pie in my life than you want to know about, but thus far it has always been in a bowl, mainly because my family of origin is made up of civilized people who do things like, well, eat on proper dinnerware with proper utensils. Enter Chrissy Teigen, quite possibly one of the most creative home cooks on this planet, a home cook and cookbook author who encourages well-mannered souls such as myself to forgo the boring bowl and eat our Frito Pie right from the Frito’s bag. It was a revelation for me.
And I think it’s totally brilliant! Matt and I completely loved this one. This is a quick-cooking chili (as chili goes), and the presentation and experience is basically the coolest thing ever (does me saying that indicate I should get out more? Nah…). The only problem with it is that now I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to eat Frito Pie from a regular bowl again! And I think we all know, I will be eating Frito Pie again. And again, and again…. Enjoy!
Source: adapted from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen
1 tbs olive oil
1 lb. lean ground beef (I used sirloin)
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbs minced garlic
2 tbs seasoned salt
3 tbs chili powder
1 heaping tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 (12 oz.) bottle of beer
2 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained
2 tbs brown sugar
6 individual bags Frito corn chips (not scoops)
Shredded cheddar cheese, or a Mexican blend, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish
Pickled jalapenos, for garnish
Chopped scallions, for garnish
Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then add the ground beef. Cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until no traces of pink remain. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened. Now add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add the seasoned salt, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Stir to coat thoroughly and cook about 1 minute. Pour in the beer and deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping up the flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato sauce, kidney beans, and brown sugar. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chili thickens and the liquid reduces, 35 to 40 minutes. Stir occasionally and lower the heat if necessary to prevent the chili from scorching on the bottom of the pot.
Once the chili is to your liking thickness-wise, taste for seasoning and add a little salt if needed (it probably won’t be needed). Now comes the fun part – serving it! Carefully slit each bag of Frito’s with scissors. You can do this across the top, across one side, or lay the bag down and slit down the middle of the logo. Ladle some chili over the chips in the bag, then top with cheese, sour cream, pickled jalapenos, and scallions in the amounts you prefer. Serve immediately.