Hey, it’s Friday (oh, and thank you, Tracy!) which means we should celebrate. And by celebrate I mean Frito Pie. Oh, the memories of this dish! Growing up in Texas there wasn’t a concession stand without them, and I was always happy to indulge. These days I don’t eat too many of them, and maybe every 2 or 3 years I can’t handle it any longer and give in. This was one of those moments, and considering the love and time put into this version I was happy to make them disappear. Salt + Fritos + Chili + Cheese = the stuff happiness is made of. TGIF, y’all!
Hoosier Mama Frito Pie
Frito Crumb Crust Ingredients
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup cold water
3 oz corn chips, divided
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 ounce shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1, 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed well and drained
Fritocrumb crust shells
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and cored, diced small
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cored, diced small
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 poblano pepper, roasted and diced small
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (NOTE: Omit for a milder chili)
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 to 2 Tbsp chili powder (more or less to suit your taste)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp finely chopped fresh Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper (Note: Omit for a milder chili)
1, 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
8 ounces light ale or wheat beer
juice of two limes (more or less to taste)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
shredded sharp Cheddar cheese for topping
sour cream, for topping
finely snipped Mexican oregano and crushed corn chips as garnish
1. Make pie shells: Stir vinegar into water and set aside.
2. Places two ounces of chips in food processor and pulse until chips are crushed into small, uniform crumbs. (About 30 seconds.) This should make about 1/2 cup of crumbs.
3. Add flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and black pepper to the processor and pulse three more times to bring the ingredients together.
4. Add cubed butter and pulse more–just until sandy. About 20 or 30 seconds
5. Break up remaining 1 ounce of chips with fingers (or slightly crush with a rolling pin.) Add these chips and the shredded cheese to the food processor and pulse 3 times.
6. Add 1/4 cup of the vinegar water and pulse 2 or three more times. Open processor and squeeze a walnut-sized clump of the dough in your palm. If it’s still too crumbly and does not hold together, add more vinegar water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until the dough holds together when squeezed.
7. Preheat oven to 375.
8. Butter pie tins. Press crumbs up the sides and across the bottoms of the tin. Prick the crust bottoms all over with tines of a fork.
9. Bake shells 10 to 12 minutes or until the shells are crisp, but not browned. Remove from oven.
10. Make chili: Roast poblano pepper by placing it on a cookie sheet under the broiler for three minutes on each side. Place charred pepper in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside
11. In a heavy saute pan, melt butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until onion is translucent.
12. Add bell pepper and galic; reduce heat to medium. Cook for an addtional 5 minutes until garlic is fragrant, but not browned.
13. In a separate heavy skillet, brown the beef. Pour off fat. Set meat aside.
14. Add poblano, jalapeno (if using) chipotle peppers, chili powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper (if using) to the onion mixture. Stir to combine. Cook for three or four minutes, adding a few tsp of olive oil if the ingredients start to stick or dry out.
15. Stir in beef and crushed tomatoes. Add beans and beer. Heat to boiling. Cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add more ale if the pot dries out. Remove from heat and season to taste with lime juice, salt, and black pepper.
16. Preheat oven to 400. Spread cook sheet with parchment paper. Set pie tins on the parchment and fill each with chili. (You’ll have some chili left over to eat on the side.)
17. Top each pie with cheese; bake for 10 to 15 minutes until cheese is completely melted.
18. Garnish with sour cream, oregano and crushed corn chips. Serve immediately.
Makes Four, six-inch pies, OR two, 4-inch tarts plus one 8-inch pie
Recipe from Hoosier Mama Pie Company