Frito Pie

My southern friends know this little beaut from their moms, aunts and grandmas, from Baptist church lady potlucks, from friends’ house dinners. This, my Yankee friends, is Frito pie.

It is exactly as complicated as it sounds – chili on Fritos. Other accoutrements are optional. I made my own chili by browning some ground turkey with onions and garlic, added copious cumin, chili powder and paprika, then tossed in a can of chili beans (the kind that come in a tomato-based sauce). Layer a casserole (preferably the one your grandma purchased in the 70s with Green Stamps, then bequeathed to you upon her passing) with Fritos, then pour the chili over, add a little grated cheese, more Fritos, more cheese. Into a hot oven until the cheese melts. Total phone-in.

Since I wanted extra crunch (two kinds of crunch always being better than one), I spooned my Frito pie over some iceberg lettuce and topped it with sour cream and a julienne of radishes and those spicy carrots from the jar of jalapeƱos en escabeche. This way you’ve got the whole city mouse/country mouse thing, all in one bowl.

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