The Five and Dime General Store, on the Plaza in Santa Fe, is the only place we know that still serves Fritos pie in a Fritos bag. You'll find this inspired mix of chips, chili, and cheese throughout the Southwest, and legend says that it was invented on the Plaza, when this place used to be the old Woolworth's. You don't want to use a sophisticated or overly hot chili in this dish. It is lunch-counter fare, and should be accessible to all taste buds.
Recipe Source: Five and Dime
Preparation Time: 15
Cook Time: 30
Red chili for Fritos pie:
2 slices bacon, cut into one inch pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound ground chuck
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seed
1/3 cup tomato paste
1-1/2 cups water (approximately)
1 cup cooked pinto beans
To assemble the pie, you will need:
4 5 cups Fritos chips (the better part of an 11 ounce bag)
2 cups shredded orange cheese (Monterrey Jack preferred)
diced jalapeño peppers
- In a large frying pan, sautee the bacon until the fat is rendered. Add garlic and onion and cook until the onion softens. Add the beef and cook until the hamburger is browned, stirring frequently so it doesn't clump.
Add salt, chili powder, and cumin seed, then tomato paste and enough water to give the chili a loose but not soupy consistency. Cook 15 minutes. Stir in the beans and simmer until the beans are warmed through.
In each of four wide, shallow bowls, arrange a broad bed of Fritos chips. Ladle one-quarter of the hot chili onto each bed, then sprinkle the cheese onto the chili. Garnish with chopped onions and jalapeno peppers if desired.