An Open Letter To The Makers Of Fritos
Dear M/M Frito,
Please stop making Frito chips so addictive. Please. I’m asking you nicely.
You’ve clearly put some time into making and marketing your product. And that’s just fine. But now I’m in need of some assistance and support, and you’re in a position to help.
Allow me to hit you with some knowledge.
Imagine sitting down with a bag of Fritos to a reality TV marathon (I’m seeking assistance elsewhere for my new X Factor addiction). Innocent enough.
You’ll just have a few of those chips, right?
You would never supplement that first bag of Fritos with a second bag of Fritos. No sir. No way.
So why are you waking up from your sweet dreams of Simon & Paula banter with a Frito mustache? And why is your head delicately cushioned by a pillow fashioned from Frito bags?
And what would you say if you were attending a very grown up cocktail party with A., discussing very grown up topics, wearing very grown up clothes, and feasting on very grown up finger food.
The subject of spousal gift giving comes up. And A. happens to mention, in front of a crowd of very grown up people, that he has never needed to purchase any perfume for his lovely wife, because she already has her own -wait for it- Eau de Frito.
Oh yes he did.
Does your household have a Frito budget?
Do you use your Scoops style of Fritos to simply scoop up more Fritos?
Have you memorized the content of the entire back panel of a Fritos bag?
Do you dream in shades of Frito gold?
Is that the Dignity Police in my rearview? Yes, ma’am. And I’m about to get cited.
So, as you can see, there’s a need here. A very serious need.
I need you to either make Fritos less about salty, corny, crunchy, golden goodness, or simply take pity on me and send some Fritos now.
Because I just used up my last bag making this vegetarian Texas Frito Pie. And there’s only so long a 9″ pie can hold me, no matter how delicious it is.
So these are the facts. Simply the facts.
I’m a huge fan of your work. But I think that’s the point – maybe I’m just a little too much of a fan.
I’ll do my best to tone it down.
And now I’m off to eat a pie and stop by the store for more Fritos.
Texas Frito Pie
For the crust:
4 c. Frito chips
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
8 Roma tomatoes
4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 tsp. sea salt, finely ground
1 leek, stemmed and finely chopped
1 c. yellow summer squash, roughly chopped
8 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1- 15 oz. can pinto beans
1 1/2 tsp. chipotle chile, ground
1 tsp. coriander, ground
1/2 tsp. cumin, ground
1/2 tsp. black pepper, ground
1/2 c. queso fresco, grated (you can substitute any creamy melting cheese)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Begin by slicing the tomatoes and placing them on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for approximately 50 minutes or until the tomatoes are dried out and slightly browned at the edges. Remove finished tomatoes and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process to the consistency of a chunky sauce. Remove tomato sauce to a large bowl, stir in the chipotle powder, cumin, coriander and black pepper. Set aside.
Prepare the crust by placing the Fritos in the bowl of your food processor (you’ll want to clean it if you use it to process the tomatoes first). Process to a coarse meal and transfer to a small bowl (you may need to pick out any remaining large pieces of chip). Stir in the melted butter. Press the Frito mixture, which should be the consistency of coarse, wet sand, firmly into the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9″ pie plate. Bake the crust for 30 minutes (because you are not working with pastry, there is no need to blind bake this crust; you’re simply toasting the corn chip meal and firming the crust). Remove the baked crust from the oven and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté the chopped squash for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the chopped leek and sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a final 2 minutes. Remove cooked vegetables from heat and, once cooled slightly, stir into the tomato mixture. Finally, stir the beans into the mixture. Spoon the filling over the crust and finish by sprinkling the top with the grated cheese. Bake the pie for 25 minutes. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, and reheat just before serving.
Serving Notes: You can slice and serve this pie with a pie server, but the crust will ultimately likely crumble when it hits the plate. Don’t panic! You can simply plate this as you would a dessert crumble or savory gratin. The chip crust does not get soggy and the end result is simply one of the most delicious things that I have ever tasted – trust me!
YIELD: approximately 4 servings