Vegetarian Texas Frito Pie

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?

Why?

Shame spiral.

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.

Respectfully, M.

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

Comments

  1. 38

    says

    Recently talking with some colleagues and we surmised that “Frito Pies” have to be regional. Not anyone at our table from the northeast had any idea about this delicacy! I love your take on it!

  2. 35

    says

    Very funny! I once had an addiction to Chili Cheese Fritos and thought nothing of wolfing down a bag at work. Chili Cheese Frito breath is so not cute! This is a great recipe and Congratulations on Top 9.

  3. 33

    says

    Mmmmm, this looks so good! This is a great idea, it’s really creative. I love all the ingredients, they all work so well together! Lovely recipe :)

  4. 29

    says

    Haha you are too cute ! I ADORE this post…you are just too funny.

    This post is amazing….I cannot tell you how excited I was to see frito pie…do you know that some people don’t even know what frito pie IS?! FOR SHAME! This reminds me of when I was little and my family would always put fritos on their chili…yum!

    Have a good weekend! :-D

  5. 28

    says

    Cute post! I’m a Texan and I sure do miss a good Frito pie (I’ve never seen Fritos here in France where I live). I’ll have to bring a bag back with me the next time I’m in the U.S. and make your recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  6. 26

    says

    Amazing recipe and an even better post! Please, Please, PLEASE tell me you’re sending this to Fritos!

    It’s an awesome recipe, too! Nicely done!

  7. 24

    says

    I love this letter. You’ll have to fill us in if you ever get a response from Frito Lay heehee.

    I’ve never had Frito pie, but your Vegetarian Texas Frito Pie is going to end up on my table! :)

  8. 22

    says

    Let me just say, “thank you.” I am so freakin happy to see this recipe. Every time I see some ad on TV for a restaurant that’s got a frito filled taco or burrito, I die a little inside (and drool). They never have a vegetarian option! Now, I can finally get my mexican frito-infused kick! Looks delicious.

  9. 19

    Cucina49 says

    For me, it’s Doritos rather than Fritos–I can’t even keep them in the house! I love the tone of your post.

  10. 17

    says

    What a super idea!
    You’re completely right. Those Fritos are amazingly addictive. My excuse for buying them is for entertaining. Unfortunately (or fortunately for Fritos), we entertain quite often.

  11. 16

    says

    LOL!! Love this post and your love of fritos!! I’m a huge fan also, I had to ween myself off of them at some point in college, its a rare occassion when I go back. Bad news. But this pie and your whole post about the salty corn goodness that is fritos may have got me hooked all over again. Looks amazing!!

    • Meagan says

      Hi Alli! I’m actually not a vegetarian – I used to be, but after meeting my husband that kind of went out the window. A. is a SERIOUS carnivore. That said, I often find myself going through phases where I just don’t want to consume any type of meat and all that I’m craving are fresh veggies. So I bust out recipes like this pie – it’s just as satisfying as any cut of meat I could ever find. Have a fantastic weekend!! Hugs, Meagan

  12. 14

    Kimberly says

    Meagan, that was mean! The only thing stopping me from buying fritos every time I’m in a store is that I can’t stop eating them. Now you’ve buttered, seasoned, and garnished them with cheese? Stop it.

    • Meagan says

      I can’t stop. I won’t stop! But at least we’re in this Frito Problem thing together. We should have some tee shirts made.

  13. 13

    Lana says

    Meagan,
    I find myself looking forward to clicking on your blog to get a great recipe and a good laugh! I love your passion and your “make-me-feel-good-all-day” musings about your favorite foods and recipes!

    Your newest raving fan!!

    Lana

  14. 11

    says

    I thought I was the only one with this guilty little secret. I love the idea of using them as a crust. I’ll try anything to get the bag out of my hands and force other people to help me eat them. Your pie is on my to make list, thanks!

  15. 9

    says

    I’ve actually restricted buying Fritos to once a year for exactly the reasons you state in your letter. Except my husband would fight me for them. But this Frito pie looks tasty so I may need to sneak them into the house….

  16. 7

    says

    Ok so your pie isn’t going to help me with my recovery. Falling off the wagon…NOW. Fritos are a guilty pleasure I learned from my dad. As a kid I could always find a bag in the glove compartment of his car. They tasted better that way. Contraband.
    My comeuppance? My five year old son is seriously allergic to corn. So now we have a corn free household which is SO hard. Maybe it’s best he never eats one of these addictive little creatures.

  17. 3

    says

    I agree – Fritos are like crack. There has to be something added to them to make them so darn addictive. I swear a bag lasts about 5 minutes around me. Really? They are just a plain corn chip, how can they be so darn good!! I love the Frito crust here – what a great idea!

  18. 2

    says

    haha! ’tis true…something about that salty crunchiness that just leaves you no option but to have more. I love the flavors in this pie, it looks and sounds delicious. Corn chip crust? Over the top awesomeness.

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