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Frito Pie: Es la comida de mi gente

I’ve been wanting to do a Come and Eat post, and finally got off my ass.

I’m extremely white, but was born and raised in New Mexico. One of the foods of my homeland is the noble frito pie. In its canonical form, frito pie involves opening one of those mini bags of fritos, pouring in some chile, and topping with cheese and chopped iceberg lettuce. In its canonical form, it’s utterly disgusting. The chile is of the lowest possible quality, with lumps of gristly ground beef. The meal is 95% salt. But…the soul of frito pie is a beautiful, glorious thing. A thing that takes very little time to make, is fairly nutritious, and…fucking rocks. This weekend we did the monthly top-to-bottom housecleaning and therefore earned the right to eat frito pie.

So here’s how it works. Step 1: Make chile. You know, however you like it. Here’s what goes into mine (it’s vegetarian). In that little round jar is my special supply of New Mexican red chile powder. Your frito pie will never be as good as my frito pie because you don’t have this special supply of red chile powder, but that’s okay. Just limp sadly along with your inferior chile.

Step 2: Assemble. Fritos on the bottom, chile on top, cheese, sour cream, taco sauce, whatever. To make it extra hippytastic, I topped it with some tiny greens from the garden. Frito Pie with Micro Arugula…I can just see it on some fancy-ass menu…In my house we also like to honor the frito pie by selecting the most amusingly shaped frito we can find and using it as garnish. Nom.

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. this sounds quite yummy :o) the one thing i've never quite been able to perfect (or come anywhere close for that matter) is chili. now i know why – i don't have your mysterious chile powder!!

    May 10, 2010
  2. OMG, my hubs will want to get his hands on your special red chile powder. He goes craaaaazy for chile powders…ordering them from all over the place, seeking out spice stores, etc. 🙂 This sounds delish! I love your curly frito garnish!

    May 10, 2010
  3. look at your hippie frito pie, what with the GREENS on top. it is like the moosewood frito pie, all nodding to health and everything.and i want to EAT IT.(also, i just put up a new Come and Eat post — would you add this link to that list, so i feel loved and so more folks see this post?

    May 10, 2010
  4. Oh…me gusta!! Me really gusta! I'm thinking I have to try this. Maybe with a chili pepper sliced in.

    May 10, 2010
  5. My husband and I love eating frito pie every once in a while. It's good stuff. We don't do the greens…we have chopped tomato!

    May 10, 2010
  6. JB #

    It is magnificent. Muy bueno.

    May 10, 2010
  7. Fantastico! I am now going to google your powder. I highly suspect it's one that I read about a while back in a crazy food magazine. Do you use fritos or do you fancy that up as well? Chimayo?

    May 10, 2010
  8. Nom. This would be a huge winner with my husband. He would also love to get his hands on some of your special red chile powder.

    May 10, 2010
  9. S #

    Hello from a fellow New Mexican!Truth be told, I've never thought much of frito pie (though my sister loves it). . . but this is likely because I've mainly had the one at Sonic. You have given me a reason to think differently about this dish!

    May 10, 2010
  10. That looks really good! I do something kind of similar when I make tacos– I just crumble up the taco shell and make a sort of salad. I didn't realize it was actually a frito pie!

    May 10, 2010
  11. Yum. I LOVE that you made frito pie look classy. There's a dive bar that serves frito pie (the original version) that I've ordered more times than I care to admit!

    May 10, 2010
  12. Oh man, I used to be seriously addicted to fritos. Like ate a bag every other night with some delicious onion dip…yum! I so wish I could eat corn…or gluten right now, 'cuz you just made me crave some frito pie. And yes, I agree, NM chiles are the best!

    May 10, 2010
  13. JC #

    That looks delicious! Unfortunately the only frito pie I've had is the kind my hubby makes with canned chili and cheese and sour cream. Nasty. But yours looks yummmmy!

    May 11, 2010
  14. Nice!!! And I like your tiles, too. 🙂

    May 11, 2010

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