Thursday, April 4, 2013

Not Quite Like Mom's

Did your mom make Chili Frito Pie for you when you were a kid?  It may be a Southern thing.  But my mom sure did make it for me...a lot.  And I loved it, except...well, she always put raw onions in there which I hated as a kid.  I would sit there and pick every single onion out before I would eat it.  Boy, how things have changed over the years.

Originally, Chili Frito Pie consisted of Fritos (duh), canned Wolf Brand Chili, and some cheese on top.  And, if you're like my mom, some chopped raw onions too.  But, if you've figured me out yet, I can't do things the way they were originally intended.  I don't buy things like chili in a can anymore.  It's okay if you do.  Don't be ashamed.  I just don't because I take a lot of pride and pleasure in making things homemade. Like I've said before, you do you, I'll do me.  A happy world this will be.

So, getting back on track, this isn't really chili" at all.  It's more like a taco meets ranch dressing mix meets enchilada awesomeness!  And, even though I took the time to make a homemade chili sauce to mix in, it really didn't take too long.  All this topped with some cheese, black olives, and my Jalapeno Ranch Sauce, it's a concoction worth dreaming about.  (I actually did dream about it.  Don't judge me.)

So, without further adieu, I give you Chili Frito Pie.

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
Olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
1/4 C jalapeno slices, chopped (reduce it or leave it out if you like)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet Ranch dip mix
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
A bag of Fritos (you won't need the whole them for snacking later)
2 C shredded cheese (like cheddar or pepper jack or monterrey jack)
Black olives for garnish
Jalapeno Ranch Sauce (under my Sauces & Relishes tab)

4 dried guajillo chilies, stems and seeds removed
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 T garlic powder
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
2 C beef stock

1/4 C vegetable oil
1/4 C flour

Make the chili sauce first.  Put the chilies in a small pot and cover with water.  Boil for about 10 minutes.  Remove the chilies from the water and discard the water. Blend the chilies, 1/4 C vegetable oil, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and beef stock in a blender.  Preheat a skillet to medium high heat.  Add in the additional 1/4 C vegetable oil and whisk in the flour.  When it's combined, pour in the blended chili mixture and whisk. Continue whisking and cooking until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat.

Preheat a large skillet to medium high heat.  Drizzle in some olive oil and cook the onion and jalapenos until tender.  Add in the ground beef and cook until it's browned.  Drain the grease off, if necessary.  Add in the garlic, taco seasoning, Ranch dip mix, and cream cheese.  Cook and stir until the cream cheese is melted and incorporated.  Remove from heat and stir in the chili sauce and cilantro until combined.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  in a 9 x 13 pan, layer the Fritos, meat sauce, and cheese.  Repeat until your pan is full, ending with cheese.  Top with the black olives.  Bake about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and browned.  Serve with some Jalapeno Ranch Sauce over the top.


  1. Tasty spicy concoction you've made there. I'll agree with you that does sound yummy. Gotta try it.

  2. Late to this party! This sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing.