Showing posts with label Fritos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fritos. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Frito Shepherd’s Pie and Super Bowl Boulevard from Cleo Coyle #glutenfree recipe

"Shockingly tasty…" That’s what Chef Anthony Bourdain called the famous Frito Pie, and Marc and I agree. Our version of this beloved pie makes a wonderful (gluten free) one-dish dinner that can be made fresh or with leftovers. And the best part…

It’s relatively healthy!

Yes, I said it. We make ours with lean ground meat and black beans and whip up our mashed potatoes with the skins on. The next day, we zap a leftover slice in the microwave for an instant taco salad.

What about those Fritos? Aren’t they junk food? 

Let’s take a look…
Click on the photo above to enlarge.

Fritos have exactly three ingredients: Corn, Corn Oil, and Salt. That’s it. No preservatives, no gluten, no MSG, and zero trans fat.

Compare that to your typical grocery store taco shell ingredient list and you’ll be shocked. It includes things like partially hydrogenated oils. And Doritos have a number of not-so-healthy ingredients, including MSG and preservatives.

Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries,
has a partner in crime writing:
her husband, Marc. Learn
about their books here.
As I mentioned above, for added health here you can make sure your taco meat is lean or use a mix of ground beef and ground turkey. You can include a generous portion of healthy black beans or another nutrition-packed legume and top it with healthy guacamole, jalapeno, and/or salsa (tomatoes, peppers, and onions).

May you eat with joy on Game Day (and in good health)! 

~ Cleo

Billionaire Blend is a
culinary murder mystery.
To see its Recipe Guide,
click here.
Cleo Coyle’s
Frito Shepherd’s Pie

Our readers may recognize this pie from our latest culinary mystery, Billionaire Blend. In the book, Detective Mike Quinn tells the story of solving a homicide with members of the NYPD Bomb Squad (historically known as the Italian Squad). 

When the case is done, members of the squad take Quinn to a pub for a night of Frito Shepherd’s Pies and Irish Car Bombs (the kind you drink). Well this is the very pie that Detective Quinn enjoyed.

The recipe is deceptively simple. Yes, you start with a basic Frito Pie and top it with a Shepherd’s Pie crust of mashed potatoes. But here’s the trick to keeping the flavors balanced and avoiding a big mouth full of potatoes. We make our mashed potato crust very thin and mix it with a secret ingredient—sour cream.

Sour cream is a classic topping for Mexican dishes, but it’s also fantastic with potatoes, so it adds the perfect flavor note to the recipe, and turns our Frito Pie into a delicious cross between a tasty taco and a pan of loaded potato skins.

So if you’re tired of pizza (or looking for a gluten-free indulgence), consider this wonderful one-dish dinner. It’s easy to make and tastes fantastic with an ice cold beer, which puts it smack on our game day menu for this weekend’s Super Bowl. (FYI - For suggestions on gluten-free beers, click here.)

~ Cleo

For the free PDF
of this recipe,
click here.
To download this recipe in a free PDF document you can print, save, or share, click here.


1-1/2 cups mashed potatoes
          (*see recipe at end or use leftovers)

1/2 cup sour cream

1-3/4 cups whole Fritos Corn Chips + 1/4 cup crushed Frito chips for garnish

1 to 1-1/2 pounds ground meat made into chili or taco meat filling

8 ounces Monterey Jack, Cheddar, or taco cheese mix, shredded

1 jalapeno pepper, cut into rings (optional)

Prep Step—Make your mash: Re-warm leftover mashed potatoes in a microwave or on stovetop. Whisk in sour cream. To make mashed potatoes from scratch, see the directions at the end of this recipe. Set finished mashed potatoes aside.

Build Pie with...

Layer 1—Fritos: Line the bottom of a 10-inch oven-proof skillet or cast iron pan (or casserole dish or deep dish pie pan) with a single layer of whole Fritos corn chips (about 1-3/4 cups).

Layer 2—Meat: Heat your chili or taco meat until it’s nice and hot, and then evenly spoon it over the layer of corn chips in the pan, covering the chips completely. 

Layer 3—Cheese: Sprinkle a little over half of the shredded cheese on top of the meat. 

Layer 4—Taters: Now dollop the warm mashed potatoes and sour cream from Prep Step over the meat and cheese. Use the back of the spoon to carefully smooth it into a thin, even layer. This is a thin layer so take your time and do it gently.

Layer 5—Garnish: Sprinkle the top of the pie with 
the rest of the shredded cheese and the final 1/4 cup of crushed Fritos corn chips.

Broil: Finish the pie for a few minutes under a preheated broiler. Watch for the cheese to melt and the potatoes to become lightly browned on their edges. This will take anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes, depending on your broiler. (Check often because broilers can burn things very easily!). Cut into slices and serve immediately. You can further garnish with jalapeno rings, salsa, guacamole, hot sauce, olives, or other favorite toppings you might use for tacos or nachos.

Leftovers: This pie reheats like a dream. A slice of it also makes a great instant taco salad. Warm up a slice in the microwave and break it up over a fresh bowl of lettuce. Throw on some slices of avocado and olives or a fresh dollop of guacamole, and you’re set for a quick, healthy lunch.

TO MAKE FRESH MASHED POTATOES: Start with 3 large (or 6 small) white potatoes, about 1-½ pounds. Wash and cut into thick slices, leaving skins on for better nutrition, and boil for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when fork tested. Drain well. Follow recipe as directed, mixing potatoes first with sour cream, and continuing.

Super Bowl Boulevard

While Marc and I will be watching the Super Bowl from the warmth of our Queens living room, we’re looking forward to bundling up and checking out the Super Bowl Boulevard. If you live in the NYC area or are visiting for the game, here’s the scoop.

New York is shutting down traffic on a 13-block stretch of Broadway that includes Times Square. This strip from 34th to 47th Streets will be converted into a massive fan zone complete with photo opportunities with the Lombardi Trophy, autograph sessions, live broadcast sets, and a Toboggan Run. (Which begs the question, with the polar vortex looming, do you really think they’ll have to manufacture snow?)
In celebration of the first “open-air, cold-weather Super Bowl,”
New York is inviting the public to enjoy this “wintry ride”—
a seven story slide that’s painted to look like the real thing.
Tickets can be purchased for the ride, which will be located
at 40th Street on “Super Bowl Boulevard” aka Broadway.
More info here.

To watch a fun two-minute video about building Super Bowl Boulevard, click here. You can also click here or  here (for the fan guide) to learn more about the location, events, and hours. And enjoy the game, everyone!
To get today's recipe in
a free PDF document,
click here.

Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

* * * 

Coffeehouse Mystery
Free Title Checklist
(with mini plot summaries)

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
13 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

* * * 

Haunted Bookshop
Free Title Checklist, 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 
The Haunted
Bookshop Mysteries

To learn more, click here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Walking Tacos

For years my family served Walking Tacos at parties. Whether it was a birthday bash during the grammar school years, a Halloween party during middle school, or a band get-together in high school, Walking Tacos have been among the most-requested foods at our house.

Portable, easy, delicious, and perfect for big crowds, this delightful treat has been a go-to recipe for me since I first learned about them from my sister-in-law years ago. They're called "Walking Tacos" because you walk around while you eat them.

I used to make these with ground beef but now that my youngest has adopted a vegetarian lifestyle, we've been Walking-Taco-less for a couple of years. Lately we've defaulted to serving our teenage guests cheese pizza, but that can get boring pretty quickly.

But wait! Hope is on the horizon! Morningstar Farms makes "Meal Starters" which are soy-based meat crumbles that act and taste a lot like ground beef. My daughter and I decided to see if this veggie-friendly item would work to bring back the Walking Tacos she used to love so much.

And guess what? It did. The taste was spot-on!

Now, before I provide the recipe, let me share a few tips with you. You can make this, exactly as described below, with either the veggie option, or with real ground beef. If you're making this for a crowd, you'll want to brown your ground beef on your stovetop, but then once it's seasoned, place it in a crockpot to keep nice and hot.

Also, if you're feeding a crowd (as we often do) you may want to buy the mini-chip bags in bulk. We get ours at Sam's Club -- usually 50 small bags at a time. (See, I really did mean a crowd!). Most kids eat two bags, but this makes great leftovers, so we always prepare extra and it never goes to waste.

Ready? Here goes:

Walking Tacos
(multiply as needed)

1 lb ground beef or veggie substitute
1 pkg taco seasoning (I use McCormick original)
+/- 6 small bags of chips (We like Cool Ranch Doritos, but this works well with regular Doritos and Fritos)
Chopped onion
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped lettuce
Shredded cheddar
Sour cream

Brown ground beef/heat beef substitute. Add Taco Seasoning and water as directed on package. Heat until beef/substitute is cooked through.

To Assemble:

Choose a bag of chips. Crush them (you may want to allow a little air to escape before you start sqeezing the bag. We've had a few bags explode with first-timers!)

Add a heaping spoonful of cooked and seasoned ground beef/substitute

Add shredded cheddar, and (as desired) chopped onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and sour cream.

Grab a fork and you're good to go! You eat right out of the bag as you mingle and chitchat.

One small word of warning. If you add a lot of ground beef to your bag, the bottom gets pretty hot. Just hold a napkin there (convenient for when you need to wipe your mouth!) and you're all set.

We're thrilled to know we can start serving these again here at the Hyzy house. My older two daughters won't have a problem with the meat version, but since they're not home that much these days, it looks like it's Morningstar Farms for us.

I hope you enjoy this. It's super easy and everyone who's ever tried it here, has gone on to serve it at their parties. It's genius!

On a personal note, although I'm super swamped with my current manuscript, I'm very much looking forward to Bouchercon. Just over a week from now--I can't believe it. I hope to see some of you there!

Julie Hyzy’s White House Chef Mystery series features State of the Onion, Hail to the Chef, and Eggsecutive Orders (coming in January). All from Berkley Prime Crime.

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