Monday, October 5, 2009

My Favorite Chidhood Supper: Mexican Salad!

(Frito Pie)

Sometimes when a dish is so familiar, you assume that everyone has tried it at a Pot Luck supper or made it themselves,but since leaving Texas, I found that many people have never eaten good ol' Frito & Catalina Mexican salad. Like me, once they try it, they come back for seconds every time. There's something about that combo of sweet dressing, salty corn chips and fresh tomatoes and greens that is just... a winner.

I just had it for lunch... two bowls full!

Here's the basic recipe:

Mexican Salad

1 head iceberg or romaine lettuce, chopped
1 large tomato, diced
1 c. grated cheese
1 can Ranch Style beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups small sized Frito's brand corn chips

Toss with enough Catalina Dressing to coat ingredients.

Optional additions:

Green or red onions, chopped
black olives, drained
avocado, chopped
1/2 lb ground beef, seasoned & drained and cooled slightly

If you have leftover corn chips, another Texas favorite was Frito Pie. This was one of my mother's best "go-to" dinners, alongside a green salad, when she'd had a busy day and no time to cook. She used Wolf Brand canned chili, without beans. But you can use any kind you like.

Just coat square pyrex pan with Fritos, pour your favorite chili on top, add chopped onions if you like, sprinkle the top with cheese and bake just until cheese is melty. As a kid, I loved this with ketchup on top... but I may already be making my gourmet friends cringe as it is with this post:) '

If you have a big bunch of teens to feed at a outdoor party or sporting event, this is at great, warm, to-go dish for chilly autumn days or Fall Festival party. Just heat up the chili in a crockpot and when time to serve, put Frito's in bottom of disposable bowls, a scoop of chili on top, then let the kids put cheese, onions or jalapeno slices on top. (Or, my personal favorite, ketchup.:)

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