Tag Archives: casserole

Frito Casserole

I’ve been hearing buzz about Frito Pie for years. As I jog my memory, I vaguely remember one of the Food Network’s many celeb-chef hosted shows featuring the kitschy dish. Since then, I’ve seen it on various menus including Honey’s Sit-n-Eat in Northern Liberties. Variations include a bed of Frito’s topped with ground beef, beans, salsa and cheese, like an inspired version of nachos. Some clever, and perhaps eco-friendly, folks simply utilize a single serving bag of Fritos as receptacle to eat in, pouring the toppings into it for an on-the-go treat. My mental image of the dish has always included an actual crust made with pulverized Fritos. Since I couldn’t find it anywhere else, I decided to make it in my test kitchen.

I bolstered my knowledge of cracker crusts with a little research and found a few savory options, as opposed to ever popular graham cracker base. Melted butter was called for as a binder to help the crumbs bind together so they may be pressed into a pie or tart pan. Pulsing Fritos in a food processor for a few minutes will leave you with oily granules, moist enough to come together under a little pressure. I felt ahead of the game as I placed my tart pan, neatly lined with a finely crushed Frito crust, into the 375 degree oven. Twenty minutes later my kitchen smelled like the Frito-Lay factory, and I was anxious to finish my dish with the meaty filling, so anxious that I disregarded the removable sides on my tart pan. Simply pushing the bottom up will give you the option of exposing the exterior of tart or filled pie; if you’re removing a delicate crust from the oven, though, it will only expose the vulnerability of your base and will leave you with an extra chore or two.

Though a good amount of Frito dust marred my oven, I was able to salvage most of it that was left on the bottom of my tart pan. I laughed off the misfortune the kitchen gods tried to dish out, took what was left of my grinded corn chips, and forged ahead. I may not have succeeded in my attempt to create an actual crust from Fritos, but looking on the bright side allowed me to create a recipe just as great as the one I envisioned. Read More…

Farmer’s Casserole

Growing up, it seemed that having French toast or scrambled eggs for dinner meant there were little groceries in the house and mom was just trying to use up what we had. The beauty about breakfast foods, though, is that they taste amazing any time of the day. Every now and then, a great big breakfast is even more satisfying for dinner than at eight in the morning.

Years ago, I made the following recipe for a family brunch, and since then it has become such a hit that I have memorized the steps and forgotten where it came from. Aside from the general label as a “breakfast” item, the other appealing characteristic is its casserole form. Combining ingredients and preparing them in one dish is not only an easy way to appreciate how delicious certain food can be when cooked together, it is convenient, as casseroles are usually served in the dish they are made in. This breakfast casserole not only makes enough to serve several people for a weekend brunch, but will also leave enough for leftovers at dinner. Read More…

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