A Healthier Version of "Frito Pie"
For this week's Wild Wednesday, we're stepping back from wild game and muscadines and taking a journey to the Wild West instead - New Mexico, that is. Between Albuquerque-based "Breaking Bad" ending its five-season run, and Santa Fe's beloved "Frito Pie" getting stomped on by food critic Anthony Bourdain - September 29th was a big day for New Mexico on TV. "Bizarre Foods" recently visited our hometown here in Alabama, and about the worst thing you could say about the episode was that there was an awful, awful lot of pig blood.
Bourdain is receiving a lot of backlash for his most recent episode of CNN's "Parts Unknown," which featured New Mexican cuisine and aired on Sunday, September 29th. In the episode, Bourdain visits the snack bar at the Five & Dime General Store in the heart of Santa Fe's famous Plaza. The snack bar's signature dish, "Frito Pie," consists of ladling chili into an opened bag of Frito corn chips, then topping with cheese. Bourdain claims that the "pie" is made with canned Hormel chili (it isn't - the homemade chili takes an hour and a half to prepare) and "day-glo orange cheese-like substance." He then goes a step further and likens it to holding "warm crap in a bag" and says eating something like a Frito pie causes self-loathing akin to "binge tequila drinking in a strip club." Not surprisingly, he's received some flack for his comments, and admitted that he got the bit about Hormel chili wrong.
If you'd like to see what all the buzz is about - without Bourdain's self-loathing - check out our 5-star rated Chili-Corn Chip Pie recipe, originally published in Cooking Light. The recipe's homemade chili (no Hormel for us either) cuts down on sodium, and you can substitute extra-lean ground beef to cut down on the fat and calories without losing any flavor. Yum.