This Frito Pie Mac n Cheese is an easy homemade dinner recipe that even the kids will love. Frito pie is a popular Southern and Southwestern dish made of Chili, cheese and crusted corn chips. It is commonly served in an individual sized bag of Fritos with the Chili and cheese poured right on top.
Today's very special guest is Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen. Susan cooks in a tiny kitchen but it's also really gorgeous and decked out in one of my fave colours in the world. I am also completely in love with her dog and think it's adorable that her blog design has her pug in it with her. To me that just speaks volumes about what an absolute sweetheart Susan really is.
She has an impressive collection of Le Creuset that I am seriously envious of. Susan is a really talented cook and I love doing Sunday Supper with her. She's extremely advanced and tackles some impressive dishes even I have yet to try. You can check out her Bouillabaise a la Marseillaise, Smoked Baby Back Ribs, Cherry Lime Rickey Sorbet, Dark and Stormy Ice Cream Cupcakes and Homemade Nutella to name just a few. Everything she makes looks amazingly delish and I just want to reach into the screen and snag it all. Like this dish she whipped up. I mean a gal who puts fritos in a main dish is a lady after my own heart people. I love her to bits for this wickedly cool recipe. Please welcome Susan to the blog!
Hi! I'm Susan from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen and I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am to be guest posting today here for Kim at Cravings of a Lunatic.
Kim is so amazingly talented, and it is an honor to be here today while she drives cross-country. How can you not love a woman who makes Red Velvet Ice Cream Cupcakes, Taco Pretzels, and Deep Fried Pizza!!
Did I mention yet that she's Canadian? Awesome things come from Canada, like hockey, Degrassi (no shame in admitting that I like that show), all the awesome Sci-Fi shows are filmed there and that's where they find their actors, POUTINE, and Kraft Dinner.
Yeah, I went there. Kraft Dinner, the Canadian version of Kraft mac and cheese. Was it any better than the American stuff? No? However, I just like saying the name, makes it fancy.
So why am I bringing up Kraft Dinner? Because I'm making mac and cheese and because sometimes I get cravings too, and that craving happens to be often or not, Frito Pie. Then one day a few weeks ago, I had a genius idea, how amazing would it be if I put Frito pie and mac and cheese together?
Chili con carne + spicy gooey cheese sauce + elbow macaroni topped with crushed fritos = pure genius!
Frito Pie Mac and Cheese
For the Chili
For the bechamel sauce
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp mustard powder
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 4 cups whole milk
- 8 oz extra sharp cheddar grated
- 6 oz pepper jack grated
- 12 oz elbow macaroni
- 1 bag Fritos original corn chips
For the Chili:
- In a deep set saute pan, brown the meat over medium heat with a little bit of olive oil and drain any excess grease. Add the onions and saute 5-6 minutes until soft. Add the minced garlic, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and peppers. Cook for another 30 seconds, and then mix in the stock and tomatoes.
- Stir to combine and cook on a low boil, uncovered for 20 minutes until thick and most of the liquid has been cook out.
- While cooking the chili, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
For the bechamel sauce:
- In a medium pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Once almost completely melted whisk in the flour and mustard powder. Cook for a minute to get the raw flour taste out and then slowly whisk in half of the milk.
- Cook, while constantly whisking for one minute to get any lumps out, then slowly whisk in the remaining milk.
- Whisking every 30 seconds or so, cook the bechamel for 7-10 minutes until it is thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon. If your milk starts to boil, lower your heat. You do not want to break the sauce. The best test for thickness, is to run your finger against the back of the spoon, if the line you made stays, the sauce is ready.
- Turn off the heat, and whisk in the cheese a little at a time. Whisk in more, once the previous batch is completely melted.
- As soon as all the cheese is melted into the bechamel, stir in the macaroni.
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
- In a 9X13 baking dish, pour in your mac and cheese and spread evenly with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Next layer the chili on top, smoothing the surface, so it is even throughout.
- Finally, cover with crushed Fritos and bake for 15 minutes to set.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Thank you so much to Susan for bring us such a wonderful dish today. I have to try this Frito Pie Mac n Cheese for my hubs. I'm also going to leave the recipe with B-Dude since this is right up his alley. You might think I'm a bad Canuck when you learn I hate poutine. I know right. They may run me out of the country immediately for that one. Susan I cannot thank you enough for coming to entertain my readers in my absence. You are amazingly talented and so incredibly kind. I appreciate you taking the time to do this for me so very much.
Make sure you stop by Susan's blog, The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen and follow her immediately. You will not want to miss out on any of her yummy dishes. How can you not dig a gal who can turn fritos into such a cool and tasty meal, I am in awe. Make sure you follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook as well. Us bloggers like a good stalking so make sure you stalk Susan everywhere. You will love her blog, her attitude and her cooking as much as I do.
As for me if all is going well, and let's hope that it is, we should be firmly planted in Alberta today. Setting up shop at our hotel, checking out the area and getting some prep done. B-Dude needs a ton of stuff so a few shopping excursions are in order. We'll be tooling around Walmart, Ikea and quite likely some second-hand shops trying to get him set up and comfortable. I'm thinking laundry might be order today too. 3 days in the car probably has us all cranky, sore and smelly. Keeping it real folks, keeping it real.
Toodles and smoochies! xx