Chili-Corn Chip "Pie"

Disclaimer:  this here is hungry people food, and is not meant to be the type of dish to impress your boss or the queen of England should they be coming to dinner.  However, if your dining companions are ravenous teenagers, today’s recipe is custom made for YOU!

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m cooking my way through the October issue of Cooking Light – and last night we had this chili-corn chip “pie” thingy.  I’m not sure why they called it a ‘pie’, it’s nothing like a pie at all…kinda weird.  What it’s supposed to be is a healthier version of a “walking taco” – which is (for those who are a long time removed from the grade school hot lunch program), a meaty chili mixture spooned inside a mini bag of Fritos, then topped with cheese and sour cream and smushed around and eaten out of the bag with a plastic sp’ork.  Doesn’t that sound absolutely scrumptious?!  There’s some high falutin’ cuisine at your neighborhood elementary school, I’ll tell you what.

Anyway, I served this in shallow soup bowls and set out a big tray of toppings:  diced roma tomatoes, sliced scallions and olives, sour cream, shredded cheese, and of course the FRITOS.  For five of us, I used nearly two pounds of ground sirloin, doubled the onion, tomato paste and spices, but used only one can of diced tomatoes.  I also used chicken broth instead of beef, because I had it on hand.  I was shooting for leftovers, but what you see in the picture is all that was left!

Have a great week.  :-)

Serves:  4 
Source:  Cooking Light Magazine, October 2011 issue.  p. 112, recipe by David Bonom and Julianna Grimes.

Cooking spray
1 lb. ground sirloin (**see note**)
1 1/4 c. chopped yellow onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground red pepper
1/8 t. kosher salt
1 T. tomato paste
1 c. beef broth
1/3 c. water
1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 hefty pinch of chopped cilantro (optional)

4 oz. Fritos
1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese (Sargento Shredded Cheeses are on sale this week, 9/21/11 to 9/27/11)
1/4 c. fat free sour cream
1/2 c. diagonally sliced scallion tops
1 can sliced black olives, drained (optional)
1 large roma tomato, diced (optional)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add beef to pan; saute 5 minmutes, stirring to crumble.  Remove beef and drain well.  Wipe pan clean with paper towels.  Add onion to pan; saute 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic; saute 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in beef, cumin, pepper, and salt.  Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Add broth, water, tomatoes with juices, and cilantro (if using); bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 15 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.

Place 1 ounce of chips(**)  in each of 4 bowls, and top each serving with about 2/3 cup beef mixture, 2 tablespoons cheese, 1 tablespoon sour cream, a sprinkle of scallions, tomatoes and olives (if desired).

**NOTES:  It’s worth noting that if you care more about saving cash and less about saving calories, SENDIK’S GROUND CHUCK is on sale every Wednesday for $1.49 a pound!  That’s a deal!!  :-)  And just a side note for anyone who IS counting calories, “one ounce of Fritos” is 32 FRITOS.  I know this because I personally weighed them out on my handy kitchen scale.  :-)  No need to thank me, I live for this stuff.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | September 21st, 2011