April is National Grilled Cheese Month, so we’re celebrating by posting a grilled cheese sandwich every day. This is No. 23. See all of our grilled cheese sandwiches >> here << .
When we were little and Mom bought those snack bag chips in the variety “pack” that is so big it’s basically a pallet…
…we all always went for those nuclear orange Cheetos first, then Doritos, then the flimsy crisp Lay’s potato chips. Even when there were no other chips left, no other snacks in the entire pantry, no edible food in the entire house, no one would ever touch the Fritos. The bags would just sit there prisoned by the plastic film all pushed to one side of the big box, because Fritos were, like orange skittles and Special Dark miniatures, the worst.
Oh wait, I do know.
Frito Pie happened.
Frito Pie as an adult happened.
I grew up with Frito Pie, a nachos-style Texas mess of Fritos, chili, cheese and carious other toppigs, spending almost all of my pre-middle school life in Texas. But the connection between Frito Pie and Fritos was never there for me, even though the word “Frito” is like, right there. I just ate Frito Pie in he cafeteria or whenever because the entire thing together was awesome.
Fritos by themselves, like I said, were not.
But suddenly the entire free world is having a nostalgia moment for a childhood in Texas that they never had (or maybe they did), and Frito Pie is on the table.
In the TasteSpotting HQ Kitchen.
In a grilled cheese sandwich.
Frito Pie Grilled Cheese Sandwich
makes 1 sandwich
2 tablespoons oil for cooking (I used grapeseed)
2 tablespoon butter, softened
2 slices sturdy bread, any kind, though if you can find Texas Toast, that is PERFECT
2 tablespoon sour cream (I didn’t use sour cream because I don’t know)
handful shredded cheddar cheese
basic beef chili (recipe here)
optional garnished: chopped onions, fresh cilantro, sliced scallions, jalapeños, tomatoes
Heat olive oil in a frying pan over low heat.
Spread the outside of both slices of bread with softened butter. If you’re using sour cream, spread the other side of each slice of bread, the “inside,” with a thin layer of sour cream. Place the bread buttered-side down in the oil in the pan. Top each slice of bread with shredded cheese. Cook until bread is toasted and cheese has melted.
Remove the grilled bread with cheese to a plate or cutting board. On one slice, arrange a handful of Fritos, pressing them gently into the melted cheese to anchor them. You might want to be choosy about the individual Fritos, picking out the chips that are too “curly.” They will make it harder to close the sandwich evenly.
Spoon Basic Beef Chili over the Fritos, about ¼ cup. Don’t get greedy. The chili is oily and heavy and if you put too much, it will “break” the sandwich.
Sprinkle any of the optional garnishes: chopped onions, fresh cilantro, sliced scallions, jalapeños, tomatoes.
“Close” the sandwich with the other slice of grilled bread with cheese. Press together firmly.
You might need fork-ual support for this one.