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Frito Pie ... Where have you been all my life?

I grew up in the Midwest and swear I ate a casserole 5 out of 7 nights of the week.

Exceptions included when Dad fired up the Weber, Popcorn Night (an event punctuated by watching Love Boat and Fantasy Island) and Night Breakfast, when we'd eat (you guessed it) breakfast for dinner.

I was fairly certain I'd eaten every casserole known to man until I stumbled across a recipe for Frito Pie online.

I was intrigued, to say the least.

Frito Pie essentially is a beefy, chili-like mixture piled on top of Frito corn chips and topped with lots of cheese and more Fritos. So, on a recent cold, gray spring day decided to give it a whirl.

Um, wow.

Frito Pie pro tip: Serve with chili-friendly fixings: Shredded lettuce, sour cream, jalapenos, diced onion, mild salsa, guacamole. Make it your own.

One bite and I was smitten. It's not fancy or elegant. You wouldn't serve it when trying to impress company. Rather, it's classic comfort food at its best. Unapologetically simple. Undeniably tasty.

I researched Frito Pie and learned of its origins in the south. It gained popularity on concession stand menus where it's often served ladled into a bag of corn chips with cheese, chopped onion and other chili-friendly fixings. It's something akin to a Walking Taco, which features taco meat spooned into a bag of Doritos and topped with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. But Frito Pie is less flashy, without the artificial, bright orange nacho cheese coating.

As I crunched and munched my first batch of Frito Pie, I knew it'd make a wonderful addition to Cream City Casseroles' menu and I'm delighted to offer it as part of our May lineup.

So, Milwaukee, here it is: Frito Pie. In all it's salty, cheesy glory. Yours for a limited time.


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