Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jumping From The Frying Pan

The temperature has been dropping all day here at the North Texas Pole and y'all know what that means doncha? It's time for the great Texas classic...Frito Chili Pie. I don't mean to brag...but...everything that goes into a chili pie is home grown and by that I mean born in Texas including the idea. For the unenlightened, I am here to be your guide into the back story of this culinary masterpiece!

There isn't a Texas cook worth their salt who doesn't have a secret chili ingredient...legends are made of 'em at cook-offs, but for true chili gotta get your hands on a can of Wolf Brand Chili. (Time for a little history lesson kiddos, so don't go to sleep...there might be a test later. Just kidding...I just like to hear myself talk!)

Wolf Brand was the brain child of one Mr. Lyman Davis who in 1895 was serving his concoction on the trail to hungry cowboys. Word spread and he began selling it from a cart in 1924 on the downtown streets of Corsicana. It was so popular, he had to relocate production to an ice rink to keep up with demand. His pet wolf, Kaiser Bill, was the inspiration for the name...and the rest, as they say, is Texas history. One more little tidbit...when oil was found on his property, he sold the recipe and business to two local gentlemen. Some folks just have a knack for steppin' in it...don't they?

~Neighbor, how long has it been since you had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili? Well that's too long!"

We can thank Daisy Doolin for Frito pie. Who is she you might ask? Well she just happened to be the mother of Elmer Davis of San Antonio who just happened to buy a recipe for fritos (Spanish for fried things) for...are you ready for this...$100! Armed with a ricer, he tweaked the recipe and voila...Fritos was born and a fortune was made! can bet that other family wasn't too happy with their ancestor. Let's all give a standing O to Mr. Davis for giving us the first snack food. While we're at it, let's hear it for Daisy for hocking her wedding ring to loan her son the money to buy the recipe and for coming up with the idea for Frito Chili Pie in her kitchen to help sell the chips! (Lessons over...let's get down to eating!)

Like I could use home made chili, but if you want to be an authentic it my way! It's easier and downright man pleasin'! I ain't woofin' ya. Why do you think it's served at so many sporting events...hello? Did I happen to mention this is Cat Daddy's ultimate catnip? One bagful and he's putty in your hands...two and you're on your own sister!

First you get one of those little individual bags of Fritos (you know...the ones that say "serves 2" on the side...just who are they feeding....mice?), open it from the "serves 2" side, dump in the chili, add shredded cheese (while I would love to say the cheese is from Texas too...I won't, but I can't help but wonder why it's called Longhorn! Maybe I need to check to see if a longhorn cow can be milked!) and top it all off with onions. You could add sliced peppers for a little heat and maybe just a dab of sour cream, but please don't spoil it by adding exotic touches or even lettuce! It is what it is...just plain eating fun and best of dirty bowls! The only thing that might enhance the flavor would be washing it down with an icy cold Dr Pepper and maybe cooling down your full tummy with a bowl of Blue Bell ice cream afterwards (another couple of Texas originals)!

Speaking of Texas originals, The Sweet Pea Bistro was just selected as 2010's "Best Salad" for their spinach salad AND Chef Jeff as "Best Looking...oops...I mean Best Chef" of the Upper East Side of Texas by County Line Magazine. How cool is this? I'm running with celebs! Right now Chef Jeff is cooking a unique take on hamburgers as an homage to Uncle Fletch, who came up with the idea for this sandwich back in the 1880's in...wait for it...Athens Texas. People...I cannot make this stuff up. Don't believe me...look it up at the McDonald's Hamburger University. You didn't think the Hamburgler came up with it did you?

All this bragging...I mean talk of food has made me hungry. Think I'll go and muncha, muncha, buncha Fritos!

Until later...Bon Appetit!


Kate said...

Deb what an interesting post!!! I loved hearing the gem of the story regarding the fritos. One day I hope to get out your way and meet you wonderful people. Love the way you write a story your a hoot!! love ya Happy Friday Darlin


Anonymous said...

Hi Miss Debbie! You have my mouth watering! I LOVE Fritos. I never buy them 'cause I eat the whole bag by myself - one sitting. They are so bad ( ina good way :)
I have to say I have never seen anyone open the Frito bag and put chili in it. I have missed out on so many things by my ancestors not settling in Texas.
I will be buying a can of chili ( but not Wolf Brand - try finding that in Oregon! ) and trying this heavenly treat.
Miss you

The Feathered Nest said...

Hey sweet Deb!!!!! omygoodness girl!! Now you've got me CRAVING frito pie! which is all of the same stuff, just dumped on top of one another in a casserole dish and topped with cheese....yummmmmmm.......AND I am SO very proud of sweet Chef Jeff!!! How cool is THAT? I just loved our lunch and shopping together ~ every time I look at my wonderful turtle shell, I think of YOU! hugs and love, Dawn

Debra@Common Ground said...

OK, now I'm seriously hungry!!! pour chili INTO the bag??? I'm game!!! Loved the history lesson, leave it to you Texans! YUM!

sissie said...

Hi Deb,
Thanks for this interesting background on Fritos! Who would have thunk it!

By the way you asked me what I thought about your commenter idea, and I say go for it! We will all wait patiently for your announcement.

Now, I'm hungry for fritos and chili....wonder why?


Laura said...

I made my weight in frito pies and nachos in
high school football concession stands for a gazillion years.

The deluxe version involved drizzling nacho cheese
(melted processed 'cheese food'-a great Texas
condiment) on top with jalapenos.

I knew we were separated at birth.


Lorene Halfmann said...

Deb--you are such a delightful story-teller! I just love to read your posts! And today I have to give you a big THANKS for the mention of BLUE BELL! Our son works in the engineering dept. there, and I appreciate you helping me "keep my grand kids in new shoes" by eating BLUE BELL! YUM-YUM!

Zita - Mlle Magpie said...

I'm getting hungry too.

Ruby Grace's said...

I am having some friends over this weekend and with the weather as cold as it is...I think you just convinced me on the menu (plus, not a lot of dishes to wash)! Thanks...I can't wait.

The Flying Bee said...

I love me some chili frito pie! Tommy even asked me to make some for him the other day! The second it gets cold around here it's either soup, chili or gumbo for supper! Great post!

Sue said...

As you know, my Mom was a home grown Texas gal. I grew up on her Texas recipes. Back then I ate meat, but decided about 20 years ago to give it up. I remember being pregnant with my first, and having dinner at my folks house. Her chili was SO hot and spicy, I thought I was going to give birth early! Great post, thanks!!

Take care, Sue

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

Girl, you are full of (not what you are thinking) a wealth of knowledge. I pass my chikipedia title on to you, it's well deserved!! Seriously, love this post and again you could be a great writer. Happy weekend, T


Love your post. Frito Pie is one of my all time favorite gourmet dishes. Got to go cuz I'm headed for the kitchen. I think I have a stash of Fritos in the cabinet. Munch ... Munch
aka Junk Palace

Margo said...

Guess, all good things come from Texas :)
Love your history less and your recipe, right from the bag!!!!
Yep Jeff is fun to look at :) I keep saying we need to do a blog post just about him.

See ya,

Vicki said...

We have not done this in ages. THanks for the reminder! Starving now and leaving for lunch.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the history. I would have never imagined one could do a whole post on chilli!

Malisa said...

Girl, that picture of the Frito Chili Pie is scrumdiddlyumpcious looking! Yum! Think they serve that at St. Luke's Hospital? I bet they is heart healthy, after all! :)Think I will go grab a couple for Lurch and me...might even grab one for his cardiologist!

Angie@vivalacottage said...

Remember the Frito Bandito? I still know all the words to that jingle... but I usually don't tell anyone!

Sue (Vintage Rescue) said...

My New York BF took me to Cowgirl Hall of Fame restaurant in New York City many years ago and we had this! It was AWESOME!

Prior said...

Make me think of Texas football! Lezlee

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

This is awesome! What a neat idea to use the small bags of corn chips. Really like your blog!

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Well girl,being from California I never even heard of this before...Great post my friend..Hugs and smiles Gloria

Pam @ Frippery said...

How did I miss this one? You know I love my local history, from ANYWHERE not just local to me. I must confess we call our Frito pies "walking Taco's and we "spoil them" with lettuce and sour cream. I will have to look up Wolf brand chili. Maybe I'll trade you for a can of Skyline!

Tarnished and Tattered said...

This is awesome! What a yummy history lesson. Your better than wikipedia! I've heard of drinking out of a bag, but not eating out of a bag. Lisa