ROBB WALSH SCHOOLED ME in the ways of Frito pie. This recipe, inspired by one in his The Tex-Mex Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos, recalls the Frito pie we ate one afternoon at Refresqueria Rio Verde. While we ate, Robb traced the history of the Frito pie back to Daisy Dean Doolin. She was the mother of C. E. “Elmer” Doolin, the man from Texas who introduced America to Fritos in 1932.
MAKES 1 FRITO PIE
1 single-serving bag (2 ounces) original flavor Fritos
½ cup chile con queso, or ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup Rio Verde Chili con Carne (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon chopped onion
5 pickled jalapeño slices, chopped
Cut open the bag of Fritos lengthwise down the side. Ladle in the cheese, then the chili. Top with the onion and jalapeño slices. Dig the good stuff out of the bag with a plastic spoon, occasionally wiping your hands on your jeans.
LAST SEEN 8315 Long Point Road, Houston, Texas
REFRESQUERIA RIO VERDE
PICTURE A COUNTY FAIR TRAILER, the kind that peddles kettle-popped corn and lemonade to middle America. Now move that county fair from the middle of America to the middle of Mexico. That’s the vibe at Victoria Galven’s Long Point Road snack truck.
She sells raspas, which are the Mexican equivalent of snow cones. And baked potatoes accessorized with taco truck garnishes. And Frito pies, a dish of Tex-Mex parentage now being adopted by Mexican-born vendors like Victoria.