Not sure that I would classify Frito Pie as real cooking --- but my mother made it frequently when we were kids in Texas. Hadn't made it in years until one time on a girls' trip we were trading stories about family recipes, e.g., jello molds for every holiday, and my friends hadn't ever heard of Frito Pie!
When we returned, we organized a party where we brought of our family "traditions." Frito Pie was actually a hit, so Tom and I started making it for an annual Super Bowl party we attend. Again, it disappeared in a flash.
This year I was away, but Tom kept up the tradition --- adding his own twist, as usual. He was a good sport and took photos for the blog, too. Thanks, T!
Tom's Version of Mom's Frito Pie
1 large bag of Fritos (original style Fritos work best)
2 or 3 cans Austex chili with beans (Tom used 3 cans Hormel Hot Chili with beans)
chopped onions (Tom used 2 sweet Mayan onions)
shredded cheddar cheese (Tom used 2 8 oz. bags shredded cheddar & Mexican cheese)
Place one layer of Fritos in a 9x13 glass dish. Spread 1/2 chili over top of Fritos. Put chopped onions and cheese over chili. Spread another layer of Fritos on top. Spread rest of chili. Then another layer of onions and cheese. Place more Fritos on top. Sprinkle with more cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and the rest is bubbly.
Mom's note says "Ted used to love this!"
Tom's additions are jalapenos from a jar, cut-up and sliced on top, a sprinkle of cumin powder, and a sprinkle of chili powder during assembly.