Best Use of Junk Food in a Recipe

Frito Pie at Smokey J's Q House

Sure, this award sounds more like a wacky Top Chef challenge than a legitimate category of cuisine, but the Frito pie actually has a decades-long history, with roots in the American Southwest. It’s basically a casserole made with Fritos (or other corn chips), chili, cheddar cheese, sour cream, jalapeños, green onions, and Chef Josh Kemper’s excellent house-made barbecue sauce — think the best plate of nachos you’ve ever had, countless degrees of order better than what you were ever able to jury-rig using your dorm-room microwave. For an extra $2 charge (bringing the total to a still-reasonable $8.99), Smokey J’s ups the ante and adds your choice of slow-smoked meats to the mix. We like our Frito pie best with pulled pork, but the pulled chicken and — if you’re feeling especially decadent — the fatty, crisp-edged brisket would also be excellent additions.

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