First, let me say that chili for Frito Pie doesn't come from a can. It comes from honest-to-goodness stove top cooked chili using the finest of ingredients. Fresh pinto beans from my family's bean farm in Southern Colorado and from the best chile in the world from Hatch, New Mexico. We like it hot and spicy, but it can be toned down to your taste. There IS a difference between store-bought beans and fresh. Beans sold in bags at the store can be 4-5 and more years old (NOT the same). Think about ordering fresh beans and using fresh or frozen red chile from Hatch, N.M.
1Grease your baking dish...I know it sounds silly, but it makes a nice crust on your pie.
2Bottom is a light layer of crushed corn chips.
3Spoon on a layer of left over chili.
4Top with more chips (thicker this time).
5Top the chips with the rest of the chili.
6Cover that with the rest of the crushed chips and then another 2 cups of cheese.
7Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until cheese is melted and the whole concoction is bubbling.
8**Making Chili: Sometimes I use beef or moose chunks, most of the time it is ground meat. I ALWAYS include beans, tomatoes, cumin, garlic, onions, red chile puree (Hatch), red chili flakes, and I thicken it with tapioca just like my mom taught me to do. Don't salt the beans before you add to the chili.