Football season is just getting underway, but our excitement — and appetites — are growing quickly! The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to face the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. To help get us ready for the game, cookbook author Rick Martinez is joining us for this week's installment of TODAY Food Loves Football. He's cooking up three Tex-Mex favorites that are guaranteed to win over hungry football fans: Frito pie with saucy chicken al pastor and pineapple salsa, chile con queso with taco meat, and corn fritters made with esquites.
Frito pie is a classic American dish and even served for school lunches in Texas until the mid 1980s. Traditionally it is made with chili, often from a can, shredded cheddar cheese, Fritos in a small bag, pickled jalapeño slices and chopped raw onion. In this version, we are making a quick and easy al pastor salsa common in taquerias across Mexico. Normally, this salsa would be used to marinade pork, put on a vertical spit called a “trompo” and roasted and cut to order to make tacos with pineapple and onions. Here, we are using the salsa to flavor shredded rotisserie chicken and building our individual Frito pies which get finished with a pinapple pico de gallo and crumbled queso fresco.
The signature dish at Matt's El Rancho in Austin, Texas, named after former Texas land commissioner Bob Armstrong, who one day asked them to make him "something different."What resulted was a now-legendary layered dip of taco meat, queso, guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo. Important: Don't used aged or extra-sharp cheddar, which is drier and doesn't melt smoothly.
This recipe is a mashup of two amazingly delicious snacks: esquites (or Mexican street corn) and hushpuppies. Esquites are common throughout Mexico and can be made using a number of different flavorings like tomatillos, shrimp, chorizo, dried chiles and mole. The most basic version is fresh corn sauteed in oil, butter or lard and cooked with onion, garlic, fresh and dried chiles and topped with chopped herbs, crema and queso. In this recipe, we take the traditional preparation for esquites and fold them into a cornmeal batter and fry them up like a Southern hushpuppy and serve them with a salsa blanca, a white salsa made with crema and mayonnaise.
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