Frito Pies: A Childhood Throwback

It was my birthday last week and to celebrate we invited some friends over for a celebratory feast.  I wanted to make something that was a fun throwback to my childhood, a little treat/present to myself that could be shared with friends. With adding another item to the birthday food smorgasbord, it had to be simple enough to be done ahead of time and not take too much effort to serve up to the guest upon arrival.  Simple, childhood, fun…Frito Pies!  Growing up in New Mexico, the Frito Pie is a well-known staple of high school sports concession stands everywhere.  Some will say that the Frito Pie is of Texan origin, made by the mother of the chips inventor, but I among others believe it was the creation of Teresa Hernandez at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Am I being biased? Yes. Yes I am. So I ventured to my local snack chip store, the bodega, and bought every last bag of single serving Frito’s.  On a side note, the look on a cashier’s face when you drop 27 bags of Frito’s on the counter is priceless.  I only thing I said was, “they’re not all for me”, and left it at that.  Onto the cooking! Continue reading

Recipe: Turning leftover ham into Asian style pork buns


Whenever I visit my parents, my mother aka Mamma Dukes, seems to take it upon herself to make sure that everyone is full, all the times, day and night.  Bless her heart and the fact that she’s a phenomenal cook makes the whole gesture impossible to deny.  So one night she decided to hit everyone in their culinary achilles heel and serve up a whole ham with all the fixins..  Let us all bow our heads in silence.  Pig has died, pork has risen and I will come again…for seconds.  The homily of ham. Halfway through my second helping, I am already thinking about having ham and eggs the next morning, delicious ham sandwiches for lunch and maybe more ham for dinner.  Skip to two days later.  So. Much. Ham.  Too much.   I needed to change things up.  So, while staring at the tower of Tupperware, I started looking around the rest of the fridge, away from the leftovers.  There were radishes, a bushel of cilantro, ginger, chili paste and some Asian sauces and it hit me.  Pork Buns!  It would change up the the flavor profile thats been lingering for the last few days and we finish off the ham, per the Dukes request.  Two birds, one stone.  Asian style pork buns are one of my all time food favorites and this is a simple way to transform the leftovers into something unique and delicious.  Keep this recipe in the back pocket for when Easter rolls around. Continue reading