Fritos are a thick, crunchy corn chip made with corn flour and oil and salt. You know, your basic American junk food. Better than many. You can make the casserole without topping it with Fritos, but I have a feeling that is what made it really popular around here.
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 lb ground beef
1 1/2 t garlic salt
2 t paprika
1 t chili powder
1 ½ t cumin
1/8 t black pepper
1 20-oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 15-oz can kidney beans, with liquid
1 15-oz can whole sweet corn, drained
1 green sweet pepper, chopped
¼ cup black olives, sliced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ bag Fritos
Pre-cook brown rice. For prep work, you can also pre-chop the sweet pepper and olives, and pre-grate the cheese. Preheat oven 350 F.
In a large frying pan, brown the meat. Meanwhile, put the spices in a small bowl and blend them together. When the meat is browned, sprinkle the spices over it, stir around, and allow to fry for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and juice and stir it around to allow the spices to come off the pan and into the juice.
Place the rice in a 9x13 glass baking dish. Add the kidney beans with their liquid, corn, sweet pepper, and black olives. Mix. Transfer the warm meat mixture from the frying pan to the baking dish, and mix everything together. Sprinkle cheese over the top.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake 1 hour at 350 F. If necessary, the temperature can be reduced and the mixture can be left in a warm oven until serving time.
A few minutes before serving time, crunch up the Fritos by squeezing the bag with your hands. Remove the aluminum foil from the casserole, and sprinkle the Fritos evenly over the top. Bake another 5 or 10 minutes.
Let stand about 10 minutes before serving. If desired, serve with salsa.