The first time I ever had these Mexican Haystacks, I was on a date with a guy in high school. He had invited me to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and before we went to the concert, we had dinner at his house. His mom had prepared all of the ingredients for these haystacks, and each of us assembled our own so that we could choose the ingredients we wanted. I thought it was a fun idea, and I later asked his mother for the recipe. The haystacks are similar to tostadas that are served in Mexican restaurants except that Fritos corn chips are used in place of the fried tortilla.
I like the combination of the Fritos with the meat and all of the fresh ingredients.
Recipe Courtesy of Ginny Stevenson/Adapted by Winner Dinners
1 pound lean ground beef
1 1-ounce package taco seasoning mix
1 16-ounce can refried beans
1 14-ounce bag Fritos (there will be leftovers)
grated cheddar cheese
grated Monterey jack cheese
sliced grape tomatoes
sliced green onions
1 2.2-ounce can sliced olives
1 8-ounce package sour cream
guacamole (store-bought or homemade)
fresh salsa (store-bought or homemade)
Prepare all of the cheeses, vegetables, and toppings as directed. I like to place each item in its own small bowl. Place these ingredients back in the refrigerator while you prepare the beef and beans. Place the ground beef, taco seasoning mix, and the amount of water indicated on the seasoning package into a skillet and cook them all together (rather than browning the beef first) until the meat is cooked and tender and most of the water has evaporated. While the beef is cooking, place the refried beans in a microwave-safe bowl and heat through. I usually have each person assemble their own haystack so that they can take as little or as many of the ingredients as they want. Start by placing a thin layer of refried beans on a plate and then sprinkle some Fritos over the beans. After that, you can place the remaining ingredients in whatever order you want, but I usually add them in this order: beef, lettuce, cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses, tomatoes, olives, green onions, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa.