Oops.. I’m far away from home and find I don’t have the photo of Haile Selassie and me in my computer’s photo album, so I’ll just use the single photo of him above and describe the one I wanted to use. In the photo, I am standing next to Haile Selassie with one hand on his shoulder and the other one pressed against his chest. Below is the little vignette I wrote to go with the illustration with which I was going to introduce the recipe. Phew. I’ll run the photo when I get home. Someone remind me, please? In the meantime, I’ll team up his photo with one of Ramar’s Incredible Green Chile Enchiladas which, although it seems highly unlikely, do actually have a link to Haile Selassie. Intrigued? I’ll explain.
Spreading Fake News about Haile Selassie
When I was en route to Ethiopia the second time, this time flying back after a visit to my parents in the states, I stopped off in London to see my friend Deirdre, who’d been my roomie in Australia as well as my 5 month traveling companion between Australia and Ethiopia a few months before. While in London, we went to Madame Tussaud’s where she took a photo of me with Haile Selassie’s wax effigy. (photo unavailable but upcoming.)
A year and a half later when I moved back to the states, a reporter from the Cheyenne, Wyoming newspaper came to interview me about my adventures in the year leading up to and during the beginning of the revolution in Ethiopia. As she looked through my pictures to find one to go with the story, she picked up this photo and asked where it was taken. I told her Madame Tussaud’s and she asked if she could take it to run along with the story.
The next day, she called me back and said that her editor had requested that she once again ask where the picture of me with Haile Selassie had been taken. When I told her, she asked me just who this Madame Tussaud was and when I said that it was the name of a famous wax museum, she let out a long breath, “Oh, I thought it really was you and Haile Selassie.” When I asked if she hadn’t questioned why I’d have my arm around him and my hand on his chest, she said, ‘Yeah, that’s what we were wondering about.” And that’s how I avoided spreading fake news about Haile Selassie and me.
And this is the long way around explaining where I got this wonderful recipe. That reporter, Ramar Gorby, ended up becoming a good friend and it was she who first made this recipe and shared it with me.
To read recipe and see illustrations in a larger format,
Click on first photo and arrows.
12 scallions, cleaned and sliced into small slices, white and green parts both used. (You might not use them all, depending on your preference.)
1 lb. grated cheddar cheese.
2 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts with all fat removed.
cut up into bite-sized pieces.
Velvetize by cooking in chicken broth on top of stove. (Just the chicken. You’ll use the rest of the ingredients later.)
When pieces are white all through and tender, drain all liquid off in a collander.
Combine and heat in a saucepan on stove: 1/2 cup of sour cream, 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (if you wish, substitute cream of chicken soup for one of the cans) and one 7 oz. can of Ortega diced green chiles.
Deep fry each of the 12 flour tortillas, one at a time. When bottom side begins to get golden, flip over and fry other side. If they bubble up, press down with tongs.
We don’t want this to happen!
Remove with tongs and hold over pan to allow excess oil to drain back into pan.
Stand on end on paper towels to drain.
Cook remainder of tortillas, stacking all on end to drain.
If lower edges collect oil, pat between paper towels to remove excess oil.
Assemble tortillas, chicken, sauce, scallions, grated cheese, two long cake pans and one dishwasher.
Set dishwasher to work.
Put one tortilla on plate. Arrange chicken down the middle and top with sauce.
Sprinkle scallions over meat and sauce.
Top with grated cheddar.
Roll enchilada tightly and place seam down in cakepan. You may lightly grease it if you wish, but it is probably not necessary due to the oil still present in the tortillas.
Fill pan with enchiladas and if you wish, put a narrow stream of sauce down the middle of enchiladas and top with scallions, grated cheddar and black olives.
You can store covered in refrigerator and heat uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes to serve later.
Or, if you want to serve them immediately, place uncovered in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and enchiladas are golden.
Ramar’s Incredible Green Chile Enchiladas
*12 scallions, cleaned and sliced into small slices, white and green parts both used. (You might not use them all, depending on your preference.)
1 lb. medium or mild yellow cheddar, grated. (You probably won’t use it all.)
*2 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts with all fat removed. cut up into bite-sized pieces and velvetized in boiling chicken broth until totally white. Be sure pieces are totally white and tender.
*1 small can of diced black olives
Combine and heat in a saucepan on stove:
1/2 cup of sour cream
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (if you wish, substitute cream of chicken soup for one of the cans)
1 can of Ortega sliced green chilis
*12 flour tortillas, deep fried in hot vegetable oil. If bubbles form, push down with tongs. When one side begins to turn golden, flip over and fry other side. When they begin to turn golden, hold over fat with tongs to allow excess oil to drip off , then stand on end over several layers of paper towels to drain. Blot off excess oil that collects at bottom.
Lay one tortilla on plate, spread a line of chicken down the middle. Cover with a line of the sour cream, soup, chile mixture, then scallions and cheese. Roll and put seam down in a large cake pan. Repeat until all tortillas are rolled and lined up in pan. If you wish, drizzle a line of the sauce down the middle of the enchiladas and sprinkle cheese, green onions and sliced black olives on top of it. Put in uncovered in pan in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. If more time is needed before serving, turn oven down to 150 degrees.
May be made ahead and stored covered in refrigerator. To finish, preheat the oven to 350°F, uncover the enchiladas and place in the oven while still cold and bake until the cheese is melted and the centers are warm, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Leftovers are good warmed up individually in a skillet with a little oil, turning so all sides brown. I also like them cold.