The doctor says Gloria has to have 5 little meals a day, but naughty Gloria didn’t want to eat even three. The solution? Culinary seduction. (Click on first photo to enlarge and see captions.)
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.
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.
Just discovered I’ve never actually put up the promised recipe for a Rootie Tootie Margarootie. Here it is, as requested by Calen Sariel:
Rootie Tootie Margarootie Recipe: I’m not sure about amounts as I do it by taste, but I’m making these for a party Sunday so I will measure:
1/2 Cup Tequila
1 to 2 Cups Diet Squirt (Make with one cup and if it tastes too strong, add another)
1/4 Cup Raspberry liqueur (Chambord or Antigua)
1 Cup Lo Cal Cranberry Juice
3 cups Ice
Mix in blender until slushy. You should make in batches as if you put more than this in blender at one time, the Squirt foams up and spills over. Taste and alter amounts to your taste.
Make more batches and store in freezer for an hour or so before serving so it is really slushy. Stir and serve. (In your freezer might only require 1/2 hour, depending on how cold you keep it.)
If you wish, mix sugar with a smaller amount of salt, rub lime around rim of glass and dip rim of glass into the sugar/salt solution. Carefully fill with the Rootie Tootie Margarootie which should have the consistency of a slushie.
If it isn’t delicious, start adding more of each ingredient until it tastes good to you, then send me your recipe! Adding more cranberry juice makes it sweeter and stronger tasting.
The thing about a midnight supper is that it’s gotta be good but it’s also gotta be fast. This means raiding the fridge to see what can be easily and quickly thrown together. Tonight it was a bowl of Mama Memorial Goulash and a Rootie Tootie Margarootie. As good as they are pretty. Lovely glass is courtesy of friend Patty who won a set along with a basket and bottle of tequila in a silent auction to benefit Operation Feed, a local charity that provides food, clothing and scholarships for about 500 people in our village.
If you want my slapdash recipes for the goulash and margarootie, you’ll have to beg. If I get 7 requests for them, I will comply. (A shameless bid for comments.)
Almost everything I know about how to cook came from one of four sources: my mother, my sister Patti, my Indonesian Cookbook, Pearl Buck’s Cookbook or my Australian friend Dierdre, who taught me how to make an authentic East Indian Curry. But the recipe that follows continues to be my favorite, and one of the easiest. It is my sister Patti’s recipe for shepherd’s pie, with a few alterations for my own taste. Patti, any contradictions may be noted in the comments section!
6 white or red potatoes
milk, butter, salt or garlic salt and pepper to taste.
2 lbs. hamburger
1 large chopped white onion
1 cup coarsely grated raw carrots
1 finely diced green pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
*Clean and cut up potatoes and boil until tender in lightly salted water. No need to peel potatoes.
*Brown hamburger, green pepper and onion in skillet, chopping up the hamburger into loose meat.
*Add grated carrots for the last 5 minutes or so.
*When meat is completely browned and green pepper is tender, stir in the soup and sour cream.
*When thoroughly mixed and all ingredients are hot, place in a large cake pan.
*Mash potatoes, adding butter and salt or garlic salt and pepper to taste.
*Spread potatoes over the meat mixture and place in 250-300 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1/2 hour or until ready to serve, covering with aluminum foil and lowering oven if more time is necessary before serving.
*If you wish, you can place daubs of butter and/or grated cheddar cheese over top of potatoes and sprinkle with paprika to garnish.
(Patti’s recipe did not include carrots, green pepper, garlic or cheese.)
All amounts are arbitrary. I never use set amounts, so I’m guessing–as is usual in most oft-repeated recipes. Vary the amount of ingredients to your taste. The pieces hold together a bit better if it is allowed to cool slightly before serving.
I always think of my sister when I serve this dish, and those two years when I was still in college and she moved back to a house just a few blocks from my dorm. I remember many home-cooked meals and that she made the best Vodka Collins that I’ve ever had. Hers was the only place I could drink in college without being carded! Ha. I thank her for all the comforts of family and home provided during those years and afterwards when I came back from Africa and she again gave me a home base for a year until I got settled on my own.
The Prompt: Food for the Soul and the Stomach–Tell us about your favorite meal, either to eat or to prepare. Does it just taste great, or does it have other associations?