Category: Eating

El Az Chicken Enchiladas!

EatingHeart AttacksRecipes
Delicious chicken enchilads in front of Amandas unfrosted pumpkin cupcakes that are liable to get all dried out and eaten. Brenda getting ready to eat and watching the TeeVee.

I made one of my favorite things tonight:  Chicken Enchiladas a la El Azteco.  El Azteco, or “El Az” as it reverently called, is a tex-mex restaurant in East Lansing, Michigan, home of Michigan State University.  When I attended MSU back in the stone age, El Az was a dingy basement restaurant on M.A.C. St., which is off of Grand River Ave., right across from the Student Union.  Now, El Az is a full-fledged 2 story restaurant about a half a block from its old location that features rooftop dining and pretty much the same wonderful food that I enjoyed 30 something years ago.

They had 2 kinds of chicken enchilada.  One had a red sauce, and it was okay.  The other was called “chili verde” and a  green and white sauce (get it?  green and white?  MSU?) that was hotter.  That’s the one I liked.  I found a recipe on the internet that is allegedly from an ex-employee of El Az.  It sounded completely crazy, but when I made it, well, that was it!  Here’s the recipe.  It makes way too much food, so you can cut the recipe in  half, or better, just freeze half of the sauce and chicken for future eating.

1. Chicken.  You need a mess of chicken, like 4-5 pounds.  So I used thighs because of, you know, the cheapness, and they have a lot of flavor.   Boil the chicken until tender.  It’s best to boil with some celery, carrots, onions, and tomato paste, but you don’t have to.  When it’s done, shred it with 2 forks and put it in a bowl.

2. The sauce. Chop off the stems from 10-12 jalapenos.  You can remove the seeds and pith from the peppers if you want a milder sauce, or leave them in for a hotter sauce, or remove half of them for a medium sauce.   Put the peppers in a food processor and process. You need 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup.  No, wait!  Don’t go away.  I know It sounds nuts, but work with me here.  Add the 2 cans of soup to the peppers, then add a 16 ounce container of sour cream.  Add 2 or 3 tablespoons or so of cumin depending on your level of cumin love,  and a 1/2 cup of water.  Stir.

Heat a corn tortilla in pan & flip it over so it’s soft.  put in a little chicken and some shredded cheese and roll it up like a fat cigar.  Put it in a baking dish.  Do this many times until the pan is full.  Spoon the sauce over the enchiladas and cover with grated cheese.  You can put some scallions on top if you want. Then bake at 350 until the cheese starts to brown.  Eat the enchiladas.  Yum!


Detroit Coney Wars

American and Lafayette
Detroit coney joints – American and Lafayette

I was watching the Michigan-Michigan State game yesterday (28-14 MSU – heh) and during halftime was flipping though the channels and stumbled upon the Travel Channel’s “Food Wars.” The episode was “Detroit Coney Wars – American v. Lafayette.”

Although I was a big Athens fan during my misspent youth, that was simply because it was the closest. I’d be eating sooner. You understand. But American and Lafayette are the originals – a kind of Mecca for coney connoisseurs. Plus, they sell beer.

American Coney Island opened in downtown Detroit in 1917, by Greek immigrant Gust Keros. Keros and his brother got into an argument quite soon after and split their restaurant into two parts–the present day Lafayette and American Coney Islands, which are next door to each other. Both restaurants are still owned by the descendants of the two Keros brothers.

In the Food Wars episode, they had fans from each restaurant voting based on a blind taste test. To the credit of the fans, they all chose their preferred restaurant in the blind taste test, even though the coneys each restaurant serves are almost identical. The tie was broken by a food writer from one of the newspapers who voted for American.



Red Velvet

Bawndo! It's what plants craveClown shoesEatingFamilyGeneral StupidityRecipes

Sorry, forgot to post for a couple days. I know you’re clicking the page all day long hoping for a post.  And I disappointed you.  Again.  Well, dry those tears, here’s something boring and banal!  At last!

Amanda invited John over for dinner. Gabe, Erin and Julian were supposed to come over, but Gabe isn’t feeling well, so they stayed home. Too bad – their loss. Amanda wanted a chuck roast, natch’. So we had that, potatoes and gravy, and those garlic beans everyone seems to like. And a red velvet cake. Yum!  Good food and interesting conversation – a good night.

Oh, on a humorous note, while I was making the gravy, I unscrewed the pepper cap on one of those huge Costco bottles of pepper and, funny thing, someone had removed the plastic strainer from the bottle so I dumped about a pound of pepper into the gravy.  HA!  It’s funny because it didn’t happen to you!  So we had powdered gravy mix instead.  Delicious!

Last time we had the beans, Erin wanted the recipe, so here you go:

1# green beans – French style are nice
3 tablespoons or so soy sauce
1 tablespoon or so balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar or Splenda
2 tablespoons or so sesame oil
2 teaspoons of crushed garlic

Steam the beans until tender, but not too soft. Cook the garlic for a minute or so in the sesame oil. Mix up the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar and dump that in with the oil and garlic, then add the beans amd mix them up so that they are coated with the sauce. Eat the beans.

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