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Culinary SOS

Enchilada's Secret Ingredient

February 09, 1989|ROSE DOSTI | Times Staff Writer

DEAR SOS: Would you try to get a recipe for the wonderful Cheese Enchiladas Acapulco from La Villa Taxco in Hollywood? I especially like the sauce.

--READER

DEAR READER: Ah, you put your finger on a secret weapon. The enchilada sauce is made with Ibarra Mexican chocolate, an ingredient often used in sauces for smooth texture and flavor enhancement.

Lard, by the way, is traditionally used in Mexican cuisine, but equal amounts of margarine or oil can be substituted if animal fat poses a health problem for certain persons. The flavor, however, will not be the same.

CHEESE ENCHILADAS ACAPULCO

2 tablespoons lard, shortening or vegetable oil

8 corn tortillas

1 pound Jack cheese or aged Cheddar, shredded

Enchilada Sauce

1 bunch green onions, chopped

Black olives

Heat lard in skillet until hot. Fry tortillas to soften slightly. Add more oil if needed. Drain on paper towels.

Sprinkle about 1/4 cup cheese down center of each tortilla and roll. Place seam side-down in 12x7-inch rectangular baking dish. Continue to soften, fill and roll remaining 7 tortillas.

Cover enchiladas with Enchilada Sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees 15 to 25 minutes, until cheese is hot and bubbly. Garnish with green onions and black olives. Makes 8 servings.

Enchilada Sauce

5 cups chicken broth or water

3 tablespoons chile powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons grated Ibarra Mexican chocolate

1 1/2 teaspoons mole sauce

Salt

1/4 cup lard

5 tablespoons flour

Combine water, chile powder, garlic powder, oregano and cumin in saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Combine chocolate, mole sauce and about 1/4 cup hot liquid from saucepan in blender and process to liquefy. Return to spice mixture and mix well. Season to taste with salt.

Melt lard in separate skillet. Stir in flour until smooth and cook, stirring, until golden. Stir in small amount of liquid from spice mixture in saucepan until smooth.

Return to spice mixture and mix well. Bring again to simmer, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps from forming. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Note: Both Mexican chocolate and mole sauce are available at most Mexican grocery stores and supermarkets.

DEAR SOS: I'd love a recipe for chocolate silk pie that my mother used to serve. I remember it fondly.

--JANE

DEAR JANE: French Silk Chocolate Pie made the rounds from the '30s to the '70s, and it's still a hit whenever it is served at any elegant dinner party.

FRENCH SILK CHOCOLATE PIE

1/2 cup butter or margarine

JUMP STARTS HERE

3/4 cup sugar

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 (9-inch) crumb crust or baked pie shell

Whipped cream, optional

Cream together butter and sugar in small bowl until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Add 1 egg and beat 5 minutes. Add remaining egg and beat 5 minutes. Turn mixture into crust and chill until set, about 3 hours. Spread with whipped cream. Makes 1 (9-inch) pie.

DEAR SOS: Do you have a recipe for chili made with chicken rather than beef?

--LUCILLE

DEAR LUCILLE: Yes, and you can use turkey, as well, if you like.

CHICKEN CHILI

1 large onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 stalk celery, chopped

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole tomatoes

2 cups cubed cooked or uncooked chicken or turkey

2 cups chicken or turkey broth

2 tablespoons diced green chiles

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

Hot cooked rice

Saute onion, garlic and celery in butter in large saucepan until tender. Stir in tomatoes with liquid, chicken, broth, chiles, chili powder, cumin, thyme, oregano and salt. Cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with hot cooked rice. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note: If using cubed cooked turkey or chicken, add just to heat through after simmering spices in broth.

Only recipes of general interest will be printed. We are unable to answer all requests. Please include restaurant address when requesting recipes from restaurants. Send your letter with self-addressed, stamped envelope to Culinary SOS, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.

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