Tag Archives: hot dish

Bigger than Jesus the Beatles, and yoga pants: Esteban Trabajars

15 Sep

At the current rate of Final Cut Pro post-production, by Christmas 2020, the globe shall be subjected to more Steve Jobs cinematic biopics than those of Jesus Christ, The Beatles and Luke Skywalker en todo. This epidemic outbreak of epic celluloid certainly gives this one pause to ponder some deeply mundane ponderables: Is the iPhone our Gutenberg Bible (with upgrades)? Did Steve Jobs die for our Sims?*


(*You read that right, a cringe-worthy blasphemous pun. So crucify me whydontcha?)


Does SJ’s getting all messiahy with it not at least begin to explain the daily commute tableau wherein within a stuffed El train all but the homeless – me too – gaze into luminous Apple gadgets with a reverence traditionally reserved for sacred texts, Kim Jong and yoga pants?


What but an unshakable iFaith sways we users into believing we the meek shall one day inherit an upgrade to auto-spell recognizing Spanglish as both a word and a dialect, accurate weather apps, and the voice of Siri shall be replaced by that of Demi Moore’s tadpole?

What Would that these miraculous iPhones might trans-substantiate binary data into iGrub to feed the masses.

Entrada Yo (and/or the Wu)

Communion Green Chile Green Alfredo Linguine Con Pork Chop Chop Chop Chop Ain’t Nuthin to You-Know-What With


Ingredients con instructions:
1. Roasted NM Green Cream Sauce
Heat up and constantly stir 2 tbsp o butter and flour until brown

Separately warm 2 cups of whole milk

Remove roux from heat, slowly stir in milk by the ladle.

Stir in:
An onion – diced and sautéed
A bulb of oven roasted garlic – smushed
Quart bag of chopped, seeded and skinned rotated NM green chile
A fistful of fresh cilantro – chopped
Mexican oregano to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Slowly simmer until all ingredients smell like one. Cool. Blend into purée. Return to pot. Stir in 2/3rds of queso.

2. Half-box of fettuccini – al dente
(Google it)

3. A seasoned to ur liking grilled pork chop or two –  chopped

Butter a casserole dish. Mix ingredients but for 1/3 cheese, then glop into casserole dish. Top with 1/3 cheese. At 350 bake covered for 30 minutes or until burbling and smelling as one. Slide under broiler till cheese browns.


(aqui con huevo)

Mas sagradoso than Esteban Trabajars…




Mas sabrosa than pantaloons Del yoga…


El escarbajo optional.

The Verdad La Mexicana Comida Esta Out There….

1 Aug

So these three youthful Midwesterners are at NYC’s La Guardia airport baggage claim abuzz with anticipatory crackish then/Red Bullish ahora pre-embarking adrenaline rush exclusive to both visitors and residents of Gotham and maximum security prisons.


What today would have been a text and/or tweet shared among friends we the public actually participated – okay eavesdropped – in their animated public discourse.

And what today would have been a Yelp! search actually turned into a lively debate with real opinions shared from real live experience instead of online strangers.

To the dulcet caterwaul – with occasional thud – of a luggage carousel – this husky body politic weighed in on Chicago vs New York pizza: ‘I can’t wait to try Domino’s. I bet it’s way better here.’ ‘No way, ‘Yes way’ ‘No way’ ‘yes way’ ‘Chicago’ ‘New York’ Chicago New York and on and on and on and maybe text might have been less Valley Girly and distracting so the rest of us could focus on our opinions and obvious superior big city sophisticated taste, grab bags, turn up noses, bolt.


All but yo en verdad. Mi cargo fue returning con yo from Mexico. While the fuerte opinions blogged aqui suggest otrowise. I am still here to tell you the only reason Taco Bell en Mexico is better albeit more authentic than Taco Bell en Esatdos Unidos por que you get to order en Espanol.


And even though I’ve been called a snob because I refuse to eat @Chipotle – which is to Mexico as Red Lobster is to the sea – you can’t feed a more Catholic, democratic, open and omnivorous maw than mine. Beyond therapy for my PTAzMexSD, the entire purpose of this here blogging a la Marco Pollo is to document my quest for el Cocina Mexicana ultima outside the friendly confines of mi beloved Sonoran desert. I know it exists, even if I have to make it so in mi own cocineria por ejemplo:



I can’t believe you’re not Midwesternican pollo asado y chile verde y cream of chicken y corn tortillas that taste like dumplings y cheese casserolenchiladas


The chipotle variation (the chile not the chain)


North Carolina BBQ pork/Trader JoseNM salsa verde/avocado/refried frijoles/Trader Jose flour tort/burro


Elotes/frijoles/pollo asado tacos con cilantro y radishes from our urban parking garage rooftop garden

Or when I have to burn $5 on some breakfast burrito from Pret-a-Porte labeled ‘Southwestern’ because maybe that’s what Mexican food is like in France?


Egg Soufflé (Cage free) Refried Black Bean Salsa Red Peppers Cheddar Red Onions Tortilla Wrap


*To the credit of the Midwesterners who I had no intention of having personify the acronym IOWA (idiots out wandering aimlessly) the very same week I took again to wandering yet again NYC’s sts/aves rather aimlessly, confident enough in my Espanol lengua to order for lunch – much to the delight of the entire diner – a Cubana Torta’ (trans: Cuban Prostitue) and also overheard the following exchange along the way:

Scene: 8th Ave, Times Square, NYC before the greasy window of a Chinese take-out joint tastefully appointed with garlands of Peking Duck.


Cast: Two young men with Long Island accents sporting Yankees caps – backwards….of, course – studying the menu:


‘Peking Duck?’


‘How the fuck they know that duck’s

from Peking?’
And it probably tasted just as good as Long Island duck in Chinatown Chicago.

Painting the Joy of Cooking Brown con AzChiNMexi Mac y Cheese

2 Apr

If there is a more all-encompassing gring@ cookbook I dunno it. The revised version of The Joy of Cooking is that of which I blog, not mine. The pre-PC original – on the otro mano – could at least pass for aboriginal. Recipes for vermin, including skinning instructions – IMO – transcend borders and ethnicity.


Yet like every other cultural icon worth it’s weight in insensitivity – The J o’ C got censored/edited by the PC Orwell wannabes in the PC 80s/90s. (Exception: Speedy Gonzales.) Thank god the copy I inherited escaped a Fahrenheit 451 ending, though the dust jacket lost to a gravy spill and and several fingers of bourbon on the counter of Southeners who may or may not have had slaves in the family were absorbed into its pages and spine.



So no, this copy’s geneology is anything but PC or artery-friendly. Yet, again, I knew I had to blow the cobwebs off Ye Olde JoC for some non dot.com direction with the culinary kindling left in la casa of late. Being stranded aqui (esposa y dos los ninos viaje en FLA) during Chicago’s final four March Madness Blizzards stirred up a hankering for a casserole as warm and hearty as a sweater mi imagniary abuela might have knitted you, between slurps of beaver tail soup.


Fresh out of squirrel and ammo, I deferred to a pollo chi-chis, marinated and grilled, tossed in the obligatory sack ‘o NM chile verde, and got slightly carried away with the Mexican oregano to give an otherwise high gring@ dish some much needed color. The latter resuced the dish when any one of the main ingredients went missing, curiously rounding out each bite should a chicken chunk or green chile slip off the spoon.


Mi Imaginary Abeula’s Big Ol’ Feliz Casserole alias

Painting the Joy of Cooking Brown


El Mac y Cheese y NM Green y Pollo Sweater




Follow the instructions from Pre-PC J o C aqui


AZ/NM/Mexify con:

Pollo asado chunks (recipe is your call)

NM Chile Verde

Stir into the milk/egg “batter”

1 tsp Mexican oregano y 1 tsp NM red chile powder

Quatro queso Italiano blend + parmesean

Sprinkled topping: NM red chile powder/crunched up Donkey yellow corn tortilla chips.

The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Mexi-chago Green Chile Chicken Casserole (or Hot Dish).

8 Sep

A hasty June move to Chicago slowed not down the consumption of Az-Mex comida one bite. Riding shotgun in the Penske were undocumented tortillas, carne seca sacks, red and green chiles (NM), salsa (NM), a bushel of dry pinto beans, Macayo’s green sauce (but tristemente sin tamales).  All arrived without incident.

Unlike the junkie who muertoly shoots a fat final bag, rather than speedball my way through these Az-Mex rations to an pre-mature sugar skull I solemnly swore to dutifully dole out just enough of this culinary Blue Stuff to survive the summer months: a little carne adovada here a little pork on a tort there, here a little, there a little whatever a little leaving me just enough time to suss out the Chi-Mex offerings round the friendly confines Chicag-E I E I O.

The report so far: one week in and I’ve lead on fresh flour tortillas. (Thank you driver of the moving truck originally from Nogales who, like moi, lives disabled by tamale DTs.) Three months later, a bushel of fresh roasted NM green chiles, flour torts and tamales roll up via FexEx Tuesday.

Still, rations are running thin. I refuse to take up Tex-mex-methadone (a.k.a. Old El Paso and/or Mission products) and instead taken to concocting platas by cross-breeding time-honored Midwestern culinary traditions the bountiful grazings of my beloved Sonoran Desert (and New Mexio).

Cutting these Az-Mex rations with local ingredients I rolled out of the oven The Great Grandmother/Abuela of All Dishes: The Mexichago Casserole.

Midwestern Casseroles (also known as Hot Dish), when you think about them as I now do, are a lot like meatloaves and The Fall line ups (of Cruiser’s Creek, not NBC/CBS/ABC/ETC):

1. Casseroles/meatloaf/The Fall are all retain the same name across decades yet no two are quite alike.

2. All are a hodgepodge of your basic food groups and/or musical instruments, usually thrown together at the last minute (See ‘The Fallen”) with the constant centerpiece being a medium-grade meat (ground), fish (tuna) or Mark E. Smith (See ‘The Fallen”).

3. Each casserole/meatloaf/The Fall can provoke simultaneous admiration and disgust while evoking both benevolent nostalgia and thorny family/church/The Fall gatherings/concerts.

One never knows what to expect in another’s casserole, meatloaf or The Fall line-up. And your first within your own family, usually the one your grandmother or Mark E. Smith slapped together, holds steadfast as the standard by which all other meatloaf, casserole or The Fall line-ups are measured.

To paraphrase the poets of The Sugarhill Gang, “All else is ugly food that stinks.”

To quote Mark E. Smith: “Blue cheese contains natural amphetamines. Why are students not informed about this?“

Mexi-Chago Green Chile Chicken Casserole*


– 2 cups of shredded chicken and/or chopped up grilled breasts marinated in olive oil/salt/pepper/rosemary/sage(?)

– ½ box of medium shell pasta

– 3 squash (zucchini, yellow, etc) = to a cup

– 1/2 yellow onion – diced

– 3-4 garlic cloves – chopped fine/minced

– Salt and pepper and Mexican oregano to taste

– 1 can cream o’ mushroom soup

– 1 can Macayo’s green enchilada sauce (or Hatch)

– 1/2 cup of fresh roasted, seeded, peeled (or sm can)

– A mess of pre-shredded Mexi-cheddar cheese


Pre-heat oven to 375

1. Pre-cook chicken and pasta: set aside

2. Dry fry squash in a skillet (med/high heat until browned) – set aside in bowl

3. Dry fry onion/garlic -salt and pepper/small pinch of Mexican oregano – stir into to squash in bowl

4. Mix together cream of mushroom, green sauce, and green chiles and handful of cheese

5. Layer in casserole dish in order: Pasta – Chicken – veggies – sauce – cheese

Repeat until ingredients is all gone. (BTW – If you want to add a layer of tater tots lmk how it turns out!)

Sprinkle/cover top of casserole with cheddar

6. Bake until burbling hot – approx 20/30 minutes

7. Set under broiler for a couple minutes until seared and crusty.

8. Let cool, serve with sour cream and/or grilled corn/tomato/cilantro relish, squeeze of lime.

*This casserole does not contain blue cheese.

And so what makes this casserole Chicago? Mira: comida tipica del Chicago, por ejemplo hot dogs and pizza dragged through the garden and deep-dish/stuffed, respectively, ain’t nothing more than someone’s grandmother’s casserole/hot dish delivered on a bun and/or crust instead of Pyrex. Think about it.

And so what does The Fall have to do with any of this?

Knowledge the science Mark: