Paradise Cafe enchilada recipe

Paradise Cafe in Lawrence, KS was my favorite restaurant back in the college days. Sadly no longer with us, but I made some great friends there.

(You can find their facebook page at facebook paradise cafe group )

For some reason or another, I got hold of the enchilada recipe, so here it is:

Filling

1 pound spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup finely diced onions
2/3 cups sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper
dash Tabasco
Cheese sauce
3 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
16 ounces sour cream
1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
1 2-ounce jar diced pimientos, rinsed
 /2 teaspoon salt
 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco or to taste
 1 cup or 4 ounces grated Swiss cheese
 12 6-inch blue corn tortillas
 1 1/4 cups or 5 ounces grated Swiss cheese
 chopped tomatoes and black olives
 salsa
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Make filling: Sauté onions in oil until translucent. Add mushrooms, garlic and oregano. Continue to cook until mushrooms are soft. Add spinach and sauté until wilted. Add salt, pepper and Tabasco to taste.
Make cheese sauce: Melt margarine in saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in milk a little at a time and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until smooth and thickened. Do not add other ingredients until sauce is thickened. Add sour cream, chilies, pimientos, salt and Tabasco. Heat through but do not boil or the sauce will break apart. Add Swiss cheese a little at a time, stirring constantly. Remove from heat as soon as the cheese has completely melted.
Heat heavy skillet or griddle until hot. Quickly heat corn tortillas on skillet. Spoon some of the spinach filling down the center of each tortilla. Add some Swiss cheese and 1 to 2 tablespoons cheese sauce.
Roll tortilla around filling and place, flap side down, in a shallow casserole. Cover and warm in 375-degree oven until enchiladas are heated through and cheese is melted. Just before serving, pour cheese sauce over tortillas. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and black olives.
Serve with salsa. Makes 12 enchiladas.

Bucket List Books

It occurs to me that everyone should maintain a list of “bucket-list” books. Books that are so important that we believe everyone should read. Or maybe this is the wrong term. Maybe this is just a list of books which we found essential to whoever we are today. I’ll get started here.

Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance / Lila, by Robert Pirsig

Two books actually. Good college age reading, perhaps for advanced high school. This is an engineer’s bible. Foundations of logic and “truth”

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter 

College age. Very tough mathematics. Mind-blowing. The art of bootstrapped complexity.


A new kind of Science, by Stephen Wolfram

If it turns out to be true, the most important mathematical work since Godel’s incompleteness theorem.

Narcissus and Goldmund, by Herman Hesse 
One of the great writers of all time. The intellectual life vs. the experiential one. If one every plans to spend time debating capitalism vs. socialism, Democrat vs. Republican, etc, etc. one should also read Magister Ludi, in order to remove forever the fantasy that there could exist a perfect system.

Shogun, by James Clavell
Because aliens really do exist on this planet, and by the end of the book you will partially understand how they think. You’ll also never complain about the dropping of the atom bomb to end WWII.

And many more …

World’s greatest eggnog recipe

Picked this up from playboy many years ago.

1 pint of cheap domestic brandy
¼ pint cheap domestic sherry
½ pint of cheap rye whiskey
¼ pint Jamaica or New England rum
12 eggs
12 tablespoon of sugar
1 quart of milk or 1 quart of half & half
1 quart of cream or 1 quart of half & half Nutmeg and cinnamon to flavor ½ gallon of Borden vanilla ice cream (it has condensed milk)

Mix brandy, rye, rum and sherry.
Separate egg yolks and whites (keep both) Beat egg yolks well, then add sugar. While mixing egg yolks and sugar, drizzle the liquor. Then drizzle in milk & cream. Set aside.

Beat egg whites stiff. Then fold the egg whites into the mixture. This works best if you start with ¼ to 1/3 of mixture.

Put the brew in the refrigerator and leave for at least 72 hours- prefers 8 days when it peaks. If you drink it to soon it will taste like crap. Serve in a big punch bowl. Add the ½ gallon of ice cream and nutmeg and cinnamon.
This will keep in the frig for 4 to 5 weeks.

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For the unwritten experience notes, when the recipe says “cheap”, it really means it. For the rum, go with something good and use a heavy hand. I recommend Appleton’s 4 yr old. Worth it. This mixture is seriously potent and seriously delicious. The peak is more like 2 weeks, so start now. It really does taste terrible for the first 1 week, so leave it alone! And it really is good for 4 weeks.