A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from November 02, 2006
Swiss Enchiladas

Swiss enchiladas are enchiladas with cream and cheese (usually American or Jack cheese and not Swiss cheese). They’re called “Swiss” because Mexicans associated milk, cream, and cheese with the Swiss.

The dish may have first been named at Sanborn’s Restaurant in Mexico City in the 1940s. The dish became part of the so-called “Tex-Mex” cusine from the 1950s.

Baja Guide (Mexico)
Sanborn’s famous Swiss enchiladas will cost you about $6 and chicken fajitas $7. 

24 December 1957, Dallas Morning News, “Recipes of the Day” by Julie Benell, part 3, pg. 4:
A molded salad and a beautiful supper dish that is very popular in Mexico City. Anything that has milk or cream in it is given the name of “Swiss” when served in Mexico. You can use this recipe for 2 cups of chopped cooked turkey instead of chicken if you like.


You’ll need 1 dozen tortillas, 6 chicken bouillon cubes, 3 cups hot cream, 1/2 pound American or Jack cheese grated, 1 chopped onion, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 crushed clove garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic puree, 1 chopped green chilies, 2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey, salt and pepper to taste, slices of avocado, hard cooked eggs or olives for garnish.

Fry tortillas in about 1 inch of hot oil. Do not let them crisp as they are to be rolled. Dissolve bouillon cubes in hot cream. Dip each tortilla into this cream mixture and cover it generously with the chicken filling and roll up. For the filling, saute the onion in oil until soft and add the rest of the ingredients and simmer about 10 minutes. After filling and rolling the tortillas, arrange in a baking pan and pour the remaining cream mixture over them. Top with American or Jack cheese and bake in a moderate oven, 350 F. about 30 minutes. Serve garnished with slices of avocado, hard cooked egg and ripe and green olives.

18 March 1962, Galveston (TX) News, pg. 6B ad:
La Galvestonia
6001 Ave. P1/2
Famous for its Quality & Originality
Mexican Rolled Pizzas
Available Only at La Galvestonia Mexican Restaurant
“Ideal for the Lenten Season”
Also Among Our Firsts
An Unusual Delicacy

10 June 1964, Hayward (CA), “Ever Tried Swiss-Style Enchiladas?”, pg. 38?:
From “Elena’s Fiesta Recipes” (Ward Ritchie Press) comes this enticing recipe for Swiss Enchiladas. Since Elena writes so delightfully about each recipe, we are taking the liberty of quoting directly from her book. “Mexicans associate the use of cream with a dairy country—hence the name of Swiss for these enchiladas. These may be frozen successfully by wrapping tightly in corn husks.

“These mild-mannered and delectable enchiladas should serve to refute a theory commonly subscribed to, that all Mexican food is somewhat hotter than you know what. As a matter of record, while visiting in Mexico some years ago, we learned from restaurant menus that if we wanted our enchiladas extra hot, we should ask for ‘Texas-style.’”

1 dozen tortillas
Oil for frying
6 bouillon cubes
3 cups sweet cream warmed
1/2 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
Chicken Filling:
2 tbsp. oil
1 md. onion, chopped
1 mashed clove of garlic
2 cups tomato puree
2 chopped green chiles (canned) or to taste
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
Salt to taste

Fry the tortillas in about 1 inch of hot oil, being careful not to let them get crisp, as they must be rolled. Dissolve bouillon cubes in hot cream and dip each tortilla in the mixture. Cover generously with Chicken Filling, roll up, place seam side down in a baking pan, pour remaining cream mixture over all. Top with cheese and bake in moderate oven for about 20 minutes.

Chicken Filling: Fry the onion in the hot oil until soft, add all other remaining ingredients and simmer about 10 minutes. Slices of avocado, or hard-cooked eggs, radishes, green or ripe olives—all are attractive garnishes for enchiladas.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, November 02, 2006 • Permalink