Looking at Fusion Cuisine

In August I had a little going away party for the daughter of my BFF. It was a sad day and a happy one too. Kind of a fusion of emotions. I was very happy that she has secured a new job that pays her tons more than what she was making in Michigan. She was able to purchase her dream house. She will be near her aunts, uncles, and cousins. All of this is extreme good fortune. The sad part is that she is moving away. Her mother will now be far far away from her. This will be hard on both of them. It was a fusion kind of event. That meant only one thing – fusion cuisine. In this case I made my Jewish grandmother’s version of Mexican enchiladas. Yes, you read that correctly. So to be clear my grandmother did not in any way, shape or form keep a kosher house. So I present her recipe for Enchiladas:
Ingredients:
white or yellow corn tortillas
Velveeta cheese
Sweet onion
black olives
Hormel chili no beans

Process:
Place several cubes of Velveeta and a sprinkling of chopped onion and black olives on a tortilla and roll. Place into a glass baking dish with the loose end on the bottom. A heavy butter knife can be used to weigh down the enchiladas to prevent them from unrolling. Heat the chili and pour over the top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle sliced black olives and additional Velveeta on the top. Bake ~ 30 minutes at 350° F until cheese is melted.

To humor Sparky and treat my guests, I also did a chicken version with green enchilada sauce with cheese, chicken, green pepper and onion inside.

We had additional toppings of black olives, sour cream, guacamole, diced tomatoes from the garden, green peppers, cilantro, onion, mild salsa, salsa verde, tortilla chips, and a little extra chili. Everyone was able to customize their meal and I do believe all were satisfied!


Just like life, my grandmother’s version of enchiladas combined a little of what she grew up with and a little from what she experienced away from the bosom of her family. The end result is a little messy looking but is still delicious. There are so many variations on a theme. We live our lives making choices. Some people agonize over every little thing and others dash headlong into the future. I don’t think there is any right or wrong way as long as we each savor what we put on our plates.

43 thoughts on “Looking at Fusion Cuisine

    1. Thanks Carrie. We did have fun and we ate and laughed (at a social distance) enjoying the moment. There is much to think about in this interlude between election and swearing in, fall and winter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is much to be done but also a sort of calm to enjoy what there is and what we have…

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      1. i am not a good cook so i basically copy and try out recipes of other people..lol so i must try yours… and will let you know ..fingers – crossed i give justice to your recipe

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  1. You teach me Val . I did not know the enchilada and no more Veveeta cheese ! So I learnt a lot.
    I did not knwow you were a cook . Bravo . Sparky is a happy man! 🙂
    Love ❤
    Michel

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    1. That was the prerequisite for the engagement (not really but I did it anyway), to cook 10 good meals. I think he was convinced after I made the first meal – lentil soup… They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!

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  2. Ha! I laughed out loud reading your Jewish grandmother’s enchilada recipe. Admittedly, I am a food snob and would never use the words Velveeta and cheese in the same sentence, but having grown up in Michigan I could SO relate to that particular take on a Mexican classic. I had just been ruminating on my own version of chiles relleno (translation: Stuffed chiles) which doesn’t entail the frying bit. Here’s to savoring what we put on our plates and being grateful for it!

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    1. I’ve tried it with other types of real cheese and it just doesn’t translate. gotta have the cheese food stuff! It is definitely a midwestern dish and since I’m in Michiana I suppose that is close enough to count as a Michigander type recipe. I guess in the end it doesn’t much matter to me what is on your plate as long as I like what I put on mine. Enjoy!

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  3. That is an interesting story! I often pepper my stories with some Yiddish expressions. I picked them up from my mother. I am not sure why or how but the question remains how do I know the meaning of meshugganah years later? The number of children not aware of the Holocaust and of history is “meshugganah.”

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    1. My Jewish grandmother had some interesting phrases. My mother picked up a Yiddish phrase book and the one I remember is “Good health to your belly button.” which is what you say when someone gives you a “left-handed” compliment.

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      1. My mom grew up in a Jewish-Italian neighborhood in NYC. I always wondered if I didn’t inherit some Yiddish to my soul. My favorite trip was a visit to Israel and work on a kibbutz. Wonderful people. This year was very good for Israel!

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  4. I have heard that Velveeta, that staple of my childhood, is now more expensive than actual cheese. Being a chowhound, I don’t worry so much about what’s in a casserole (save fried or boiled eggs, which I loathe), as long as it tastes good.

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