Cosa’s Enchiladas

It never ceases to amaze me how a fairly benign post like “Which Future?” calling for a cooperative effort to reach a desired goal can devolve into a diatribe on the degradation of the planet by evil white people.
Let’s see if I can lighten things up with a little recipe from the past on a cold winter day.

Back in 1977, while I was in between careers, I took a job as a short order cook at Cafe Les Stace in Nevada City. (Located at the present day restaurant, Katarina’s.) The restaurant was owned by Cosa Mikiska and her daughters, Leslie and Stacy. (Hence the name, Les Stace.) It was a fun time, and I met many familiar names that still reside in town, although most have gone on to bigger and better things.

One of my favorite dishes from the menu was the Jalapeno Enchilada, which I still make at home today. I don’t care much for jalapenos, though, so I prefer to eliminate them from the recipe. I just think of the dish as Cosa’s Enchiladas.

Many people assumed that because they were covered with a green sauce, they must be made with avocados or tomatillos. After all these years, the true ingredients can finally be revealed. Here it is…

1 16oz. container of cottage cheese

1 4oz. can of diced green chiles

1 bunch green onions (chopped)

1 dozen green olives w/pimentos (chopped)

1 cup grated Jack Cheese

Jalapenos, if desired

This is the filling. Mix together and refrigerate to let the flavors mingle.

1 bunch, washed fresh spinach

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup (or Cream of Chicken Mushroom soup if you aren’t going vegetarian.)

Empty the soup into a blender and slowly add the spinach until thoroughly blended. Put the sauce in a pot and heat on low for about ten minutes.

Spoon the filling into a tortilla, cover with sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese. Either bake in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or in the microwave for a minute and a half. Should make four enchiladas.







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20 Responses to Cosa’s Enchiladas

  1. Judith Lowry says:

    Sorry to wreck your nice post Bob, but the degradation of the planet is not because of “evil white people”, it’s because of undereducated, short-sighted, superstitious, greedy, avaricious people everywhere. You know, like the Mayans used to be.

  2. rl crabb says:

    I figured it would only take an hour or so to get a negative response. Have a degraded gloomy day!

    • gregoryzaller says:

      I don’t know where that “evil white people” came from. It did sort of set a tone. I agree with Judith. Our global problems have nothing to do with race.

      In honor of your stated intentions I am printing up the recipe to tack on the refrigerator. If the kitchen queen takes a liking to it, and gives it a try, I’ll post a report. That’s assuming there isn’t a mud fight going on.

      • rl crabb says:

        Mudpies are good too. Other things can be added to the enchilada recipe, as well. Sometimes I add a little salsa, or if I’m adventurous, some shrimp or crabmeat.
        Brad – Did the Mayans have cottage cheese?

        • Brad Croul says:

          Yes, but it was called “queso palapa” .

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          There’s got to be room for avocados somewhere in there.

          Tom Lehrer had some lyrics that are similar to what has been written here and in the last thread…

          “We are the Folk Song Army, every one of us… cares!
          We all hate poverty, war and injustice, unlike the rest of you squares”.

          Pinker and Sowell both wrote extensively on the subject, here’s a nice review that encapsulates the differences we have:

          As Ron Paul was saying back in ’88, Utopia isn’t an option.

        • Tony Waters says:

          I doubt that the Mayans had cottage cheese, or cheese of any kind. Cows are a Eurasian and African thing. Weren’t around Central America until after 1492.

    • Judith Lowry says:

      How about trenchant, mordant, sardonic and absolutely true?
      Please, use your words : )

  3. Brad Croul says:

    I love enchiladas!
    So did the Mayans!

    • Robert Lovejoy says:

      Careful there Brad. Look what happened to the Mayans. Historical records reveal the Incas also loved cottage cheese enchiladas and where are they now? Thankfully all is not lost. Both the Incas and the Mayans used large curd cottage cheese which was the death of them. I love enchiladas more than the average bear, but I always use small curd cottage cheese. Mystery solved.

  4. Ken Jones says:

    Sounds pretty tasty Bob. I would make some minor tweaks to satisfy my taste buds. I would add the jalepenos and probably add some serranos to kick up the spiciness and drop the pimentos. All in all sounds like some good eatin.

  5. Ken Jones says:

    Tastes just like chicken

  6. Mark Johnson says:

    Sunday brunch at Les-Stace in 78 & 79 was huevos rancheros and a cold Dos Equis – I was not the valid age for a beer, but a GV kid could get a cold beer in NC – life was good. Les-Stace had a good vibe…good food too.

    • rl crabb says:

      So true, Mark. I used to be able to buy beer at Shorty’s Liquor across the street from Les Stace when I was twenty. And I bought my first drink at that age at Duffy’s Success in 1970. Cheers!

  7. Judith Lowry says:

    My L&M and I go out for Mexican food about once a month and enjoy it well enough. But if the old La Fiesta, in Arcata, CA opened up somewhere around here I would probably go five times a week, at least.
    I don’t know which region of Mexico La Fiesta cuisine reflected, but it was a cut above the usual.
    Now they have retired and their kids aren’t interested in running the place anymore.
    Time marches on.

  8. TD Pittsford says:

    I don’t know if you remember but I (and Janice) worked for Cosa when she first opened the place. (Later, Skip “The Knife” worked there.) There are two things that stand out in my memory about that place. 1) Cosa (God rest her precious soul) was always tinkering about in MY kitchen, trying out new recipes while I was trying to cook for the lunch and dinner “crowd” and 2), We used to board Janice’s quarterhorse (“Lady”) up cement hill at Jim Morales’ place. One day just before lunch, Lady decided to visit Janice and journeyed all the way down the hill, across Hwy 49, and stuck her head in the back door of the kitchen. It made “The Independent” with pictures by Bob Lickter. How she knew where Janice was is still a mystery but it was funny as hell and a very fond memory to this day. In all fairness though, the very best Mexican food could be found at Casa Gonzales. Sadly, though there will never be any better, or more affordable than those two places.

    • Randy Ford says:

      Sorry I’m late and perhaps redundant( I didn’t answer the math quiz at the bottom first time around so have doubts as to whether my plea got posted).
      I’m an old friend of Cosa and the Mikiska’s from way before The Cafe Les Stace, her son Jerry and I meeting in Jr. High back in 1961. After Cosa’s Departure from my world I lost track of the girls and Chris, her surviving son. Asking Google for anything, It led me here, to the only people who might know anything about where any of my long lost “family”/friends might be found. If anyone has any leads that might help me reconnect with Stacy, Les or Chris I would be grateful. Randy Ford

  9. gregoryzaller says:

    My wife prepared this enchilada recipe for dinner tonight and I am reporting back as promised. She would not use stuffed olives and substituted green olives. It tasted essentially like a normal enchilada and so it was good. At first I was a little nervous about it being a bright green caused from mixing fresh spinach and cottage cheese, but that was easy to get over.

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