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      RECIPE TITLE "Ham and Cheddar Escondidas"
    Author: Wanda Smith, Oakland. Source: Sunset magazine April, 1988

    yields Serves 6 to 8 time--- difficultyeasy

    Bolas are small filled dumplings. In this soup they are made with plantains, which produce a smooth, rich dough that is neutral enough to set off various fillings. This recipe calls for a meat filling, but vegetables and seafood are often used. (See Variation at end of recipe.) You can add extra flavors and colors to the filling once it is cooked with such extras as hard-boiled eggs, slivered black olives, peanuts or walnuts, and chopped fresh herbs.


    • 8 corn tortillas (6- to 7-in. diameter)
    • 8 slices cooked ham (each about 1/8 inch thick; about 1/2 lb. total)
    • 1 can (7 oz.) whole green chilies, cut lengthwise into 8 equal portions
    • 1/2 pound cheddar cheese, cut into strips about 3/8 inch thick and 3 inches long
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
    • Salad oil
    • Egg batter (recipe follows)
    • Mellow salsa (recipe follows)


    In an ungreased 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, soften tortillas, 1 at a time. Heat each tortilla about 10 seconds on each side. Remove tortilla from pan and at once top with a slice of ham, then arrange down the center of the tortilla 1/8 of the chilies, 1/8 of the cheese (1/2 inch in from tortilla edge), and 1/8 of the green onions. Roll tortilla snugly around filling and pin shut with small wooden picks. Repeat to fill remaining tortillas. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 2 hours.

    Pour about 1/4 inch oil into the frying pan over medium-high heat; heat to 350| to 360|. Using 2 forks, immerse tortilla rolls, one at a time, in egg batter and coat generously. Life out coated roll and set in hot oil. Cook until golden brown on bottom, then turn with the forks and brown remaining portion of roll (the browning takes about 1 minute per side). Lift roll from pan, drain briefly on paper towels, then set on an ovenproof platter. Keep warm, uncovered, in a 300| oven as you repeat steps to cook remaining rolls; do not stack. Spoon salsa to taste on individual portions.

    Egg batter. Separate 6 large eggs. In a large bowl, whip whites at high speed until they will hold moist, distinct peaks. In another bowl, use same beater to whip yolks with 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gently fold yolks into whites and use at once.

    Mellow salsa. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, combine 1 tablespoon olive or salad oil and 1 medium-size onion, chopped. Stir often until onion begins to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1 can (14 oz.) stewed tomatoes with their liquid, 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies, 1/2 teaspoon each dry oregano leaves and crushed dried hot red chilies, and 1 cup regular-strength chicken broth. Boil, uncovered, until reduced to 2 1/4 cups, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (coriander). Serve hot. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 3 days. Rewarm over low heat. Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

    Turkey and Jack Escondidas: Follow directions for ham and cheddar escondidas (preceding), but instead of sliced ham use sliced cooked turkey breast, and instead of cheddar cheese use jack cheese.

    COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.

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