Recipes · · Tucson

Enchilatas: Diplomacy for Dinner

My Little Pony felt right at home in Xochimilco. Located 28 kilometers south of the heart of Mexico City, the district’s network of canals lined with colorful floating markets and gardens would have made any big haired animal with a pink plastic coat feel right in its element. And although the people appeared friendly, My Little Pony suspected they didn’t fully understand.

“Hello small effeminate horsey!” One of the many vendors shouted at My Little Pony. “Hello, hello, My Little Pony!” many others joined in and said.

“I am not a pony!” answered My Little Pony.

A shopkeeper tried to make peace: “I am sorry, My Hairy Burrito. It was an honest mistake…”

“AND I AM CERTAINLY NOT A BURRO.” responded the little pony. Just then, a large black town car pulled up. One of the back doors opened and the minister of finance for a country My Little Pony had recently visited, invited My Little Pony to ride. He seemed like a wise and kind man, so My Little Pony hopped in. The door closed and the car drove away. “Hello, My Little Pony. My, what beautiful hair you have,” said the man as he stroked My Little Pony’s healthy mane. “Welcome to Xochimilco!”

“Thank you Minister of Finance. You are very kind. I like your beard. But I think you should know that I am not a pony.”
Valgame dios then, what are you, querida criatura?”

My Little Pony thought for a moment and answered, “I am a churro. I am a delicious fried pastry, often enjoyed with a rich cup of hot chocolate. I am Spanish. And I want to be your friend!”

A tiny voice from the other side of the finance minister joined in saying, “And I’m a can of soup.” My Little Pony hopped into the Finance Minister’s lap to get a clearer view. Ha, ha! It really was a can of soup. In fact, it was a can of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup.

“Well, you actually are a can of soup.”
“Of course. Who said anything different?”

My Little Pony looked up at the finance minister. The finance minister looked at the pink animal there in his lap and asked, “Would you join us for dinner, My Little Pony?”

“I would be delighted, but I am not a pony, I am a…”
“Yes, yes, I know. Shhh…” answered the finance minister, putting a finger to his lips as he stroked and calmed his little friend, his Churro.

Once at the home of the finance minister, the can of soup excused itself. “Gotta go get ready for dinner.”

“What’s for dinner?” asked My Little Pony
“Enchilatas? What’s that?”

The finance minister interrupted, “Goodbye Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup. See you at dinner.” After the soup had left, the finance minister opened his briefcase and handed My Little Pony an official, red diplomatic index card. On it was written the following:

Chicken Enchilatas

  • 12 oz cooked, shredded chicken
  • 6 oz roasted and diced green chiles
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese
  • cooking oil

And the final ingredient?

  • 1 can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup

My Little Pony looked up at the finance minister in disbelief. The finance minister tilted his head and said, “I think it’s safe to say we are both in a new place, exploring new and different things. I’d like for you to keep an open mind. Read on, please.”

Mix chicken, chiles, sour cream and soup. Heat cooking oil in a skillet. Dip a tortilla in the oil until warm and soft. Remove. Fill with about two tablespoons of the chicken mixture. Roll and place seam side down in an oiled cooking dish. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas. Cover with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees until cheese is crispy. Serves six.

“Oh my!” said My Little Pony. “Who will be joining us?” After the dinner, when My Little Pony and the finance minister were alone again, My Little Pony said, “That was yummy. I was surprised. I never would have thought of mixing Campbell’s soup and traditional Mexican cuisine.”
“Uh-huh. And have you learned anything today?”
“What do you mean?” My Little Pony was confused.

“Well let me put it this way, though you may not know it, the Campbell’s family of soups has been a part of Mexican cooking since 1963. Why, some would even argue that Campbell’s soup is as much a part of traditional Mexican cooking today as, well, pineapple on pizza. I think you know what point I’m tryng to make.”

“Yeah, I suppose you really don’t have to pretend to be something you aren’t just to impress people or fit in. You can be a part of something really good and just be yourself too.”

The two smiled at each other and the finance minister rubbed My Little Pony’s neck and said, “Now, how about that hot chocolate?”