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Recipes from The Oklahoma Celebrity Cookbook: Chuck Norris’s White Enchiladas

A few weeks ago, I attended a very rural church garage sale on the outskirts of town. While there, I discovered a long-lost tome that seemed like a sheer relic from the distant past of 1991: The Oklahoma Celebrity Cookbook.

Edited by Stacey Wyett and published by Executive Coffee Service of Oklahoma City, I was truly amazed by the find and all the celebrity-endorsed recipes the book contained.

It tracked like a Who’s Who of notable figures from the early 90s, including Garth Brooks, Roy Clark, and—groan—Argus Hamilton, as well as bigwig politicians, beauty contestants, and musicians.

Even former OKC Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Arthur Steller got his due with the “Date and Nut Cake.” I'm sold!

The book also features some of the finest M.I.O. products around, from Braum’s ice cream to Head Country barbeque sauce to Bama pie shells, which still do exist! I'm sure Griffin's mustard is in there somewhere, too.

As I flipped through the book's pages, hungry and ready to go on a delicious journey, I noticed on Page 38 the one celebrity I always fail to recognize as a true Okie made good – Chuck Norris.

Born in Ryan, Oklahoma, in the 70s and 80s he swept the world of Caucasian martial arts and chop-socky action movies for all the world to see, before embarking on a career as Walker – your grandfather's favorite Texas Ranger.

He shared an action-packed recipe for “White Enchiladas," and like a Vietnam veteran on a total warpath through the jungle, I went straight to Walmart and picked up the necessary war-branded rations to get this cheesy machine rolling.

At first, I snickered at the list of ingredients, from half and half to canned stewed tomatoes, then sadly noticed nary a Mexican flavor to be found. Even the recommended tortillas that the book suggests—Orbit!—are long gone.

But I guess I have huevos on my severe face, because while these white-bread enchiladas might not be super-authentic to these Mexican taste buds…they are actually pretty good! Aye-ai-ai!

Per Chuck’s simple instructions, we combine stewed tomatoes, shredded cheese, canned jalapeno peppers, and, strangely, a pint of half and half in a saucepan.

On a low flame, the combination of ingredients slowly mixed and slightly tussled.

While that concoction melded, I lightly fried 16 to 20 Mission corn tortillas in a frying pan, leaving them kind of hard but still very pliable.

For the final step in this recipe, fill all the tortillas with the stringy-goo from the saucepan, gently spooning the cheesy insides of the enchilada body, playing them like ninja assassins sent to their eternal slumbers one by one, side by side, in the platter.

When the enchiladas are completely filled, pressed, and splayed to the caring world, the remaining cheese sauce is smeared all across the top. Then, they are ready to be cooked at around…well, there is no time or temperature setting given by Chuck, so I say around 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

But, whatever the time, when they came out of the oven, they were truly glorious!

Even though this is a very Caucasian way to make cheese enchiladas, to be fair, it’s also a very easy way to make them, as the goopy mess on my plate and most of my table proved. Taking a bite of the Monterey jack cheese, the canned stewed tomatoes, and, surprisingly, the half and half, I was amazed at how they turned out.

So, with a big plate of the White Enchiladas – which aren't very white – at my ready and a VHS tape of Invasion U.S.A. cued up, this is probably—well, at least for me—a great way to spend a Saturday night. Thanks, Chuck…and hasta luego, Orbit.


Follow Louis on Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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