Chimichangas; more Moo Goo Gai Pan

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Sun Jun 4 01:51:10 UTC 2000

MOO GOO GAI PAN (continued)

    David Shulman came up with 1903 in the METROPOLITAN MAGAZINE (NY), pg.
431, col. 1:  "All the great dishes served in China a thousand years
ago...including...'muy gou guy pen' which is boneless chicken with white
    I didn't find the Chinese dish on the MOA database, but I might have used
the wrong spelling.


    Does "chimichanga" mean "little monkey," as "burrito" is "little donkey"?
 The food item is not in THE FOOD AND DRINK OF MEXICO (1964; reprinted by
Dover Books) by Goerge C. Booth.
    John Mariani states that "chimichanga" was long thought to have been
coined in the 1950s in Tucson, Arizona, but Diane Kennedy's CUISINES OF
MEXICO (1972) states that fried burritos in Mexico are called by the similar
name _chivichangas_.
    From GOURMET, January 1979, pg. 40, col. 2:

    _(Southwestern Fried Burritos)_
     Make Mexican fried beans, adding 1/3 cup grated Monterey Jack or
longhorn cheese when they have formed a thick paste, and cook the mixture
over moderately low heat, stirring, until the cheese is just melted.  Let the
mixture cool and make flour tortillas.
     Spoon 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the beans onto the lower third of each tortilla,
roll up each tortilla egg-roll fashion, folding in the ends, and secure each
one with a wooden pick.  In a deep fryer fry the _chimichangas_ 2 at a time
in hot deep oil (375 degrees F.) for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are golden
brown and transfer them with tongs to paper towels to drain.  Remove the
wooden picks, arrange the _chimichangas_ on a flameproof platter, and
sprinkle them with 1//2 cup grated longhorn cheese.  Put the platter under a
preheated broiler 6 inches from the heat for 30 seconds, or until the cheese
is melted.  Spoon 1/2 cup sour cream over the _chimichangas_ and serve them
with tomato sauce with green _chiles_.  Serves 6.

   I'll try to look for "chimichanga" (and "fajita") in 1980s issues of
GOURMET and BON APPETIT, as well as other publications on "Tex-Mex" food.
   About "Mexican Pizza"--it's certainly not just Taco Bell.  "Mexican Pizza"
is not trademarked by anyone.  It's on the SOAR database of online recipes.
It's on  GOURMET featured "Mexican Pizza" in April 1996; BON
APPETIT featured "Mexican Pizza" in  December 1996.  There are 1,920 hits on  If OED doesn't want the citation, that's up to them.

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