…from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? Lawry’s California Center was the center of my life for 5 years. I joined the company to help design one of the most beautiful corporate headquarters in California—26 contiguous acres just 3 miles from downtown Los Angeles. It was a great experience, so much so that I stayed working there long after my design gig ended.
A lot of money went into this beautiful garden center. My bosses, Richard and Ralph Frank, were the perfect people for me to work with since they catered to creativity. One afternoon we were all talking, and I asked the question, “With the upcoming stockholder’s meeting how are you going to explain the millions of dollars spent with no apparent revenue?” The decision was made to open-up a small restaurant at the center and see who might come. After all, we were all restaurant people and we could easily design a new concept and get open in the next 3-weeks. La Cocina was the brand and most menu items sold from this small walk-up were made using Lawry’s ingredients. La Cocina Enchiladas turned out to be a guest favorite; in fact, people were queued up from 11:30 to 2:30 every weekday.
With La Cocina Enchiladas there are two points of excellence easily duplicated at home—the meat and the tortilla. The meat must be well seasoned—we used a homemade seasoning—and the tortillas must be fried and dipped into sauce before rolling. These enchiladas are amazing! Close your eyes and imagine you are dining at Lawry’s California Center—where Southern California isn’t just a state, but a state of mind.
Epilogue: After the Thomas J. Lipton Company bought Lawry’s, they closed Lawry’s California Center in 1992. They turned the land over to the State of California and it was later re-opened as the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Los Angeles River and Garden Center.
This is truly a recipe your family will love.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 mins
Yield: 8 servings
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon taco seasoning (see recipe below)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups enchilada sauce, plus 1/4 cup, divided (I prefer Las Palmas)
1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 corn tortillas
4 tablespoon chopped black olives, drained
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
8 whole black olives
ChefSecret: Frying the tortilla before rolling will help maintain the texture of the corn masa which give the enchiladas a nice bite.
Ed’s Taco & Enchiladas Meat Seasoning Mix
The perfect seasoning for ground beef, ground chicken, turkey and even tofu.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 cup
1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Quip of the Day: “If you can’t laugh at yourself, let me do it for you.”
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