Sunbelt Spotlight: Nature Heals During Times of Uncertainty with Richard Halsey

When was the last time you experienced the great outdoors? How did it make you feel?

Since the discovery of agriculture approximately 10,000 years ago, the time humans spend outdoors has steadily declined to less than 7%! This lack of exposure has been linked to higher cortisol levels, more irritation, more distraction, and other physiological changes.

So let’s get back outside! Be conscious of what you are doing and why to really reap the benefits. Use all your senses to be aware of your surroundings, the sounds, the smells, the sights, and even touch. Connect with the environment you live in by knowing about what lives there, animals, plants, and even your neighbors. Engage with others and help them reconnect with nature.

If you would like to learn more about this any of the ideas presented here, watch our first Sunbelt Spotlight lecture with Richard Halsey, now available to view on YouTube!

Old Missions of the Californias with Max Kurillo

Have you ever wanted to know about all 48 missions of the Californias? We invited mission scholar and author Max Kurillo to Sunbelt Publications for a SB Live Chat on this very subject as covered in his new book, Old Missions of the Californias. In this book, all 48 of the California missions are detailed in the order of their founding and not based on a border that didn’t exist when the missions were built. Maps and photos from past and present provide a look at the missions from yesterday and today. Also Included are chapters on the founding Catholic Orders, on the mission road, El Camino Real, and a complete reference list of additional mission history sources. This comprehensive yet compact work belongs in your glovebox, backpack, and home library to enrich your travel and mission history experiences.

Even if you weren’t able to catch the talk live, it is available to view at your leisure below. Our full selection of Max Kurillo’s books are also on special through July 31st, so order soon!

 

Take A Hike and Reconnect with the Outdoors

For our first Sunbelt Spotlight on July 22nd, author and naturalist Richard Halsey is going to share how during this time of isolation, we can reconnect with our original home, the outdoors. To get you started, we would like to share a hiking trail from Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors. This trail is part of the beautiful Mission Trails Regional Park.

Take A Hike Tip: It is warming up in southern California, so don’t forget to pack extra water, a hat, sunscreen, and protective lip balm. Most importantly, let someone know where you are hiking and then let them know when you return, so that they can call emergency services if you don’t come back. This is especially important if hiking in remote areas.

VISITOR CENTER LOOP

Distance: 2 miles, loop, including short side trip
Difficulty: 2 out of 5 – a route of 1-3 miles with some up and down that can be completed in 1-2 hours with elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet.
Elevation gain/loss:  Up to 600 feet
Hiking time:  1 hour
Agency: City of San Diego
Trail use: Bicycles, dogs
Trailhead GPS: N32.81956, W117.05592
Optional map: USGS 7.5-min La Mesa

Directions: From CA-52 go east on Mast Boulevard for 0.2 mile. Turn right on West Hills Parkway. Go 0.7 mile. Turn right on Mission Gorge Road. Go 2.4 miles. Turn right on Father Junipero Serra Trail at a large wooden sign for Mission Trails Regional Park. Continue a short distance following the signs to the visitor center parking lot.
From I-8 go north on Mission Gorge Road for 4.2 miles. Turn left on Father Junipero Serra Trail at a large wooden sign for Mission Trails Regional Park. Continue a short distance following the signs to the visitor center parking lot.

The Mission Trails Visitor Center Loop Trail is a great hike for those who want an introduction to San Diego outdoors. It has it all including a 14,575-square-foot, award-winning visitor and interpretive center with both audio and visual displays that help you understand the resources of this over 7000-acre park. Mission Trails Regional Park purports to be one of the nation’s largest urban natural parks. The loop trail is great for trail runners, mountain bikers, and dog owners. For those that do want a guide, park naturalists lead free interpretive walks on this loop on both Saturday and Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m.

Before you begin your hike, take time to enjoy the many displays at the visitor center. Learn how water was first transported to San Diego and how the early days of this park was part of the military’s Camp Elliott from 1917-1961. The visitor center is open daily from 9-5 p.m.

One of the amazing things about this loop is how quickly one can leave the noise of a major street and crowds gathered in the parking area and step into a natural environment. While we enjoy the quiet and hear the wind as it moves through the plants, the call of a wrentit, or the buzz of an insect, think about how the quiet is much more fundamental for many of the animals calling the chaparral, coastal sage scrub, and riparian woodland ecosystems home. Noise pollution is of concern to these animals since their hearing is so sensitive, having evolved in areas without the roar of freeways or of a jet flying above. A mouse for instance, may be temporarily deafened with a loud noise, leaving it more susceptible to predation, whereas in a quiet location, the mouse may have picked up on subtle clues giving away the presence of a predator.

The hike begins at the parking entrance to the visitor center off Junipero Serra Trail. The trailhead is signed “Visitor Center Loop.” The loop trail ends on the other side of the drive entrance. Begin walking north, noting common chaparral plants encountered at the beginning of the loop that include laurel sumac, California buckwheat, and chaparral candle. The large peak straight ahead is South Fortuna Mountain.

As you approach the San Diego River, cottonwoods will come into view. At 0.3 mile there is a turnoff to the Grinding Rocks Trail which leads to the Riverside Grinding Site where bedrock morteros may be seen. It was here that early-day Kumeyaay would grind their collected seeds and acorns to prepare them for meals. Take this short jaunt if you want to see this grinding area and then return to the junction to continue the loop.

As the trail begins to follow the river, more riparian plants become visible including mule-fat, western sycamores, arroyo willows, and rushes (Juncus spp.) that were used by the Kumeyaay for making collection baskets. Watch out for western poison-oak near the trail. At about 0.9 mile, you approach the San Diego River Crossing from which you can go right to head to the Fortunas. Go left and head right up the hill passing a small stream to your right. Note the blocks of ancient granite that rise above the steam bed where cattails are visible. The green material floating in the pond eddies is a freshwater green alga known as pond scum or pond-moss (Spirogyra spp.), although it is not really a moss. The alga is photosynthetic—a chlorophyte that typically forms greenish mats on the water’s surface, especially during dryer months when water is stagnant.

The loop continues past the Jackson Staging Area. As the route parallels Mission Gorge, the quiet is interrupted with the sounds of street traffic and soon the parking area comes into view.

Enjoy the great outdoors on bike!

As parks and trails begin to reopen, what better way to get outdoors than bike! Try out this easy ride from Cycling San Diego 4th Edition.

San Luis Rey River Trail

Starting Point: Neptune Way, Oceanside
Distance: 18 miles out and back
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
Riding Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy, not-technical
Road Conditions: Smooth, paved trails
Traffic Conditions: Light on trail
Equipment: Any bicycle

The San Luis Rey River Trail is a paved bicycle and pedestrian trail that is completely separated from streets and highways. It’s a great way to enjoy a traffic free ride along the San Luis Rey River, one of the County’s biologically-richest river corridors that provides habitat for several threatened and endangered species. The river has its headwaters in the Cleveland National Forest near Mount Palomar, and is over 69 miles long. This ride is an out and back that traverses the final 9 miles of the river to the coast.

Start by pedaling north on Neptune Way which quickly curves east to begin following the meandering path of the San Luis Rey River. After a short distance you’ll pass under I-5 and then parallel State Route 76 (SR-76). At 2.5 miles the trail passes under Benet Road and to the north of the Oceanside Municipal Airport. You’ll notice connector trails at each road crossing allowing you to easily access the road from either direction.

The trail begins to swing north at North Foussat Road. Look to your right to spot the old Valley Drive-In theatre, now housing the 40 acre Oceanside Swap Meet since 1971. During its heyday the drive-in had 4 screens and finally closed in 1999. After your nostalgic pause, the trail then follows the river east past Douglas Drive at 5.5 miles and soon arrives at Mance Buchanon Park at College Boulevard. The park, with tables, water, and public restrooms, is a great place to stop for a snack and top off your water bottle.

After College Boulevard the trail then curves east and then south around a housing development with streets named after American presidents. Trail connectors allow you to access the trail near the junction of Andrew Jackson and Polk Streets and Tyler and Harding Streets. Soon the trail heads east to the parking area just north of Highway 76 at North Santa Fe Avenue. This is the turnaround point where you’ll enjoy the mostly downhill ride back to the start.

GETTING THERE

The easiest place to start the ride is the western end in Oceanside. You’ll ride generally uphill to the eastern end and then enjoy a mostly downhill run on the return route. Take I-5 to exit 54A for CA-76 (State Route 76) east toward Coast Highway. Turn left on CA-76 heading west. Turn left on North Coast Highway then right on Neptune Way. Follow it to the end and park on the street nearby.

To start at the eastern end and have the uphill ride on the return, take CA-76 to North Santa Fe Avenue. The trailhead is on the north side of State Route 76.

OPTIONS

The North River/Guajome Loop ride explores further east on the San Luis Rey River. See that ride for more details if you would like to extend this ride eastward. The Coastal Rail Trail ride heads south a short distance from the Oceanside Transit Center a few blocks south of Neptune Way on the west side of the railroad track. See that ride for more details.

AMENITIES

Stores and restaurants are located near the western start in Oceanside and on College Boulevard on the eastern end of the trail. Public restrooms and water are available at Guajome Regional Park, Mance Buchanon Park on College Boulevard 7.3 miles from the start, and the Oceanside Transit Center a few block south of the start.

Courage to Heal: The origins of the first HMO | Q&A with author Dr. Paul Bernstein

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kaiser-Permanente is one of the great HMOs that is providing health care. In fact, Kaiser was the FIRST ever HMO that grew out of a small medical facility in the Mojave Desert. The historical fiction Courage to Heal tells of how it had to fight the existing medical system to create a new system that could provide affordable care. This fast and exciting read was written by a Kaiser-Permanente doctor who wanted to capture the early history of this great institution.

Courage to Heal is currently available at a discounted price of $9.00 through June 30th to give easier access to this important and relevant information. Enjoy the following Q&A with author Dr. Paul Bernstein.

Q: The NY Times and NBC News have stated that KP may be the answer to our nation’s health care crisis.  Too good to be true?

A: KP through its focus on preventive care, originated by Dr. Sidney Garfield, has created a unique, affordable way to provide patient centric care. Prepayment, that Henry Kaiser and Dr. Garfield started, changed our nation’s system of “sick care” – where doctors are paid fee for service when a patient is sick – to “health care” where you and your physician “thrive” by keeping you healthy.  

Q: How did managed care begin?

A: The largest managed care system, KP, began in 1933 in Desert Center when Henry Kaiser and Dr. Garfield came up with the idea of prepayment – a nickel a day to take care of the workers building the aqueduct.  

Q: What were and still are the reasons that made Sidney Garfield and Henry Kaiser look for a new way of providing health care to the general public.

A: The reasons are the same today as they were 75 plus years ago. Patients couldn’t (and still can’t) afford health care or preventive care which was the impetus behind prepayment and complete coverage as a new way to provide care.

Q: What are the basic differences between a non-profit HMO, eg Kaiser Permanente and a for-profit HMO, e.g. PacifiCare or Aetna?

A: The main difference is that all patient dues in a non-profit HMO go for patient care and that programs to make health care more affordable are passed on to the patient by keeping monthly rates low. In a for-profit HMO – care is managed so at the end of the year a profit can be generated for their investors and shareholders.  

Q: Why have we not heard more of Sidney Garfield, the doctor who started the managed care movement in America, wrote the first article on the computerized health record, and received national recognition by Lady Bird Johnson?

A: Great question! Tell all your friends about Courage to Heal so people learn more! The same applies to Henry Kaiser, America’s greatest industrialist, who built much of America’s largest dams, roads, and created an Industrial empire that built America after World War II and helped to create America’s middle class.

Q: Did the American Medical Association have the patients’ interests at heart when they accused HMO doctors of being socialists and threatened to “blacklist” them in a manner reminiscent of McCarthyism?  

A: The AMA was concerned at the time about protecting the fee-for-service way of practicing American medicine and looked at prepayment as an economic threat. They considered the most important bond between the doctor and patient to be the “fee” and not quality, caring, etc. 

Q: In your novel, Dr. Garfield falls in love with his nurse, Judy, in a romance reminiscent of a Hollywood movie.  Is this based on fact or fiction?

A: The romance was based on fact and the “real nurse” who was interviewed on her 84th birthday, said that Sidney Garfield was “the love of her life.” 

Q: Did the AMA really suspend Dr. Garfield’s medical license for no other reason than he was trying to provide care to what at that time were the “uninsurable”?

A: The main reason they revoked his license was again, political. To try and stop prepaid medicine by harming Dr. Garfield’s reputation. Not only did they oppose prepayment, they were opposed to the residency programs that Dr. Garfield was running to train new physicians and specialists. 

Q: Dr. Garfield was a rich man after selling his hospitals in Desert Center, why didn’t he just follow the mainstream and become a fee for service surgeon?

A: Dr. Garfield did make a profit at the end of Desert Center, but he had seen first-hand how patients suffered when they could not afford health care. He devoted his life to providing affordable, preventive prepaid care. 

Q: How did Dr. Garfield and Henry Kaiser manage to create a new system of health care and take care of thousands of 4F patients during WWII? Were they able to provide quality care at the same time?

A: Dr. Garfield and Henry Kaiser had learned from taking care of workers at Boulder Dam and the Grand Coulee Dam how to care for patients in a way that was both affordable (prepaid) and high quality. The Kaiser Shipyards in WWII had the best safety record of any shipyard and most of their records still hold today. Kaiser and Garfield also provided in WW2 equal care for all – with the first integrated hospital – the first time health care disparities, which are still seen in America today, were addressed in a fair and equal fashion.

Author Dr. Paul Bernstein at a signing

About Dr. Paul Bernstein
A nationally recognized leader, Dr. Bernstein was the Medical Director of one of California’s largest medical groups.  Under his leadership of this multi-billion-dollar group, he was awarded the National Malcolm Baldrige Best Practice Award for leadership and innovation.  He is well known as a futurist, author, and speaker dedicated to transform the patient experience through telehealth and virtual medicine.  Committed to improving the health of his community, he served as a Board of Director for the American Cancer Society and ran its Head and Neck division for over two decades.  A prolific novelist, his book, Courage to Heal, has garnered numerous accolades including awards in the San Diego, New York, and London Book competitions.

Help Us Produce The Next Color & Learn Book

The next book in the Color & Learn series, Coloring Southern California Butterflies and Caterpillars, is currently in production. During this pandemic, we need your help producing this book that will support the San Diego Natural History Museum (SDNHM). Your donations would help assure that this book will be published this year.  Donations of $50 or more will be rewarded with a signed copy of the book.

Educator Bill Howell, author of this new book, has trained hundreds of SDNHM Canyoneers and Mission Trails Regional Park Trail Guides so that they can better interpret the natural world to the general public. His fondness for butterflies and their kin is apparent in this new book. Bill is donating all of his author royalties to the SDNHM. We need your help to produce this book. Donations may be mailed directly to Sunbelt Publications, indicating that the funds are to be used to publish the latest in the Color & Learn series. Our address is 1250 Fayette Street, El Cajon, CA 92020.

Cover for Coloring Southern California Butterflies and Caterpillars

To show our gratitude to our fans, please enjoy a free coloring page from this upcoming title and the interpretive text that accompanies the image. This page features the Anise Swallowtail, a commonly seen resident of southern California backyards. Have you seen them visiting your neighborhood?

Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon)

The Anise Swallowtail butterfly may be the most extensively seen swallowtail in southern California. It extends into southern Canada and is common in the western United States, except in desert areas. Like most (but, not all) swallowtail butterflies it has a swallow-like tail on each hindwing. The naked caterpillar has no hairs or filaments and has bands of green and black stripes with pale yellow spots. All swallowtail caterpillars, if disturbed, extend a stinky, orange bifurcated protrusion from the back of their head to allegedly deter predators. The forked projection is called an osmeterium. The food plant for the caterpillar includes members of the carrot family with fennel being a favorite. The chrysalis is held upright with a necklace of silk and ranges in color from bark-brown to leaf-green and suggests a camouflage strategy.

“Kumeyaay Ethnobotany” Q&A with Michael Wilken-Robertson

To celebrate the release of the Spanish edition of award-winning Kumeyaay Ethnobotany, enjoy the following question and answer with author Michael Wilken-Robertson.

Q: I thought the Kumeyaay Indians lived in San Diego County area. Are there also Kumeyaay in Mexico?

A: Yes, long before the US and Mexico existed, the Kumeyaay territory extended throughout the areas known today as San Diego County and northern Baja California, Mexico. Only recently in their history, a border has divided their territory into two different countries.

Q: What kind of language do the Kumeyaay speak?

A: The Kumeyaay language belongs to a larger family of languages that is found in southern California, Arizona, and northern Baja California. These are ancient Native American languages that have ancient roots in this land, going back thousands of years. Today there are only around 70 fluent speakers of the Kumeyaay language in Baja California. And of course, the Kumeyaay living in Mexico also speak Spanish while those in the US speak English.

Q: Many of the Kumeyaay consultants that you worked with live in remote ranches in the hills of Baja California, Mexico. How can their knowledge be relevant to people living in California?

A: Although the Baja Kumeyaay might seem to live far from California, many of the native plants they use will be familiar to people of southern California because they are part of the same bioregion. Anyone who is an outdoor enthusiast or fan of native plants will recognize most of the same plants used by the Kumeyaay. Also, many of the ways that native people have used the plants are very similar from Santa Barbara to northern Baja California, making them into foods, medicines, tools, construction materials, and ceremonial items.

Norma Meza Calles of Nejí sifts acorn meal. Photo by Deborah Small

Q: Many of the elders that you have worked with over the years have passed away. What is happening with the transmission of this knowledge?

A: Some of the younger people continue to learn and use this knowledge. But many leave their communities to seek work in the cities. It is my hope that this book will inspire current generations to feel pride in their culture and help to preserve some small part of the vast indigenous plant knowledge for future generations.

Q: In the past, Kumeyaay people were hunters, gatherers, and fishers. How do they make a living today?

A: The Kumeyaay have adapted to the many changes in their lives since the arrival of non-Indians to these shores. Today the Kumeyaay villages have diverse economies where people might make a living as cowboys, maintaining rural roads or other governmental programs, through agriculture, or working in nearby cities. Some very talented artists also have found that using the skills passed on from their ancestors, such as basketry and pottery, can be useful ways of making a living. Many Kumeyaay supplement their income by gathering acorns and other plants for food and using plant medicines, which helps keep ethnobotanical knowledge alive.

Q: How do the Kumeyaay from different sides of the border interact?

A: It has been increasingly difficult for them to do so since the border was created. In the past they would often travel north or south to attend tribal gatherings, funerals, and traditional games and other cultural events. Today the traditional artisans and cultural specialists are often invited to teach their skills at US reservations, at museums, universities, and special events, but they require special border crossing permits.

Q: You describe the uses of 47 different native plants in the book. What were some of the most surprising things you learned about the ways they have been used by the Kumeyaay?

A: The most surprising thing to learn was just how vibrant the knowledge was among some of the Kumeyaay I worked with and how profound their knowledge of their environment continues to be. Some specific things I learned were how to make drops to remove a tick from your ear, how to gather and cook caterpillars for eating, how to make an effective stomach medicine from what many might consider a common weed (California Buckwheat), and how plants can be gathered in ways that actually help the plants flourish.

Author Michael Wilken-Robertson with IBPA Award. Photo by Sunbelt Publications

Q: How did you end up spending so many years of your life working with the Kumeyaay and other tribes of Baja California?

A: As a boy growing up in southern California, I always wanted to know more about the native people who had lived for thousands of years in this land. I was very lucky that my grandfather was from Mexico and was good friends with many native Baja Californians; he introduced me to them from the time I was a kid. I eventually developed my own relationships with them over the years, based on activism and advocacy that I was able to do along with my research. This helped build trust, and I have been honored to have many friendships and adventures over the years. As a person of Mexican heritage myself, I hope that I have been able to make some kind of contribution to the history, culture, and people of our beautiful land.

Q: Why did you feel it was important to publish a Spanish edition of your book Kumeyaay Ethnobotany?

A: Most of my fieldwork was done in Baja California, Mexico, where many Kumeyaay people still use the plants described in the book in their daily lives. The consultants who generously shared their knowledge with me asked me to help preserve it for their descendants and future generations to learn from. Although many of them are now gone, I hope that with this book I can fulfill that request. I also believe that the more people of Baja California learn about their original native peoples, the more they will recognize the importance of their ongoing place in the history, culture, and present life of the region. The more they learn about our native plants and the ways that humans have interacted with them for thousands of years, the more they will be committed to conserve them, as well as the incredible habitats in which they grow. I am hoping the book will be used to educate Baja Californians in schools, libraries, and of course in the indigenous communities themselves.

Ko’alh speaker Teresa Castro Albañez makes fiber skirts from Mojave Yucca (Yucca schidigera). Photo by Deborah Small

Q: How does this book benefit the Kumeyaay?

A: In many ways. It can serve as a manual that links younger Kumeyaay with the knowledge of their relatives and ancestors, some of whom have now passed on, but many of them still very much alive. It helps to reinforce the recognition of the amazing indigenous cultures that have been developed and passed on for thousands of years in the region. Hopefully, this will help reduce discrimination based on ignorance, which unfortunately continue to affect indigenous peoples of the region. I also hope it will inspire younger generations of Kumeyaay to continue the work of cultural documentation in their own ways, in their own communities. Finally, we will be donating copies of the book to members of the native communities who participated in the study, as well as to local libraries, schools, and museums.

Kumeyaay Ethnobotany explores the remarkable interdependence between native peoples and native plants of the Californias through in-depth descriptions of 47 native plants and their uses, lively narratives, and hundreds of vivid photographs. It connects the archaeological and historical record with living cultures and native plant specialists who share their ever-relevant wisdom for future generations. Winner of the 2019 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Gold Medal in the Regional category and Silver Medal in the Multicultural category.

Free Recipe! Batter Fried Shrimp Mazatlán Style

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Celebrate with this fried shrimp recipe from Cooking with Baja Magic Dos, part of our current cookbook sale.

Batter Fried Shrimp Mazatlán Style

Mazatlán is a busy seaport and industrial city on the west coast of mainland Mexico just south of the tip of Baja. It was one of Mexico’s first beach resorts back in the early ‘60s and is still a major stop on all Mexican Riviera cruises. We spent a few Easter vacations in Mazatlán when I was a kid, enjoying the sunny weather, warm water, and friendly ambiance.

The last time I was there, every night the tourists converged en masse on one of the town’s premier eateries, the Shrimp Bucket. My father swears it has the best fried shrimp served anywhere. They sell it everywhere in Baja now. This is Nina’s version of the dish, which she and my Mom and Dad made up together. Don’t forget the cerveza! Serves six.

2 eggs, beaten

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

2 pounds jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 1/2 cups Italian breadcrumbs

1 1/2 cups corn or canola oil

1-2 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp seasoned salt

In a small bowl, mix eggs, lemon juice, and cilantro. Dip each shrimp into the egg mixture and dredge in breadcrumbs combined with garlic powder and seasoned salt. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Fry each shrimp about two to three minutes, or until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels and place on platter in oven on warm until ready to serve.

Covid-19 Update from Sunbelt and Cookbook Sale

We are hoping everyone is staying healthy and safe. Sunbelt is still filling orders on our website during this difficult time. We can also take orders via email at info@sunbeltpub.com or by phone at (619) 258-4911. Orders can be shipped or prepared for curbside pickup. The Sunbelt warehouse is open for scheduled visits only during the COVID-19 stay at home order to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. Please call or email for appointments. We appreciate your support of our publishing business during this pandemic.

While you are safe at home, you might be interested in trying out new interesting recipes. A selection of our cookbooks are available for 30% off for some indoor fun. Please enjoy the following recipe from Cooking with Baja Magic Dos by Ann Hazard. The book leads you through four generations of historic Baja adventures and features 250 recipes representative of Baja’s unique and continuously evolving cuisine.

This recipe for Zesty Relleno Bites is an employee favorite for group gatherings.

Zesty Relleno Bites from Cooking with Baja Magic Dos

Serves four to eight

  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (set aside ½ cup for topping)
  • 4 cups shredded Chihuahua or Jack cheese (set aside ½ cup for topping)
  • 2 lb fresh pasilla or ancho chiles (spicy) or 2 lb fresh Anaheim chiles (milder), blistered
  • or 6 – 7 oz cans diced green chiles (mild)
  • 6 eggs, well beaten
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 1 eight ounce can evaporated milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 cups (or 2 – 7.5 oz cans) salsa verde
  • queso fresca or feta cheese as garnish

To blister chiles, wash, pat dry and cook over a gas burner, turning constantly until they’re evenly charred and stop making popping sounds. Wrap each chile in a moist paper towel to steam. After a few minutes peel skin off each chile. Remove seeds and dice. If using canned chiles, simply spread on a paper towel and pat dry.

Grease a 9 x 14 inch pan. Layer 1/3 of the chiles and 1/3 of cheese, repeat twice, for a total of three layers. Add flour and milk to eggs, blend well, pour over chiles and cheese. At this point, the dish can be refrigerated up to 24 hours. Bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, top with salsa verde and remaining cheeses and bake an additional 15 min. Cool until warm, cut into one inch squares, serve and watch them disappear!