A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from February 10, 2008
Envueltos (tortilla “envelopes”)

Envueltos (Spanish for “enveloped” or “wrapped”) have been described as fried tacos.  Tortillas are wrapped around a filling (such as meat) and then fried.
“Envueltos” have been cited in print since at least the 1890s and a recipe was included in the very first Mexican cookbook published by San Antonio’s Gebhardt Chili Powder Company.
Glossary - Mexican food recipes, cooking terms
Envueltos Another name for tacos that are filled and fried. 
Danny’s Restaurant (Eagle Pass, TX)
Envueltos  Topped with Salsa Espanola & Melted Monterey Jack Cheese
Chicken Envueltos  Three Soft Chicken Envueltos under a Salsa Espanola Sauce
Practical Guide to the City and Valley of Mexico
by Emil Riedel
City of Mexico: I. Epstein
Pg. 112:
Enchiladas or envueltos—Mexican peppered rolls of corn bread  
17 March 1898, Butte (MT) Weekly Miner, pg. 13:
Ninos Envueltos—Cut a home made loaf of stale bread into slices half an inch tick and pare off the crust. Make a batter from a pint of milk, two eggs and a spoonful of flour, add a pinch of salt; when the bread is thoroughly soaked in batter fry in a pan; when brown serve on a flat dish and pour over the ninos envueltos a syrup made of half a cupful of water, one of sugar, a stick of whole cinnamon, a piece of lemon peel and a spoonful of sweet wine.
Google Books
Mexican Cooking
Gebhardt Chili Powder Co.
San Antonio, Texas
Pg. 37:
Cooking…South of the Rio Grande
by George Luther Nelson
San Antonio, TX: The Nolan Printing Company
Pg. 25:
1 small onion well minced
6 eggs
2 tablespoons canned tomato
1 hot pepper chopped fine
1/4 lb. cheese (grated)
Mashed or boiled potatoes
Mix the eggs with the potatoes and fry. Mix the cheese, minced onion, tomatoes and chopped pepper. Place both mixtures on Tortillas and roll. You can then place in a hot oven without fire until cheese has melted and serve.
Your Mexican Kitchen:
A Compilation of Mexican Recipes Practicable in the United States
by Natalie V. Scott
New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Pp. 78-79:
1 lb. of pork
1 lb, of veal (preferably shoulder)
3 onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups of tomato pulp
2 or 3 hot small peppers
comino seeds (a few)
12 tortillas
4 tbsps. of lard
salt, pepper
Boil the meat with onion and 1 clove of garlic, adding salt and pepper when it is nearly done. Take the meat out and grind it, reserving the broth.
Chop fine 1 onion and 1 clove of garlic, and fry it in 1 tbsp. of lard; as it browns, add a cup of tomato pulp, and the hot peppers (which may be omitted, if desired!). Add the ground meat, some of the broth, and salt and pepper to taste.
Sauce: Fry an onion, minced, in 1 tbsp. of lard, and, as it begins to brown, add a cup of tomato pulp, salt, and pepper; when the tomato is cooked, add the remainder of the stock, and let it simmer.
Dip the tortillas in very hot lard, then in the sauce; make a mound of the meat in the center of each, and then roll it into a cylinder. Pour the remainder of the sauce over all the tortillas, when they are filled and rolled and heaped on a dish to serve.
7 July 1952, San Antonio (TX) Express, “Original enjoys national reputation for outstanding cuisine,” pg. 5, cols. 3-4:
Open from 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., the Original Mexican Restaurant not only serves the best in customary Spanish dishes, such as frijoles, chile con carne, enchiladas, tacos, and others, but it also features specialties served only at the Original Restaurant. They are: Fritoque, Chiletoque, Envueltos, and Esponjados.
16 June 1960, Hobbs (NM) Daily News-Sun, pg. 17, col. 2 ad:
A Mexican Dinner.
2 Beef Enchiladas with our own special Envuelto Sauce, Pinto Beans, Tossed Salad with your favorite dressing.
Google Books
The Food and Drink of Mexico
by George C. Booth
Los Angeles, CA: Ward Ritchie Press
Pg. 144:
Envueltos de Aguacate (AVOCADO WRAPAROUNDS)
18 tortillas
4 tbs. chopped onion
Peanut oil
2 cans tomato sauce
1 tbs. chili powder
6 average avocados
2 tbs. lime juice
Sautee two tablespoons of chopped onions in one tablespoon oil until soft but uncolored; stir in tomato sauce and chili and cook five minutes.
Mash the avocado meat to a uniform paste and stir in salt, two tablespoons chopped onion and lime juice.
In hot, deep cooking oil drop each tortilla, turning immediately and removing. Tortilla should brown lightly but remain soft.
Fill leach tortilla with avocado sauce, double over and pour tomato dressing on top.
Serve from platter adorned with olives, radishes and sliced cheddar cheese.
Pg. 145:
Envueltos de Pure de Chicharos (GREEN PEA WRAPAROUNDS)
18 small tortillas
2 cups thick pea puree
Sour cream
Peanut oil
Fry the tortillas in deep oil quickly, so they don’t harden—then double. Fill them with hot pee puree or cream of pea soup that has been heated without adding water.
Lay the envuelto on a plate and spoon sour cream over top.
Google Books
The Texas Cookbook:
from barbecue to banquet—an informal view of dining and entertaining the Texas way
by Mary Faulk Koock
Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press
Boston, MA: Little, Brown
Pg. 220:
Laguna Madre Envueltos
1 lb. ground beef
2 Tbs. butter or oleo
Salt and pepper
2 dozen tortillas
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper. chopped
2 pieces celery
1 clove garlic, minced
1 No. 2 can tomatoes
1 large bottle pitted green olives
2 pimentos
Grated cheese
Brown meat in small amount of fat. Salt and pepper to taste. Place cooked meat in center of tortillas and roll tightly. Place in baking dish. Sautee onion, green pepper, celery and garlic in butter. Add tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Add chopped olives and pimentos. Pour sauce over rolled tortillas. Top with grated cheese. Cover and bake for 30 minutes in 300-degree oven.
Google Books
Jane Butel’s Southern Kitchen
by Jane Butel
New York, NY: HPBooks
Pg. 15:
Envueltos (Chicken-Stuffed Soft Tortillas)
Like an envelope, the folded-over soft tortilla makes an ideal covering for the chicken. Sometimes these are called soft tacos.
(Long recipe follows—ed.)
19 September 1997, San Antonio (TX) Express-News, pg. 23H:
One of our favorites was the soft beef taco, reminiscent of the envueltos we enjoy in Laredo and Nuevo Laredo.
The Tex-Mex Cookbook
by Robb Walsh
New York, NY: Broadway Books
Pg. 3:
Literally, “surrounded or enveloped” in English, envueltos usually describes tortillas wrapped around a filling and then either fried or cooked in a sauce. 
Google Books
The Everything Tex-Mex Cookbook
by Linda Larsen
Avon, MA: Adams Media
Pg. 11:
Envueltos, or filled and folded tortillas, are so called because they look like envelopes.
Google Books
Drive I-95
by Stan Posner and Sandra Phillips-Posner
Pg. 88:
Popular is the Ninos Envueltos, a steak rolled with cheese and mushrooms in a tomato pepper cream sauce (yum)...

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Sunday, February 10, 2008 • Permalink

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