Chi Chi's-style Cancun Enchiladas

  • 1 pck. (8 oz.) frozen artificial crab legs, completely thawed
  • 1 pck. (4 oz.) frozen baby shrimp, thawed

Cut half of the crab leg pieces into 1 inch lengths and the remaining half into finely cut pieces. Combine with the thawed baby shrimp. Set aside while you make the sauce.

Cheese Sauce:

  • 1 can (10 oz.) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 pck. (4 oz.) shredded Velveeta cheese
  • fresh cilantro leaves scissor snipped into large pieces

In the top of a double boiler, over gently simmering water, combine soup and cheese and stir til cheese melts completely and blends well into the soup. Reduce heat to under a simmer to keep the sauce warm. Mix enough of the sauce with the crab/shrimp mixture to bind.


  • 1 pck. (8 tortillas)

Lightly brown each tortilla on a lightly greased pancake griddle or in a Teflon coated roomy skillet that has been coated with corn oil and quite hot (as you would have for making ordinary pancakes). NOTE: You want the tortillas to have only a trace of brown around the edges and be pliable so they can be rolled up easily.

Divide the crab/shrimp mixture equally between the 8 tortillas, placing mixture over the top 1/3 of each and roll up. Place seam-side-down on an oven-proof plate (keep them close together). Spoon remaining cheese sauce over the top of tortillas and heat briefly (15 seconds) in the microwave oven (or place under broiler til browned). Add cilantro for garnish. Each Cancun dinner is served with an accompaniment of refried beans, Spanish rice and Chi Chi's spicy slaw.

Refried Beans:

  • 1 can (14 oz.) Campbell's pork and beans
  • 2 cans Campbell's Fiesta Chili Beef soup

Mix all ingredients together and heat very gently in a shallow skillet til combined and piping hot (do not boil or scorch). Place 1/2 mixture into a blender with only enough water to cover the blades and puree. Return to the skillet. Melt 2 T. butter or margarine and 2 T. oil in a Teflon lined skillet and heat beans quite gently, pressing down on the mixture with the back of a pancake turner. When piping hot, divide into 4 servings.

Spanish Rice:

    Prepare 1 box Minute Rice per directions using Spicy V-8 Juice in place of the water. NOTE: Follow the directions exactly and the rice will be seasoned and cooked at the same time.

    Spicy Slaw:

    • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded head lettuce
    • 1 medium tomato, diced
    • 1 onion the size on an egg, diced fine
    • 2 Tbsp. scissor snipped fresh cilantro leaf
    • 1 tsp. scissor snipped fresh parsley leaf
    • dash or 2 Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
    • enough bottled creamy garlic dressing to bind all the ingredients together

    Combine all ingredients and bind together. Divide into 4 servings.

    Servings: 4

    Source: Gloria Pitzer's Secret Recipe Newsletter

About Chi Chi's®


Chi-Chi's was a popular Mexican restaurant chain from 1975 to 2004. It ceased to exist within the United States following a 2003 Hepatitis A outbreak that began at one of its locations in suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Chi-Chi's is still in operation in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Indonesia. Chi-Chi's also marketed a line of grocery foods (later purchased by Hormel) with an emphasis on salsa.

in fact, when it came to salsa, Chi-Chi's coined the term "Salsafication" and its many forms (i.e. "Salsarific", "Salsafy", "Declaration of Salsafication", et al) in menus and training videos. Store managers also used the term in meetings and in daily operations as a motivational tool. In 2001, Chi-Chi's applied for a trademark on the word "Salsafication" but was denied by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. But it was still very, very cool that the company made it part of their culture.

In August 2004, Outback Steakhouse bid $42.5 million for the rights to buy its choice of Chi-Chi's 76 properties, but did not purchase the Chi-Chi's name, operations, or recipes. On the weekend of September 18, 2004, Chi-Chi's closed all 65 of its remaining restaurants. Outback had hoped to convert many of the properties to their own restaurants, but instead eventually sold the majority of the properties to Kimco Realty Corporation, a real estate investment trust company in New Hyde Park, New York.

Today, Chi-Chi's only remains as a wonderful ine of products produced by Hormel and available in grocery stores across the U.S. For more information, check out There's a variety of information, and you can even send a Chi-Chi's gram.