Any Roadfooders ever heard of this? It has been described as Mexican Pizza but it's more like nachos. I used to frequent a restaurant called La Choza 20-30 years go in Rogers Park (Chicago). It is hard to remember all of the ingredients but it was very tasty. Definitely chips, beans and cheese. The owners name was Sylvester and he was from Oaxaca. Don't know if it was his invention or a Oaxacan recipe. Can anyone help find the recipe?
I found this article: Food For Thought: Guacamole and cheese 'kamoosh'
Terry Kay Bargar
The first time I ever ate Mexican food was at a small and dingy joint on the northern fringes of Chicago.
La Choza Restaurant was located near the Howard Street “El” stop, close enough to my college campus yet far enough away that students felt like they were going “downtown.” We didn’t go to La Choza for the décor: plaster-cracked white walls, dirt- and mud-strewn floors, and plastic draped tables through which one could see colorful cloths and family photographs from “back home.” No restaurant was more authentic than La Choza and its Spanish-speaking wait staff, an anomaly in the 1970s.
The food at La Choza was incredibly delicious! I credit La Choza with turning me into the adventurous eater I am today.
Sylvester, an Oaxacan native, owned and ran the restaurant. I think he cooked, too. His cuisine featured foods typical of Oaxaca, such as spicy mole. My friends would order mole on enchiladas, over steak and with chicken, but I really never relished mole sauce. My taste buds had not yet blossomed and I preferred dishes that were blander.
For me, the winner on the menu was the kamoosh. Kamoosh was nirvana, a warmed plate of melted cheese on top of creamy avocado. It was Sylvester’s inventive play on nachos. He called it “Mexico’s threat to pizza.” I’ve never seen kamoosh on a menu anywhere else in any city in any country, not even in Mexico. For 30 years I’ve tried to duplicate that tasty kamoosh, without success. Still, my version is “fantástico!”
Terry’s Kamoosh “La Choza”
Each kamoosh serves two to four people as an appetizer.
Andover’s threat to pizza? A flour tortilla “crust” topped with layers of guacamole and cheese. This recipe tastes great, cooks quickly and is light on the budget. Toss one into the oven for a treat the whole family will love, especially the kids!
For the guacamole:
1 large garlic clove
1 small onion, quarters
2 tomatoes, quartered
2 limes (zested and juiced)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
6 drops hot sauce (or more to taste)
For the toppings:
1 package flour tortillas, burrito size OR 1 package flax, oat bran & whole wheat flour lavash bread
4 ounces queso blanco, shredded
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Start by making the guacamole. For this recipe it is essential that the guacamole be perfectly smooth, so we’re going to put all the ingredients into a food processor and puree it until it’s just like velvet with no lumps or chunks. Cut open the avocado, remove the pits, and spoon out the fruit. Remember: Beauty doesn’t count here! Now add the garlic clove, onion, tomatoes, lime zest and juice, cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro, jalapeno pepper and hot sauce. Put the cover on the work bowl and take it for a spin for about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and whiz it around again. When the guacamole is creamy smooth then it’s done. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed.
2. Preheat your broiler to high. Place the tortilla (or lavash) on a baking sheet and lightly toast it under the broiler. Then flip it over and firm it up on the other side. Remove from the oven, but keep the oven on.
3. Next, completely cover one side of the tortilla with guacamole — nice, thin layer going all the way to the edges. Think of a plasterer skim-coating the walls... we’re looking for a beautiful green layer on top of the tortilla. Got it? Great.
4. Evenly sprinkle an ounce each of queso blanco and cheddar on top of the guacamole.
5. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and cook for four to five minutes or until the cheese is melted and is beginning to bubble. Remove from oven, and cut into small pieces with a pizza wheel. Eat while still warm. Share with friends. Serve with Mexican beer and a piece of lime.
Never heard of it around San Antonio.Must be some sort of local thing.I imagine you can use a regular size tortilla, or the big flour tortillas they sell for burrtios.There is a thing called a cheese crisp in New Mexico and Arizona that is a flour tortilla lavished with cheese then baked or broiled.
Around here it's nachos,ceviche,or other such mexican apetizers that you would see in Mexico mainly.
The only place I've ever seen kamoosh was the old La Choza. A new place called La Choza opened recently on Clark Street not far from the old Paulina location. Alas, it's not the same place. A reasonable facsimile of kamoosh, believe it or not, is the garnachas from Pepe's. At least that's the closest thing to kamoosh I've tasted since La Choza closed down.
It sounds like what is called a "tlayuda" hereabouts, which the Atlanta food writers say is an Oaxacan treat. SFAIK there is one place in the Atlanta area that serves these things which are like quesadillas on steroids only better. The place that serves them makes the AJC "top 50: lists for foodies mostly because of this item.
I've pasted a review...
La Oaxaquena Taqueria
6738 Tara Blvd., Jonesboro
By MERIDITH FORD
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 09/20/2007
The smell of bus exhaust reminds me of tortillas, and tortillas remind me of my grandmother's enchiladas. When I was young she and my grandfather would travel from Texas by bus to visit us in Atlanta. And every trip brought corn tortillas — something that wasn't as available as it is now.
We would make a night of making cheese and chili enchiladas, something far more Tex-Mex than Mexican than we knew at the time, plus my favorite — warm tortillas smeared with butter and salt, then rolled and popped into my mouth by the dozen.
I don't know if these dinners were the seed that would bear fruit of the adoration in my adulthood of Mexican food, but there is no other cuisine, save Spanish, that I love more.
The flavor of masa, formed into the various constructions the different regions in Mexico offer — tortillas, sopes, huaraches, gorditas and giant tlayudas — is irresistible, a musky, corn-flavored mass that seems to hold within it an entire culture's history.
And no place in the area holds more of the mystery that is masa than La Oaxaquena Taqueria in Jonesboro, where tlayudas (say cli-U-duhs) reign and mole is monarchy. Invariably when people ask me what my favorite restaurant in the area is, this itty bitty Oaxacan hole-in-the-wall is my answer.
The tlayudas are things of great, messy beauty — a thin, griddled, oversized tortilla smothered in shredded lettuce, gobs of beans and spicy Mexican chorizo, fresh, ripe tomatoes, avocado, and string cheese from Oaxaca called quesillo. Tlayudas are Oaxacan, but rarely are they served at the table as they are here; on the streets of Oaxaca they are antojitos — street food — and the street is a good place to eat them, since they are the kind of yummy chaos that needs to get all over your face, drip down your arm and generally make mayhem of lunch.
Huaraches, or "sandal," so-called because of its shoe-sole shape, are perhaps even better than the tlayudas — made thick, with a rimmed edge, and crispy towards the edge but soft and doughy in the center. Smothered with chicken, shredded lettuce and queso fresco, they are easier to eat than their larger counterpart, but end up making just as much of a mess.
The restaurant offers a little salsa stand at the front, and it's worth the trip — salsa verde is fresh with tomatillo flavor that gives way to garlic, onion and hot chile spice. Smoky chipotle offers lots of peppery flavor, but with a little less heat. And oh — there are always roasted, oven-charred jalapenos, green and red. In between Solo cups of salsa are servings of quince and lime flavored Jello. To quench the fire on your tongue? Perhaps. Whatever works. A giant Styrofoam cup of a melon-flavored drink the amiable staff will offer the minute you sit down works well, too. It tastes like liquid cantaloupe.
Need more masa? Try a gordita topped with shredded, barbecued goat meat. But save room for one of the kitchen's incredible tamales — here made with shreds of chicken in masa and rich mole wrapped in banana leaves, or chicken with masa and spicy salsa rioja wrapped in a corn husk. Either way, they are the best tamales in the area.
The staff speaks a little English, but between broken Spanish, broken English and lots of smiling and pointing, there's rarely a problem with getting what you want.
And what I want is that Proustian memory — made tangible — that comes with the smell of bus fumes. La Oaxaquena Taqueria serves it up with a mess of masa and a smile.
There is a dish called Clayuda in the state of Oaxaca. It is a large tortilla cooked on a large clay griddle until crispy then topped with a layer of refried beans, lard and then with whatever you want. Most common are chicken or beef, lettuce, peppers queso Oaxaca etc. I have not seen them in Houston I'll have to look for them next time I'm in San Antonio.
Joe, Apparently your clayuda is the same thing as spelled tlayuda by the Atlanta food writers as evidenced by the phonetic spelling in the fifth paragraph. If you find one in Houston or elsewhere for that matter please post the location on this board in case I ever get back to Texas again.