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Cyd Charisse's South of the Border Casserole

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Cyd Charisse, so time for another centennial celebration.

The Recipe

This recipe is from "Great Performances in the Kitchen Recipes and Food Styles of the Stars" (1988) by Johna Blinn. It will also be featured in the upcoming cookbook "Murder, She Cooked" by Jenny Hammerton of Silver Screen Suppers.

Cyd Charisse’s Mother's "South of the Border" Casserole

**My special guest Rusty Frank is a vegetarian, so instead of chicken we are replacing it with seitan and chicken broth will be replaced with vegetable broth.


2 cups cooked, diced chicken

2 cup chicken broth

1 can (10½ oz) cream of mushroom soup

½ cup dairy sour cream

1 can (4 oz) green chiles, drained, chopped

½ cup black olives, chopped

½ cup chopped onions

½ teaspoon Greek seasoning

6 filo leaves (available in frozen food gourmet section of grocery stores or Middle Eastern speciality food shops)

2 cups grated New York-style Longhorn cheese

1 tablespoon melted butter (more if desired)

Preheat oven to 375℉.


Combine chicken broth, soup, sour cream, chiles, onion and seasoning. Mix well. Butter a shallow 9x10-inch baking dish. Line the bottom with 2 filo leaves. Spread half of the mixture over the filo leaves. Top with half of the cheese. Repeat the layers, using the remaining leaves to form a crust on top. Brush with melted butter. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let the dish set for a few minutes before cutting into serving pieces. Fabulous with a crisp green salad.

Serves: 6-8

Special Guests

Rusty Frank

Rusty Frank is a Tap Dancer and Lindy Hopper, producer, choreographer, writer, and dance preservationist. The author of the critically acclaimed book TAP! THE GREATEST TAP DANCE STARS AND THEIR STORIES 1900-1955, Rusty also produced and choreographed the stage revues “SWINGIN’ THE CENTURY - THE BIG BAND SHOW“ and “JAZZ TAP”. She has appeared in many dance documentaries, including the BBC’s “Fascinating Rhythms - The Story of Tap” and Warner Home Video’s "Astaire-Rogers" Box Set documentary.

Rusty began her dancing career at the tender age of six, when she saw her first Shirley Temple movie ("I wanna do that!"). She studied with many of the great tap masters, including her mentor, Louis DaPron, as well as Fayard Nicholas (Nicholas Brothers), Gene Nelson, Miriam Nelson, Bob Scheerer, Lou Wills, Jr., Leonard Reed, Dorothy Toy, Glenn Turnbull, Katherine Hopkins Nicholas, and Jon Zerby. She entered the dance profession in her early 20s, performing in many musicals (42ND STREET, MACK AND MABEL, BABES IN ARMS, DAMES AT SEA, 5, 6, 7, 8, MINNIE’S BOYS, and SNEAK PREVIEW).

Rusty has taught and performed in twenty-three countries around the world and performed at such locales as Broadway’s 42nd Street, The Hollywood Bowl, Disneyland, and the Derby. For more information about Rusty and her classes in Swing & Lindy Hop and her online store (including loads of tap dance instructional videos!) visit RUSTYFRANK.COM Rusty wrote the book TAP! THE GREATEST TAP DANCE STARS AND THEIR STORIES 1900-1955

Janet Klein

Ukulele Chanteuse Janet Klein is a band-leader, musical archeologist specializing in rare and wonderful early jazz of the 1920s and 1930s.

Joined by some of her L.A.-based band members—The Parlor Boys—She and her band have recorded 10 CDs with their spirited renditions of Tin Pan Alley, early hot jazz, vaudeville, and Yiddish novelty tunes, ragtime, and other rare and rustic gems.

When live concerts and tours were curtailed in 2020, Janet kept the musical cheer and “time travel entertainment” going by creating an online series called “Hit of the Week Parlor Party" and "Parlor Party Cartoon Screening Room" with fellow musicians, artists & historian pals. To learn more, visit JANETKLEIN.COM

The Final Result

Lessons were learned on today's episode of Hollywood Kitchen! First off, I should have used Campbell's CONDENSED Cream of Mushroom Soup. I also added too much vegetable broth. Thank you again to Rusty Frank and Janet Klein for being such great guests and eating what turned out to be soup!!

There are plenty of Cyd Charisse films out there for you to enjoy. You can find them on Amazon Prime Video and on Turner Classic Movies.

If you enjoyed this episode, please like, share and consider contributing to my Patreon so I can keep these going.

Stay tuned for more food, fun and film history from Hollywood Kitchen!


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