I am a enchilada snob.
It’s a terrible thing.
The problem is when you live in South Texas, there’s a lot of good Mexican and Tex- Mex. Yes, they’re different.
There’s also a lot of bad Mexican and bad Tex- Mex.
And when your day job is as a feature writer and you spend lots of time in restaurants, particularly a lot of time in Mexican restaurants, you learn what’s good and bad pretty quick.
Needless to say, most of the time I make my enchiladas at home. Because I’m an enchilada snob, and I have rules.
Cheesy, delicious, rules.
Which I shall share, being the kind duckie I am.
Enchilada Rule 1: The only appropriate fillings are ground beef, shredded, slow cooked chicken or cheese. Unless you’re doing seafood enchiladas, but that’s a whole other post. You can cook them with peppers and onions, use leftover rotisserie, whatever you like.
Enchilada Rule 2: Don’t skimp on the cheese. White cheese, not cheddar. Queso blanco people. This rule is only broken with chili con carne, in which case cheddar can be delectable and is wholly appropriate.
Enchilada Rule 3: Jalepenos and chiles are your best friend.
Enchilada Rule 4: Roll or stack, but always broil cheese on top. And sauce, lots of sauce. First you bake, then you broil for the last few minutes to get that soft crunch.
Enchilada Rule 5: USE CORN TORTILLAS ONLY. Not white, not wheat, not spinach. Red, yellow, white or blue corn only. Of course, my favorite is blue corn.
Enchilada Rule 6: If you’re making them at home, don’t fry the tortillas before rolling. Just heat them up in the microwave for about 30 seconds. If you try to fry them at home and then roll them, it’s just a big greasy mess. It’s best to leave that to proffesionals. Grease is not goodness, people. Remember that. Real Mexican or Tex- Mex should never be greasy or leave you reaching for the heartburn medicine. If you have to soak grease up with a napkin, there’s a problem.
Enchilada Rule 7: It is perfectly appropriate to put chili on top of chili on carne enchiladas. And extra cheese. And sour cream. And refried beans.
No one said this was healthy.
Enchilada Rule 8: When making a white sauce for spinach or seafood enchiladas, whether sour cream or cilantro cream, watch your recipes. A lot of places use short cuts that can be really gross. When in doubt, go to your favorite restaurant, butter up the waiter and get the recipe. Just pray the cook speaks English.
Enchilada Rule 9: Meat and cheese only inside, maybe a few peppers and chiles. Anything more is a taco or a burrito.
Enchilada Rule 10: Homemade enchiladas equal love. Spicy, cheesy, gooey love.
For recipes, see my cooking page!
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