The Duckie Rules of Enchiladas

Posted on September 23rd, 2010 in Stories

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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56 Responses to “The Duckie Rules of Enchiladas”

  1. rylan Says:

    It’s been a while since I have last visited your blog (I’ve been gone for a while). I missed your posts!!!! And oooh, the enchiladas looks great! Yummo!

  2. FOODESSA Says:

    To our Enchilada Princess…ruler of great Enchilada eating. LOL

    Believe it or not…I’ve never made enchiladas…and how can I not refer to you in the future since your dedication on this feast is so passionate!!!

    I just bought an experimental crockpot…hence some chicken just may be slow-cooked ready for some enchilada making with lots of goey cheese on top ;o))

    Thanks Duckie for such a helpful posting.

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,

  3. Lynn from For Love or Funny Says:

    My mouth is watering. I’ve never had really good enchiladas – so I will follow your rules to try to make some at home. (Stopping by from SITS)

  4. Jessica @ How Sweet Says:

    I would love to try your enchiladas!

  5. Michele C Says:

    Yum! One of my favorites, too!

  6. Barbara Says:

    Those enchilada rules are right on!

  7. Heavenly Housewife Says:

    Nothing wrong with being discerning daaaaaaahling. Its a good thing to know what you like and know what you dont like.
    So now that we’ve got the perfect enchiladas, lets eat!
    *kisses* HH

  8. sweetlife Says:

    oh my , your killing me..perfect rules to live by, yes Tex-mex and mex are totally different, why is that so hard for people to understand,…ha ha

  9. doggybloggy Says:

    I love the rules of enchiladas – this should be a kitchen plaque….so many people dont know the basics and this could help them immensely……

  10. daisychain Says:

    I haven’t had enchiladas in freaking ages,

    so going on my menu!

  11. newlywed Says:

    This is a great post. I LOVE enchiladas!

  12. Beth Says:

    I LOVE food snobs. They always come up with the best recipes. I will definitely try this one out!

  13. Debbi Does Dinner Healthy Says:

    That is awesome!! I’ve always got the enchiladas, taco, fajitas, burritos and whatnot all confused. Doesn’t matter, I love them all. I do admit to breaking your rules on more than one occasion. My humblest apologies!!

    I agree with Beth though, Food Snob make the best recipes so be as snobby as you’d like!

  14. Joey @ Big Teeth & Clouds Says:

    Spicy gooey love sends me straight for the TUMS!

  15. Ramona Says:

    That’s a whole lotta rules for enchiladas!

    I will have to say, I hate shredded meat. Prefer ground beef or shrimp. I

  16. Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) Says:

    oh my gosh… those look amazing!! I wish you could mail me some :) drooooool!

  17. Gloria Says:

    Love enchiladas and these look awesome and delicious!! love them!!

  18. Sophie Says:

    Happy belated 26th Bitrhday to you!! Yeah!! I hope you enjoyed it fully!

    These enchilladas mak my mouth water,…really!

    Thanks also for the enchillada rules!

  19. Marjie Says:

    I’m taking notes on all these rules. Especially the cheese rule. Everything is better with cheese!

    How’s the birthday month going?

  20. Megan (Best of Fates) Says:

    Will you still love me if I admit that I’ve never eaten an enchilada?

  21. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella Says:

    OK if I come to Texas, I’m going to have you show me around the best enchilada stuff! :D

  22. Kristina P. Says:

    See, I am not a corn tortilla fan with enchiladas, at all. I only eat them with flour. And I love Mexican. Not as much with Tex Mex.

  23. Rachel (S[d]OC) Says:

    *furiously scribbles notes* You’re a tough cookie. I think rather than try to make enchiladas when I’m in the mood, I’ll just go to your house.

  24. Lady Fi Says:

    OK.. I’m drooling! Love veggie enchiladas…

  25. Cafe Fashionista Says:

    You seriously need to open up your own restaurant Duckie – I’m starving!! :)

  26. Channon Says:

    You know… enchiladas haven’t been my go-to Mexican dish, and I’ve never made them at home. I’m sure we’ll have Mexican this weekend, so I’m going to memorize your rules and give it a whirl.

  27. Dancing Branflake Says:

    I agree with Miss. Fashionista- please open up your own restaurant! You always have the best food and the best descriptions. I would eat there everyday!

  28. Christina Says:

    I love, love, love enchiladas and this post is making me hungry!

  29. Nutmeg Nanny Says:

    Wow who knew there were so many rules to making enchiladas! Don’t hate me but I have never made them. I really should give them a cheesy try :)

  30. Natasha Says:

    Those are some strict enchilada rules, but they’re also yummy.

  31. Susie's Homemade Says:


  32. 5 Star Foodie Says:

    I like your enchilada rules!

  33. Barbara Bakes Says:

    Enchiladas rule! But I do love me a good pork Chile Verde enchilada.

  34. Kristen Says:

    Oh I LOVE them!!

  35. Jeff Says:

    I like your rules. I think that they are great with just about anything. I hope that I get to have some soon.

  36. Pam Says:

    You know how much I love Mexican food. Your enchilada rules are right on!

    P.S. You can come to Portland next year for your birthday and I will make you a big birthday feast! xoxo

  37. joeinvegas Says:

    No shredded beef, hamburger meat?

    Some of those pictures look an awful lot like the same enchiladas. Were you skimping on individual photos there?

  38. Couture Carrie Says:

    Fun and yummy post, darling!


  39. Teri Says:

    I love that you have rules about enchiladas!

  40. Cakelaw Says:

    This post is making me very hungry …

  41. Cheryl Says:

    I love your Enchilada rules, mine are similar!

  42. Jenn Says:

    I said it before and I’ll say it again…My area needs more authentic Mexican restaurants!

  43. My Carolina Kitchen Says:

    Now THAT’s a good enchilada. I really miss living in Texas, although it was a long time ago. This makes me homesick for the great state.

    You are so very right. There’s great Tex-Mex and then there’s the other Tex-Mex.

  44. Pietro Says:

    Delicious enchiladas!

  45. Lori Says:

    Dudette- what about bean enchiladas, no?

    I agree with 99 percent of your rules. I just cant live without an occassional bean enchilada.

    Your tough I tell yah! ;)

  46. Lori Says:

    Specifically black bean and sweet potato. Okay are you grimacing and saying yuck?

  47. Erica Says:

    I love Mexican- deliciousness. Agree- cheese must be broiled

  48. theUngourmet Says:

    I totally agree with you about the slow cooked chicken. It makes such a big difference. I grew up on enchiladas and still make them for my family all the time.

  49. Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner Says:

    Rules to live by!!! I’m with ya girl…

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What’s For Dinner

  50. Reeni Says:

    I learned some new things about enchiladas! Next time I’ll be sure to broil…you gave me a terrible craving for them now!

  51. Kerstin Says:

    Love this cute post and I learned lots of tips! I’ve actually never made enchiladas at home but definitely need to!

  52. Charlotte Says:

    I always love coming here. Your posts always make me either really hungry or they take me to a land of fantasy and make-believe (and who doesn’t love to escape every now and then?).

    I love your enchillada rules. I dig. Skimping on the cheese in an enchillada = total dealbreaker.

  53. Florida Girl Meets the Midwest Says:

    Slobbering. Those look like heavenly melty goodness.

  54. heatherlyn Says:

    I love your food posts. You would make a good food critic. Wouldn’t that be a fun job? Or maybe it is just me who imagines that being paid to taste food and then share my opinion on it would be a dream job? :) You could probably also publish a cookbook. :)

  55. Marie Says:

    MMMM…. I love LOVE enchiladas! I make fab ones after thanksgiving and Christmas with leftover turkey! I love you loads!

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