The Perfect Cheese Enchilada

The filling was chunky and not much liquid. When I braise vegetables the broth starts about a quarter of the way up. I turn them every few minutes. By the time the texture is right the liquid has mostly cooked off. So I guess technically it is a higher temp than an average braise. The canned Hatch green sauce is excellent. Homemade is even better because you can add tomatillos. The more enchiladas I make the more I like them stacked so that I can use smaller but thicker tortillas that I could never roll. A thick corn tortilla coming off the comal with a bit of char is wonderful with just about anything, sort of an open faced gordita.


I think Robb Walsh says the stacked presentation came earlier, based on the ‘chilied tortillas’ (tortillas enchiladas) with queso and cebolla of street vendors in Mexico and Texas. The stuffed, rolled, smothered and baked version, developed later, became common in most of the rest of Texas, with the process used as the name. I haven’t had that many stacked versions. Walsh had it on the menu at El Camino Real in Houston, in a section of the menu devoted to classic early Tex Mex items. I think the stacked type is more common in New Mexico, too. I seldom order Mexican food away from home!

I like the folded tortillas of Mexican taquerias maybe better than either, but it’s hard to pass up a plate of melty Tex Mex cheese enchiladas.


Remember a place called Jaimalito’s? It was just north of West U. Buffalo at Bissonett. They had great stacked green chile enchiladas with a runny fried egg on top.

No, sorry. The Tex-Mex I encountered in Austin in the 60s was a revelation to me and took some time to get used to. Much spicier than what I had been eating since the 50s in small town Texas! I went a long time ignoring Tex Mex before getting back into it in the last 10-15 years.


If you’re talking about Tex-Mex cheese enchiladas, a special product from Land o’ Lakes called Easy Melt was developed. It’s not available in stores. The substitute begins with Vel…and ends with …eeta. Some places make a sauce based on American or cheddar. The sauce is called chili gravy, a gringo version of a mole, usually made in house with a chili powder, oil, broth, flour. If starting from scratch You can use any chile you want; guajillo would be milder or add some paprika to the ancho.

In Mexico, non-melting cheeses are usually used, fresco, Cotija, Panela.

EtA: this is a reply to the first post in the thread.


It is its own thing and right up there with Indian food for me as a rich source of psychological nutrients. I do not find most Austin Tex-Mex particularly spicy, but many of the salsas are very zippy. I love the Dona sauce at TacoDeli…a pale green puree of roasted jalapeños with a bit of olive oil, garlic, and salt. A lot of newbs think it’s avocado and ladle it on. Then their food is inedible without an emergency salsaectomy unless you are a Reaper munching chili head.


I’m taking for granted you’re using corn tortillas, by the why you’re talking. Might I suggest prepping the tortillas by coating one side lightly with the sauce then throwing it into a hot pan with some oil. It’ll crisp, but still bi fold easily. Then, the sauce side is the filling side. I always sauce the bottom a tad, and a little more on top. I also always mix onions in with the cheese filling. I always thin out my (grilled and peeled) Hatch enchilada sauce with a tomatillo or two, a medium onion, a soaked guajillo and /ancho and some roasted garlic. I’m on my last bag of hatches, though, so I have to use them frugally.