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My cheese enchiladas came out dry!

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Any recommendations? I made the sauce from scratch from dried chiles (it was delicious), and it had a slightly viscous, sauce-like consistency. Should it have been more liquid? Also, where I live (Israel) we don't have monterey jack cheese, so I substituted edam cheese, which quickly congealed after coming out of the oven and became heavy and grainy. Does anyone know a good melting cheese that can substitute for monterey jack?

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  1. Sounds like your sauce may have been too thick...Also you must always dip your corn tortillas in either the sauce or quickly in warmed oil, I prefer dipping them in the heated sauce..If you cannot get Monterey Jack, you could try Mozzarella or Cheddar, or both..Also important, is that you apply a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, before you add your enchiladas...creating a sort of bed of moisture for the enchiladas

    1 Reply
    1. re: jinet12

      an unsmoked provolone would work well. Your sauce may have been a bit too thick. There is another enchilada style you may like. Fry your corn tortillas until just leathery and then dip in the sauce and lay flat on a plate. Top with grated cheese and chopped onion, repeat, usually a stack of three is good. Put the plate with enchiladas in the oven while you fry an egg. Garnish the plate with chopped lettuce and place the egg on top and dig in.

    2. Edam is far away from monterey jack. Surely there must be a local cheese much more similar to queso fresco.

      When you say "dry" do you mean like "too much time in the oven, parched" or more like "things did not ooze together"? I personally like an enchilada to have a bit less of the "runny casserole" and more of a "individual unit baked and sauced"...

      1. Did you lightly fry the Tortilla before hand? It sounds like the Tortilla might have just SUCKED up all the sauce...

        Any melty mild flavored cheese would work fine in sub to Monterey jack.

        --Dommy!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Dommy

          Thanks for the feedback, folks. Renov8r, I would say it was more the "things did not ooze together" category. The truth is, I've been feasting on them for the last few days, and they are delicious. Not fatally dry, but not as moist as I remember good enchiladas. I'd cooked them under a foil wrapping, and it's possible that if I'd left the foil off the cheese would have melted better.

          I used the method in CI for chicken enchiladas. Rather than frying, I sprayed the tortillas with oil and stuck them in the oven. I did spread sauce on the bottom of the casserole. Next time, I will also try saturating them in the sauce before rolling.

          In going over the recipe, I realized that I'd forgotten to aid the oil. This could have been a fatal flaw, but sensing unconsciously that something was amiss, I added a disc of Mexican chocolate, which added the necessary unctuousness, and took out some of the bitterness of the chiles. However, the lack of oil could have contributed to dryness. Will give a try to the other cheese alternatives. Sure wish they'd get monterey jack over here, as well as Idaho potatoes and a handful of other American staples.

          1. re: MarkC

            I think it was mostly a question of not enough sauce, or too thick of a sauce. Next time you might want to consider thinning the sauce with broth or water a little before rolling the enchiladas, with the idea that it will thicken back up during baking.

            And, as others have noted, your best option for cheese would probably be mozzarella, provolone or cheddar, or anything along those lines which is available where you are.