What is the Best Melting Cheese for Enchiladas?
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Have you ever been to a chili cook or a chef’s competition that pits cooks against one another – the best dish wins? The thing is that each chef will have an opinion on the best cheese to use inside and as a topping or garnish.
For instance, Manchego cheese provides a buttery texture that could be used as a melty garnish with flavor or as part of the inside for firmer enchiladas.
Or you could go with a Queso Blanco, known to be a crumbly, mild cheese that can be sprinkled on the top for an appealing presentation with flavor.
What makes Cheese Gold for Melting in Enchiladas?
For this cheese, the chef will need a cheese including the Manchego listed above; The cook will need a cheese that helps give the enchilada structure and provide some firmness to help the patron eat the food easier, possibly only needing a fork.
Below is a list of cheeses that are known to work well as part of the enchilada’s filling and why:
- Asadero – A popular choice of cheese for many Mexican dishes, especially in Northern Mexico near the providence of Chihuahua.
- Manchego – Known to provide firmness even when melted on the inside, plus it provides a nice buttery texture to every bite.
- Monterey Jack – provides mild flavor with a touch of sweetness, known to be semi-hard cheese.
What are Some Popular Cheeses Used in Enchiladas?
When it comes to a good enchilada cheese, you must first think of what is good for the inside and what acts as a good melty garnish on top.
Once the burrito is filled with choice meats, sauces, salsas, and a nice firm cheese (like Manchego), we find there is more of a variety of cheeses used by chefs around the world.
These traditional recipes, which are being spoken about in this article, do not include the lighter varieties that have been created for weight-conscious people, which will involve fewer fatty kinds of cheese. Here is a list of five top favorite cheeses of know chefs:
- Colby Jack
- Cheddar Jack
- Monterey Jack
How do the Texture and Flavor of the Cheese Affect Enchilada Recipes?
Think about it like this: when you have a soft and squishable cheese, the enchilada with that inside will go flat or suck in around the meat and other ingredients rolled up inside the tortilla.
This will make for a poor presentation and, more than likely, some unappetizing looks from those being served.
Firmer cheeses are better as a filler to help keep the enchilada looking full and appealing to the eye.
When you think about the toppings or sprinkle of cheese as a garnish, allow a bit of creativity because in stores today, there are wide shredded cheese varieties to test out.
What are Some Tips for Choosing the Best Melting Cheese for Enchiladas?
As lightly touched upon above, there is going to be a need for a firmer cheese for the filling of the enchilada, which will melt but maintain some sense of density by helping keep the meal fuller and easier to eat.
As you move forward with the recipe, the lighter sprinkle cheeses and shredded varieties can be fun to mix, match, and try out.
There are going to be some popular blends that have recently been released within the past few years, such as Cojita blends, which will have the flavors you are looking for paired with an almost perfectly melting texture to cover the dish with.
Final Thoughts on the Best Melting Cheese for Enchiladas
When making one of these Mexican dishes, consider topping it with blends in Chicano-style markets or other Central American-themed stores. Or if the option presents itself, look online for cheeses from Mexican companies to get the real deal.
Otherwise, if this is your first exposure to the enchilada, then consider going over to a Mexicano family friend’s house or visiting a restaurant to try it before you attempt to create one yourself.
This way, you can get a taste for the dish, then search the markets to find the right ingredients to make the dish for yourself, then possibly create a unique recipe.