Queso quesadilla: Another processed cheese, this one is a very mild, meltable
variety that can be used for variation in American dishes such as sandwiches,
Mexican-style hamburgers and pasta dishes. It's also good, of course, in
Manchego: Related to the aged cheese from La Mancha, Spain, the Mexican Manchego
is much cheaper than the variety found in fancy cheese shops. The Mexican
version is available in two basic varieties -- a very hard variety called viejo,
or a soft, semifirm golden one that melts well. This cheese can stand on its own
on a cheese board or alongside sliced fruit. Also try it in jumbo shrimp or
wrapped in bacon and grilled.
Queso fresco: The most used cheese in Mexico, this nonmelting crumbling natural
cheese is served atop sopes, vegetables and refried beans.
Chicken Enchiladas with Creamy Green Chile Sauce
1 T. butter
3/4 C. chopped onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground cumin
2 T. flour
1 1/2 C. chicken broth
2 cans or jars (4.5 ounces each) chopped green chiles (undrained)
vegetable oil for softening tortillas
12 corn tortillas
2 C. coarsely shredded cooked chicken
2 C. shredded Mexican-blend cheese
1 C. whipping cream
1/3 C. sliced green onions
1 can (2.5 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
3 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Saute onion until transparent. Stir
in garlic, salt and cumin. Stir in flour until well combined. Slowly stir in
broth. Add chiles and stir well. Reduce heat to simmer; cook, uncovered, about
15 minutes. (Sauce can be prepared to this point, cooled and refrigerated 24
hours in advance.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place as many tortillas on 2 cookie sheets as will fit in
a single layer. Brush lightly on both sides with vegetable oil. Bake 3 minutes
to warm and soften tortillas before rolling. Stack on plate and cover with foil
to keep warm while filling. Repeat until all tortillas are warmed.
Combine chicken and 1/2 cup of the green chile sauce. To fill tortillas, place 2
tablespoons chicken mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese across center of each
tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side-down in shallow 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
Pour remaining sauce over rolled enchiladas; then pour cream evenly over entire
mixture and top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle with the green onions and ripe
olives. Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped
tomatoes and cilantro, if desired, and serve.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.