Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Requeson Enchiladas

El Supermercado

I went to a little Latin market today and picked up a deli container filled with what appeared to be a soft white cheese somewhere between ricotta and neufchatel. Since I didn't recognize the name, I purchased a container, as well as a packet of Super Cantinero, apparently a latin version of a bar nut mix.


Requeson aka Requeijao is made from an involved process with repeated curdlings of skim milk to which 8 to 20% hot butter fat or rich cream are added as a final step. I believe the cheese I acquired to be the more solid of the Portuguese varieties. So after a quick look up and a taste, I've decided to use this new cheese in enchiladas. Every cook seems to have a different idea of what does and doesn't constitute an enchilada, so bear with me, I'll be mix-n-matching some ingredients until I find the combination I like best with the requeson.

First, lets cover the question of beans. I make my own, from dried beans. This time I have used pinto beans, some I have pureed, others I left whole. All were soaked and cooked together in water with Adobo seasoning, garlic, cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt. I do this because I like to play with seasonings and texture, and mine have a lot of flavor without the lard, but feel free to use canned if this is not your thing.

Next, there is the question of enchilada sauce. So simple to make, but there are plenty of good canned ones out on the market. I am making my own, Mexican style (with cocoa), super tasty and not so easy to find at the market. As it is not sweet, it does not taste like chocolate, think mole sauce.

I used small white corn tortillas as I buy these in packs of 30 to 100 (they freeze well) and use them for tacos.

I made two preparations, pan enchiladas containing requeson, re-fried beans, cilantro and topped with Munster slices, and a stacked enchilada with the addition of taco meat. Both were covered in enchilada sauce and perfectly yummy!

Rolled Pan Enchiladas
Stacked Enchilada 

I preferred the stacked preparation in every aspect, construction, aesthetic, serving, and ingredient ratios.