homestyle food with an attitude

Authentic South Texas Cheese Enchiladas

Authentic South Texas Cheese Enchiladas

So……backstory on these cheese enchiladas… We are perpetually unprepared despite our best intentions.  For some reason we thought we could make these, take pictures, the whole nine yards and invite some of our friends over to be the guinea pigs (taste testers).  Needless to say, I consumed a bit of cactus juice and over-cooked the s#!% out of them!  They were still quite tasty and received compliments (to my surprise).  I was pissed 😠, I’ve made these cheese enchiladas hundreds of times and they are usually a go to.  Maybe our friends just sought to spare my feelings with their compliments.  I thought the evening couldn’t get any worse but then when we sat down to eat and I took my cap off our friends younger sister said “Oh my, I didn’t realize you were bald, I thought you had a full head of hair.” BTW I’m not completely bald!  So I thought the evening had gone to crap but at least the beans and rice were excellent and Kim made a cheesecake flavored sopapilla that was well received, especially by the youngsters. Other than that it was a relatively good evening 😆.


The only inconvenience was the fact that in my state of inebriation I forgot to snap pictures of the final cooked dish…. OH DAMN!!  So, we had to make these authentic cheese enchiladas again to get a picture!  Piss on the bad luck!  Regardless, we had to really twist some arms around here for a repeat, LOL!  It was actually way better the second time around.  Moral of the story:  You can completely jack this up and it’s still pretty tasty, Master it and it’s Heavenly….Enjoy!!!

Be sure to let us know what you think or if you have questions in the comments below!

Dried chili’s on blue cloth

Dried anchos and pasillas.

Cilantro minced garlic and sea salt in blender

You can almost smell the garlic in this picture!

Corn tortillas with cheese in pan

You can use a variety of cheeses depending on what you have on hand… cheddar, Monterey, velveeta, Oaxaca, queso fresco, etc.

Corn tortillas with cheese in pan


You can make a smaller pan and freeze some of the sauce for later.

Cheese enchiladas on metal spatula

Yield 14 enchiladas

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 minutes


3-4 ancho chili pods (we use ancho’s from our garden if we have them otherwise we use Fiesta Brand Ancho Chili’s)
1 pasilla chili pod (Fiesta Brand Chili Pasilla)
1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock
2 garlic cloves minced
6-8 sprigs cilantro
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
14 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded oaxaca cheese or monterey jack (reserve some for topping)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or experiment with Velveeta if you would like)
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil + more for frying tortillas
1 tsp comino
1/4 onion finely diced (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 

2. For the Enchilada Sauce:  Pull stems off chili’s with your fingers, rip open & de-seed them (If you’re a puss wear gloves :)).  Rip into pieces, put them into a small saucepan and cover with cold water, simmer on medium low for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

While chili’s are resting peel and mince 2 cloves of garlic, cover with sea salt and mash into a paste with the back of a spoon.  Put chili’s and juice, cilantro, and one clove of garlic in a blender and liquify for about 30-45 seconds (be careful to hold the lid tight!) until it looks like a shiny paste.  In a heavy saucepan add the vegetable oil and bring to medium high heat, add the flour constantly stirring until golden brown about 2 minutes.  Then add comino and garlic paste, cook for about another minute.  Next add the chili paste and about one cup of the chicken stock, stirring constantly.  Continue adding stock one cup at a time, stirring constantly until incorporated.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes while stirring until reduced to a thin gravy consistency.  Set aside.

3. For the Corn Tortillas:  Add about 1/2 cup vegetable oil into a small frying pan enough to just cover your corn tortilla.  Quickly fry corn tortillas on medium high heat each side to make them pliable (about 10 seconds per side).  Stack corn tortillas in between paper towels to keep them moist and pliable.

4. Assemby:  Coat the bottom of a 9×13 pan with a thin layer of the chili sauce.  Mix your cheeses together.  Working with one tortilla at a time put 2-3 tablespoons of the  cheese mixture into tortilla, roll tightly and place in pan seam side down.  A 9×13 pan should hold one row of ten, then 4 more in 2 perpendicular rows. Cover all with remaining sauce and cheeses.  Top with diced onions if you prefer. Bake until cheese is melted, 20 minutes or so.  Serve with Mexican Rice and Beans.  Enjoy!

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