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Melted Queso Fresco

To me, melted cheese, ideally slightly browned and bubbling, is one of the best things in the world. It rivals pasta as my ultimate comfort food, and there are few things I can think of, at least in the savory range, that aren’t enhanced by a layer of melted cheese. So, when I had a vision of a warm, oven-baked, gooey, saucy dish, covered in cheese today, I looked to cheesy enchiladas. Already having Swiss chard and onions on hand, I went to this Swiss chard, onion, and Monterey Jack-filled enchilada with tomatillo sauce recipe from Herbivoracious for inspiration.

I wasn’t up to making the tomatillo sauce myself, and didn’t have any tomatillos in any case, so I simplified with some pre-made tomatillo salsa, and subbed in queso fresco – already in my fridge –  for the Monterey Jack cheese.  I browned the onions, added the Swiss chard stems, as well as some Chipotle Tabasco sauce, then braised the chard greens with the onions. Once the greens were tender, I mixed in most of my queso fresco, and had my tortilla filling. A few spoons of salsa, enough to cover the bottom of the baking pan, makes a bedding for the tortillas, which are rolled tightly around their filling. The rest of the salsa covers the tortillas, and then I crumbled the remaining queso fresco over everything, along with some cheddar I had. Thus blanketed in cheese, the baking pan goes into a 375 degree oven until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has achieved the envisioned state of meltiness. Yes, meltiness. It’s beautiful. You could also broil it a bit for better browning but that’s up to you.

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