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Enchiladas fall apart

jrobin's picture

I just cannot figure out why my tortillas are still falling apart when making enchiladas.  They are rolling fine, but after the sauce and baking, they fall apart.


I'm brushing corn tortillas (from our local Mex grocery) lightly with oil and baking in the oven just long enough to warm until still able to roll.


The reason I did in the oven was that I could do all of them at once instead of a few at a time in a skillet.


Could my tortillas not be fresh enough? Is there a better method? What am I missing?


Thanks!


Jennifer

Carole4's picture

(post #36682, reply #1 of 25)

Have you tried flour tortillas? I know here in Tucson, corn tortillas are considered purist, but flour ones are used also. Of course, the tortillas are fresh....<G>

I'm thinking the baking beforehand is drying them out.

ouzo's picture

(post #36682, reply #2 of 25)

I think it is your method.  I've tried not frying prior to rolling and never had any luck.  Now, I use a large rangetop griddle and can fry up several at a time.

 


No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

jrobin's picture

(post #36682, reply #3 of 25)

So you are brushing with oil, then onto the griddle? 


Jennifer

MadMom's picture

(post #36682, reply #4 of 25)

Not ouzo, but that's the way I always do it, and have never had any problems.  Baking would seem to make them break more.



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ouzo's picture

(post #36682, reply #5 of 25)

No, I put a small amount of peanut oil on the griddle and then spread it around with a paper towel.  I repeat oil application as necessary.


Another thing about the griddle - it is just an inexpensive cast aluminum by Chef's Design , not the fancy, expensive one that Dacor sells with the range top.


 


No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

MadMom's picture

(post #36682, reply #6 of 25)

Sells?  Mine was included, but I would have happily paid for it.  I use it for so many things, yet if I needed to, it can easily be removed so I have six burners.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

jrobin's picture

(post #36682, reply #7 of 25)

Maybe my problem was not enough oil, then to fry them.  Gotcha.  I'll try again and see how I do.


Yes, I've got a griddle and a big burner in the middle of my cooktop so that's not really a problem for me.  The oven idea came from Cooks Illustrated. 


Jennifer

MadMom's picture

(post #36682, reply #8 of 25)

Hey, you know CI - they claim that artificial vanilla tastes just like the real stuff.  I cannot imagine baking tortillas, unless you want to make chips.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

jrobin's picture

(post #36682, reply #9 of 25)

Drat. I KNEW I shoulda left out CI!! Lol!


Eeeks, I guess that was just as bad as mentioning SL around here!


So when I make my enchiladas I leave out the vanilla and decorate my kitchen like a fiesta and they will turn out perfectly!


Teehee!


Jennifer

MadMom's picture

(post #36682, reply #10 of 25)

Ahhh - vanilla in your enchiladas.  I think we've found the problem, LOL


Seriously, I do use some CI recipes (love their recipe for egg custard pie) but do take their recommendations with a large spoonful of salt.




Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!
Lee's picture

(post #36682, reply #11 of 25)

but do take their recommendations with a large spoonful of salt.


Me. too.  Most of their recipes that I've tried have been losers, and a lot are just silly with all the extra steps for very little gain.  I made the Old Fasioned Pork Roast from Cook's Country recently, and that was delicious, and I use a few CI recipes, but on the whole, my idea of good taste is different from theirs. 

MadMom's picture

(post #36682, reply #12 of 25)

Remember, when they say something is "best" that's according to their definition, so if your definition is different, you definitely won't like it.  Sometimes just reading the directions, you can figure out what to do and not to do if your ideas are different.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

ouzo's picture

(post #36682, reply #14 of 25)

I only have a 4 burner....very down market

 


No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

sbsterling's picture

(post #36682, reply #13 of 25)

I've completely abandoned the rolling in favor of stacking and assembling like lasagne, same filing, same sauce. It works great for someone short on time who can only keep on eye on what's going on in the kitchen.

http://neurosesgalore.com
ouzo's picture

(post #36682, reply #15 of 25)

Do you still fry the tortillas when you assemble this way?  When I make tortilla casseroles, I do not fry though the recipe I generally use calls for frying.  No sense adding the extra oil. 


 


No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

sbsterling's picture

(post #36682, reply #16 of 25)

I don't fry them in oil but I toast them over a flame for a few seconds. I probably wouldn't bother if I didn't have a gas stove but I think it adds a little something flavor wise.

http://neurosesgalore.com
ouzo's picture

(post #36682, reply #18 of 25)

ITA - a great way to add a bit more flavor.  Thanks for the idea.

 


No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

jrobin's picture

(post #36682, reply #17 of 25)

Well now.... that is a sensible idea, isn't it? 


I'll have to play with that idea now too!  I kinda like that idea better....hmmm.


Jennifer

Syb's picture

(post #36682, reply #19 of 25)

I do the same as sbsterling.  I gave up rolling years ago when I had many Mexican meals with my Mexican friend, learning from both her and her parents.   


I rarely fry the tortillas, although it does add to the taste.  I dip the tortillas in the red chile sauce and lay them in the pan, breaking them into halves and quarters to fill in the spaces.  You can add layers of filling and sauce as you please.  It makes it so easy. 

sbsterling's picture

(post #36682, reply #23 of 25)

Sensible is not a word I hear used to describe my thoughts that often, thanks :)

http://neurosesgalore.com
Aberwacky's picture

(post #36682, reply #20 of 25)

Excellent idea.


With the little guys around, it seems like it takes twice as long to cook these days, and that's a wonderful shortcut.


Leigh


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-Leo Tolstoy
sbsterling's picture

(post #36682, reply #24 of 25)

With just one at home I sometimes let her help. Although tonight I had to put the kabosh on it when I caught her taking spoons out of the silverware drawer, dipping them into the meatball mixture and then trying to put them back in the drawer. I had already asked her not to touch the raw meat and not to taste it but clearly my instructions were just not thorough enough.

http://neurosesgalore.com
sashadog's picture

(post #36682, reply #21 of 25)

It may just be the type of corn tortilla if all other suggestions fail. I have found that there is one brand that falls apart (it's yellow) and another brand (white) that does not. I always thought that it was something that I did wrong, but simply changing the tortilla made all the difference.

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jrobin's picture

(post #36682, reply #22 of 25)

Alrighty.  I give up.  Same fall apart mess! 


These tortillas are corn, from my local Mex Grocery, bought this morning.  Now they are not homemade, but not the same as what can be bought at a regular grocery store.


I thought maybe my last batch was stale. I also bought a different brand this time. 


I brushed generously with oil and griddled them until they had some some brownish spots, then layed them in the tortilla warmer so they would stay soft while I did the rest.


Rolled with chicken + a bit of cheese, then spread sauce, then baked at a 325 temp.


I did 2 batches one layered like lasagana and one rolled.  Honestly you could not tell them apart!  I am doing the layered one from now on.  I seem to have an Enchilada mental block!


Jennifer


 

gourmand's picture

(post #36682, reply #25 of 25)

From Rick Bayless


Enchiladas were developed to utilize stale corn tortillas, according to Bayless. He said the original name of the dish was "tortilla enchilada," which means tortillas dipped in sauce. Occasionally, traditional enchiladas are served without fillings.


"There are two methods for making enchiladas," Bayless explained. "One is to dip the corn tortillas in red chili sauce and sear them in a skillet. The other is to pan-fry the tortilla first, then dip it in sauce."


I learned from a old Mexican women 25 years ago. I dip in sauce the briefly fry on a hot electric griddle sprayed with canola. It does get messy. I think this method gives a more complex flavor. I never have breakage. You are right it is a lot of work. When I make them I usually do 12 dozen, wrapping each in those Reynolds foil sheets, then freeze in gallon ziplocs. Very easy to pull out and bake or microwave.


I make the ancho garlic sauce. Prepare the filling. Then set up the electric griddle. I do two at a time then DW fills and wraps in foil. Not so bad considering you have that many on hand.


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 Growing old is inevitable, Growing up is optional.