White Cheese Enchiladas with Mexican Rice

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White Cheese Enchiladas with Mexican Rice by Daniel Montañez
Story and Photos by Steven Navarro

It’s not too common that a male undergraduate would know how to cook a full-fledged meal, but Daniel Montañez is an expert at making White Cheese Enchiladas so authentic that any abuelita in San Antonio would give the nod of approval.

Montañez, a senior Business Management major at St. Mary’s University, says he enjoys cooking but admits it’s hard to find time to cook a wholesome meal as a full-time student with two jobs. “I’ll usually just pick up Chik-Fil-A from the UC because of my schedule,” Montañez says, “but I would much rather eat a home-cooked meal.”

One of Montañez’s career plans is to attend a seminary upon graduating from St. Mary’s. This desire to learn more about his faith isn’t something he’s postponing until after graduation. Montañez is involved with faith-based activities and groups on campus. “Besides my classes, I love to join in on the things happening here on campus, like Bible studies and other clubs” he says. “I really like St. Mary’s because there is so much to get involved with.”

“A downfall,” he admits, is that this “leaves even less time for making hearty meals.”

Every now and then, when tests and essays are not due, Montañez will have some free time for himself. This is a miracle of sorts for the busy Business Management major, one he always plans to use for grubbing on anything but fast food. “If I have a free evening, I know I’m going to eat good,” Montañez says. “I grew up on my mom’s Mexican food, so that’s what I automatically go for when cooking.” Montañez admits he didn’t begin to learn how to cook until he started college. “I never started learning how to cook because I would always come home and there’d be food on the table. But now, I’ve got to fend for myself most of the time.”

One of Montañez’s go-to dishes is enchiladas with rice. “It’s one of those dishes I grew up on,” he says. “You’ve got to make sure the cheese is good,” Montañez warns, “because if not, it doesn’t matter how anything else tastes.”


White Cheese Enchiladas

  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 10 oz. Cacique QuesoFresco cheese
  • 8 oz. Mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup of Olive Oil
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 can of Chile con carne


  • 1 cup of rice
  • 2 T. of oil
  • ¼ of a medium onion
  • ¼ medium bell pepper
  • ¼ cup of tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • salt to taste
  • Ground Pepper to taste



  1. In a medium pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add rice and cook until it turns golden brown.
  2. Add garlic, onions, bell pepper and sauté for about one minute.
  3. Add broth and tomato sauce. Stir and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Do not stir after this or rice will turn mushy.
  4. After 5 minutes, turn the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Yield: Serves 6-8 (can serve with side dish of beans)


  1. Preparation: Wash ingredients, dice vegetables and prepare measurements.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Crumble the QuesoFresco cheese and shred the mozzarella cheese. Dice the onion and mix all 3 ingredients. Set aside.
  4. In a large frying pan at medium-high heat, add 3 T of olive oil. Place tortilla in the pan. Cook for about 5 seconds on each side. Remove from pan and place the tortillas on a plate (place a paper towel on plate to soak extra oil) and repeat the process.
  5. Take a tortillas and fill it with 2 t of cheese/onion mixture. Roll up the tortillas and place it in a casserole pan. Continue until all tortillas are filled and rolled. Add the can of chile con carne to the top of the tortillas in the casserole pan. Cover all enchiladas with grated cheese.
  6. Put the casserole in the oven for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Yield: Serves 4


Family Favorite Enchiladas by Janet Frias
Videography and Production by Alex Diaz

Janet Frias, a junior English-communication arts major, shares a taste of home by preparing a family favorite recipe for enchiladas. While she was growing up, her family always served this dish for special occasions.


  • Corn Tortillas
  • 1 Block of Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 Can of Wolf Chili
  • Olive Oil


Preheat oven to 350°F. Set the stove to medium, to heat up oil. In a bowl, grate the monterey jack cheese, save for later. Pour the chili in a separate bowl, also set aside for later. In the hot oil, dip each tortillas for about 5 seconds. Set these aside on a plate. Line the pan with foil. In each tortilla place chili, then top with cheese. Roll up the tortillas that have the mixture and place them in the pan. Once they are all laying in the pan, add more chili over the tortillas. Continue to add cheese over the chili to your taste. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Recipe makes about 6 servings.


Enchiladas Rojas

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Enchiladas Rojas with Jeanette Maldonado
Story and Photos by Dania Pulido

When it comes to cooking, St. Mary’s University student Jeanette Maldonado takes the whole enchilada—literally!

The junior Biology major freed up some time in her busy schedule to talk about the three F’s: food, her future, and all around fun at St. Mary’s while she prepared a particularly special enchilada dish for dinner.

Maldonado, a Laredo, Texas native, may be petite in frame, but don’t let this fool you.

Both her taste buds and work ethic are just as spicy as her enchiladas.

Enrolled as a full-time student, she somehow manages to balance a job in the school’s biology department and is currently preparing for her MCAT exam to gain entry to medical school upon graduation.

Maldonado hopes to become a dermatologist one day and believes St. Mary’s is just the place to help her make that dream come true.

“I really like the small size of the school and the professors. They take the time to help you personally and care about your progress,” says the third-year student.

Some of the only breaks she gets from her hectic schedule are to cook meals for herself, so Jenny has more than one reason to enjoy the task.

“I love to eat buffalo wings and anything with a lot of cheese, but I especially enjoy cooking spaghetti and other pastas,” she says.

“I crave Mexican food the most, though. My mom taught me how to cook, and I prefer to eat homemade food because I like to have control over what goes into my body,” continues the health-conscious student.

After all those biology courses, who could blame her?

The enchilada dish she chose to prepare is a particularly special one, and is rare to come by.

“I can only make these enchiladas every once in a while when I drive back to Laredo or my parents come to visit me because my grandmother makes the chile sauce,” she explains.

“It has a very distinct and tasty flavor, so I like to make the most of the sauce and the dish.”

We’ll be sure to make the most of it as well!


  • 2 c goat cheese
  • 28 oz can of chile colorado
  • 1 onion
  • 5 corn tortillas
  • 2-3 T oil

Pour 2-3 T of oil into a medium-sized pan. Cut 4-5 small pieces of the onion and place into the pan to give flavor to the oil. Pour some of the chile colorado onto a plate. Take the first tortilla and soak it in the chile sauce. Pick up the tortilla and place it into the pan to heat in the oil. Once it is heated, remove it and place into on a separate plate. Repeat steps 1-3 with all five tortillas. Once all the tortillas are soaked red and heated, sprinkle a desired amount of cheese onto the middle of the tortilla and roll it up to hold the cheese inside. Repeat this step until all the enchiladas are done. Sprinkle cheese on top of the finished dish and enjoy! Makes 2 servings.