Simple pleasures

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 June, 2012, 12:00am


Monterey Jack isn't the type of cheese you'll find on the cheese board of a Michelin-starred restaurant, nor is it something any connois-seur would wax rhapsodic about. It's a cheese that can be appreciated (in its own way) for its simplicity: it's a mild, straightforward cheese without any complex flavours.

Monterey Jack is, however, a great melting cheese: when exposed to heat, the pasteurised cow's milk American cheese softens and becomes stretchy, and it stays cohesive, without the fat separating out and puddling over the milk solids.

It's best appreciated cooked. Because of its mild flavour, Monterey Jack is good for child-pleasing grilled cheese sandwiches. It's also delicious in enchiladas suizas (Swiss enchiladas). Pan-fry corn tortillas in hot oil, heating them just long enough to soften them, but not so they become crisp. Roll the tortillas around a filling of shredded chicken cooked with sauteed onion, minced garlic and a little chopped chilli. Lay the enchiladas in a baking dish and smother them in a layer of tomatillo salsa mixed with cream. Scatter a generous amount of shredded Monterey Jack on top. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and brown in spots, then serve immediately.