Monday, October 03, 2011

Entomatadas recipe

entomatadas

It’s that time of year when tomatoes are about to say farewell, and I’ve been eating them as often as I can. One of my favorite meals with said tomatoes is a batch of entomatadas.

If you’re not familiar with entomatadas, they’re like enchiladas—rolled tortillas filled with cheese, chicken or beef, and covered in a savory sauce. But as the term enchiladas refers to the chile sauce that covers the tortillas in that dish, the term entomatada refers to the tomato-based sauce that covers the tortillas in this dish.

The last time I had entomatadas in Texas was at a Mexican cafe in downtown Victoria called Mi Familia. There was a chalkboard outside that listed the specials, and in big letters was the announcement they were on offer that day. While I’d never eaten at that restaurant, when I walked inside it was bright, cheerful and smelled heavenly. I knew it would be good.

tomatoes

When the waitress came to my table, I asked her about the entomatadas. She said they were an old family recipe and that if I ate them it would be like eating in their home. How appropriate, I said, considering the restaurant’s name. She agreed and said I should definitely order them. I’m glad that I did. They were made with love and soul, and definitely made this stranger feel warm and welcome.

Now, entomatadas aren’t the most common dish in Texas and you’ll usually see them only in the southern part o the state. But that’s okay because the mild yet flavorful entomatadas are perfect for home cooking. They’re the Tex-Mex equivalent of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

Making the sauce doesn’t take much, as it’s one of those recipes where you just throw everything into the blender. I add a step by roasting my tomatoes and aromatics under the broiler before pureeing, but this extra effort is worth it as it adds flavor. Then you just fill the warmed corn tortillas with cheese, smother them in sauce, and bake until the cheese melts. To serve, I top them with slices of avocado and like all things Tex-Mex, they’re best nestled between Mexican rice and refried beans.

entomatadas

Sure, entomatadas may not boast the most heat or sizzle. But if you're craving something simple and flavorful, it's hard to go wrong with this simple yet soulful dish.

Now then, in a couple of weeks I’ll get my fix of Texan home cooking as I travel across the state for book events. Here’s a list of where I’ll be and I look forward to meeting you!

Entomatadas with cheese

For the sauce:
2 pounds tomatoes, cored and cut in half, lengthwise or 2 15-ounce cans of diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 jalapeño, seeds and stem removed, cut in half lengthwise
3 garlic cloves
1/3 medium yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon vegetable oil or lard
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

For the entomatadas:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or lard
12 corn tortillas
4 cups grated Monterrey Jack or Muenster cheese (16 ounces)
Avocado slices for serving

Method:
Heat up the broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. Place the tomatoes seed side down on the sheet, along with the jalapeño, garlic, and onion. Place under the broiler and after 4 minutes, take out the jalapeño, onion and garlic and place in a blender.

Continue to cook the tomatoes for 5 more minutes or until the skin blackens. Take out the tomatoes, and when you’re able to handle them, remove the skin and seeds. Place the tomatoes in the blender. (If using canned tomatoes, skip the broiling step and just add them to the blender.) Add the cumin, allspice and puree until smooth. Heat the oil in a pot on medium low, pour the sauce into the pot, add the chicken broth and turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cilantro, adjust seasonings and add salt to taste. (Note, if your tomatoes are especially juicy, you may forgo adding the chicken broth if you prefer, or add less than one cup.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a large baking dish. In a skillet, heat up the oil or lard on medium-low heat. One at a time, heat up the tortillas in the hot oil until soft. Keep them wrapped in a cloth or tortilla warmer until all the tortillas are heated.

Take each tortilla and place 1/4 cup of the cheese in the center. Roll the tortilla and place in the baking dish seam side down. Repeat for all the tortillas. Cover the tortillas with the sauce and the remaining cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese on top is brown and bubbling.

Yield: 4 servings

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41 comments:

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Goodness that looks fantastic!! Best of luck with the book tour too.

Kalyn said...

Sounds delicious and this dish is completely new to me!

matt said...

Lisa, you have no idea how much I love entomatadas and you just don't see it anywhere! So happy to see them here (of course!) and I'll be making these later!

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

have so much fun on the book tour... eat good and work out in the mornings.

love this recipe!

Dave

Alanna Kellogg said...

Okay so it's up to you to make 'em famous, Lisa. So far -- so VERY good.

Michelle Stiles said...

I can't wait to meet you as you tour! Congrats on the book!

Jackie @Syrup and Biscuits said...

I'm not familiar with entomatadas but I will certainly be trying them! Good luck on the book tour!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Mary--Thanks! It should be fun!

Kalyn--if you like enchiladas, I bet you'll like entomatadas, too!

Matt--I know! It's such a rare treat.

Dave--That's my plan!

Alanna--I'm on it!

Michelle--Can't wait to meet you, too!

Jackie--Thank you!

Misty said...

How is that different from a cheese enchilada? Not smart-assy, just curious.... :)

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Misty--The sauce for enchiladas has dried chiles, such as ancho, guajillo or pasilla. The sauce for entomatadas does not have dried chiles, though sometimes people add a jalapeño or serrano for a little heat.

Marianne said...

This sounds so easy to make, I am also homesick for some good Tex-Mex food, just can't find anything close in N.GA! Growing up cheese enchiladas were my favorite but I remember them having onion, should the onion be sauteed before adding with the cheese? I love your blog, have fun on the tour!!!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Marianne--You can sautee the onions or just add them raw to the filling with the cheese. They're also good sprinkled on top.

Marianne said...

Okay, I"m ordering your book, LOL... just read about it, Amazon next stop!! Thanks Lisa!!!!

13Carol said...

I love all your recipes, my only problem there is no (print recipe) click on, I have to print the whole article, 4 pages in this instant or try to figure out which page the recipe is on...am I overlooking something? I moved to Nashville from Austin 7 yrs ago and enjoy my Mexican food,(nowhere to be found except in my kitchen...Thanks for recipes!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Marianne--Thank you! Hope you enjoy it!

Carol--My blogging software doesn't offer an easy solution for printable recipes.

Melanie said...

Love the blog and the book too!

A hint for printing... just select the text and copy to notepad or something similar and print it out from there. Makes it easy to fit the whole recipe on one page or smaller.

Kenna said...

Carol-When I print a recipe from a blog, I highlight the recipe, copy and paste to a blank page in one of my folders and then print that page. I hope this helps.

Lisa- I've never heard of entomatadas, but I grew up in northern Texas, so maybe that's why. These look so easy to make. Thanks! Have fun on your tour!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Melanie--Thanks for the tip!

Carol--Great idea. And if you like enchiladas, I know you'll like these, too!

amysue said...

These sound yummy, I've never heard of them. I usually ordered enchiladas with a ranchero sauce instead of the chili gravy. This sounds perfect for me!

Dave said...

Oh those sound good! I love those family recipes that you don't find everywhere. Thanks for sharing!

BonneT said...

Yummy! This reminds me of a plate at Tia Juanita's in Plano... avocado enchiladas. The "cilantro sauce" is tomato based and chock full of cilantro. The filling is avocado chunks and guacamole. Simple, but yummy.... thanks to your recipe, now I can make them myself! BTW I'm really enjoying your book, this morning I got really excited when I saw your recipe for chocolate chewies!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa!

Would you please post the time you will be signing books at Le Crueset in Dallas on October 20th? I would LOVE to get a book signed, but I'll be coming from Denton so I'll need to plan! Thanks!! Lisa :)

Andrea said...

Come to Denver! I love your recipes, thank you so much, and congratulations on the book. I can't wait to see it.

Alissa @ Not Just Apples said...

Delicious! I love mexican food right now...

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Amysue--If you usually order a ranchero sauce, then you should love these, too!

Dave--You're welcome!

BonneT--Those avocado enchiladas sound wonderful!

Anon--I believe it begins at 7.

Andrea--I'd love to come to Denver, but my publisher is only sending me to Texas. Maybe they'll change their minds!

Alissa--I love Mexican food anytime!

The UDG said...

I'm an enchilada junky but I might be persuaded to switch teams for these.

Leigh said...

Oh, they look so good! Must try and pick up your book, I've really enjoyed reading your blog this morning!

shan said...

Looks so darn good!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

The UDG--If you're an enchilada junkie, I know that you'll love these, too!

Leigh--Thank you! Hope you enjoy the book as much as the blog!

Shan--Thanks!

David said...

I don’t know how I found your blog but I grew up in Victoria. I am going to make sure and eat at Mi Familia next time I go visit family. Thanks.

The Galley Gourmet said...

Big huge YUM! Congratulations on your book and tour!

serena said...

O. M. G. Made these tonight and the whole family's giving you a BIG thumbs up! I doubled the recipe for our hungry crew. Used heirloom tomatoes that I found at Whole Foods. The sauce was so watery with just the tomatoes that I did not add the chicken broth. Questions... (1) Do you de-juice the tomatoes before you roast them? (2) Do you roast the jalapeños whole and add them to the blender whole? I did and also used bacon grease for the lard. Thank you, thank you, thank you Miss Lisa for this recipe that will be made regularly in our house (just like your french toast casserole).

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

David--You should definitely try it next time you're home.

The Galley Gourmet--Thank you!

Serena--I didn't de-juice my tomatoes (some are juicier than others, I reckon!) and I roast the jalapeños after I cut them in half and remove the seeds and stem. Then yes, I throw them into the blender.

kipthedog said...

Oh. Good. Lord. These are fantastic! I used canned whole plum tomatoes, because I had some. The sauce is just right! a little sweet, a little spicy. Loved them. Did the rice and beans too - delish. The Mexican Rice has become a staple here - also the kind of rice I have been searching for but never found - until now!

masdevallia said...

This was tasty. I used Heirloom tomatoes, hatch chile (I have a 3 year old who couldn't handle jalapeno), and miso broth to meet dietary restrictions of those sharing in dinner. It was great! The only thing I'd say is that adding 1 cup of stock/broth from the get-go was too much. My tomatoes had a lot of seeds/juice, so the added stock made for a sauce with water-like consistency. I cooked a little longer, and ended up adding two tablespoons to corn starch to get the sauce to soupy consistency. Very tasty and enough sauce to make two batches!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Kipthedog--Sounds like a feast!

Masdevallia--Thanks for the feedback. Another person also had that issue so I've re-written the recipe to accommodate for extra-juicy tomatoes.

Rachael said...

I'm from the UK and I've been trying to learn to cook tex-mex food ever since I tried it, b ut it's difficult here without being able to find many of the ingredients. Any chance you could do a blog post on useful substitutions for hard to find ingredients?

Alas I'm sure many can't be substituted, I can't find tomatillos anywhere!

Weekend Cowgirl said...

This looks so good and is something new. We love fried pies and will love this!

Andrea said...

Yum, these sound awesome. I love a recipe with fresh ingredients rather than pre-fabs, since I can't get them here in Sweden.

Texan in Deutschland said...

Just came across this page today, and it is a perfect fit! I am also a "home-sick Texan" missing the Tex-Mex greatly. I am living in Germany (try finding anything vaguely resembling TexMex!) and reminiscing about the food I am missing. I decided to just find the recipes and make my own, that is IF I can find the proper ingredients! I'll be looking. Thanks for this recipe; I have never had this (Ft Worth) but it sounds wonderful!

McKeatings said...

I had my first plate of Entomatadas in Laredo, TX and the home of much loved Mexican friends- yes ma'am, I'm a lucky girl! What a treat! Now I'm in DC and missing them all (people and the food) terribly! Thank you for the recipe.

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