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Entomatadas: A Mexican Delight with Fresh Tomato Sauce

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Entomatadas are a traditional Mexican dish that is both simple and delicious. Similar to enchiladas, entomatadas feature corn tortillas filled with various ingredients, such as cheese, chicken, or beans, and then smothered in a fresh, tangy tomato sauce. This dish is beloved for its vibrant flavors and comforting qualities, making it a favorite in Mexican households. Entomatadas can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and are often accompanied by rice, beans, or a fresh salad.

Ingredients

For the Tomato Sauce:
  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped (optional, for heat)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Entomatadas:
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, crumbled queso fresco, or refried beans (or a combination)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (for topping)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)
  • Sliced avocado (for serving)
  • Lime wedges (for serving)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Tomato Sauce:
    • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes until the skins start to peel away.
    • Remove the tomatoes from the water and let them cool slightly. Peel off the skins and blend the tomatoes until smooth.
    • In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for about 5 minutes until translucent.
    • Add the minced garlic and chopped jalapeño peppers (if using), and cook for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
    • Pour the blended tomatoes into the skillet and stir in the chopped cilantro, ground cumin, salt, and pepper. Simmer the sauce for about 10-15 minutes until it thickens slightly and the flavors meld together.
  2. Prepare the Tortillas:
    • In a separate skillet, heat a small amount of vegetable oil over medium heat.
    • Lightly fry each corn tortilla for about 20-30 seconds on each side until they are pliable but not crispy. Drain on paper towels.
  3. Assemble the Entomatadas:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.
    • Fill each tortilla with your choice of shredded chicken, crumbled queso fresco, or refried beans. Roll up the tortillas and place them seam-side down in the baking dish.
    • Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the rolled tortillas, ensuring they are well-coated.
    • Sprinkle crumbled queso fresco on top.
  4. Bake and Serve:
    • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes until the entomatadas are heated through.
    • Remove the foil and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.
    • Serve the entomatadas hot, accompanied by sliced avocado and lime wedges on the side.

Tips for Serving

  • Garnish Ideas: Top with a dollop of Mexican crema, sliced radishes, or pickled onions for added flavor and texture.
  • Side Dishes: Serve entomatadas with Mexican rice, black beans, or a simple green salad to complete the meal.
  • Heat Level: Adjust the spiciness of the tomato sauce by adding more or fewer jalapeños, or substitute with milder peppers if desired.

Variations

  • Vegetarian Entomatadas: Fill the tortillas with sautéed vegetables, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, and spinach, for a vegetarian version.
  • Beef Entomatadas: Substitute the chicken with cooked ground beef or shredded beef for a heartier option.
  • Cheese Variations: Experiment with different cheeses, such as Oaxaca cheese or Monterey Jack, to add a unique twist to the dish.

Conclusion

Entomatadas are a delightful and versatile Mexican dish that showcases the fresh and tangy flavors of homemade tomato sauce. Whether filled with chicken, cheese, or beans, these rolled tortillas smothered in tomato sauce provide a satisfying and comforting meal. Easy to prepare and customizable to suit your taste preferences, entomatadas are perfect for any occasion, from a casual weeknight dinner to a festive gathering. Enjoy this traditional Mexican dish and savor the vibrant flavors that make entomatadas a beloved favorite in Mexican cuisine.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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