What do you think of when you think enchilada sauce?
I often encounter enchilada fans who think tomatoes when they imagine that red sauce that is the lifeblood of everyone’s favorite rolled tortilla casserole.
Whether you’re talking Mexican enchiladas, Tex/Mex enchiladas, or southwestern-style enchis, traditional enchilada sauce is actually made from a base of reconstituted, puréed dried chiles. You can use California pods, New Mexican reds, or even a combination of chiles, but the chiles are requisite for that smoky, inimitable flavor.
We’re working with tomatoes today, though, M.! So what gives? Entomatadas, that’s what!
Entomatadas are really just what they sounds like: fried tortillas smothered in a rich tomato-based sauce, stacked together as enchiladas are, and then filled with and/or finished by a generous, generous helping of melting cheese.
On the intersection that is the rare occasion of me find myself without red chile sauce and the common occurrence of me dying for a pan of enchiladas (Venn diagram that!), I reach for this entomatada recipe.
Why? Because even when it isn’t tomato season, as in today, roasting off the fresh fruit brings out that juicy sweetness that I love.
Entomatadas are also super easy to customize: I went with a meatless combination of lovingly sautéed mushrooms, green chiles and rice for this batch, but you could easily swap in ground meat of just about any variety, beans, quinoa… Tony Danza and Judith Light best watch theyselves because you is the boss of these enchis!
The reality is that these entomatadas are the perfect solution for Use It Up Challenge nights in the Bakes household, and now also in yours; you can really stuff whatever fillings you have on hand inside, roll into whatever type of tortillas you’ve got in your pantry, top with any style of melting cheese you have hanging around, and consistently end up with a pan of deliciousness.
I wish you were here to share these entomatadas with me.
Since you’re not, maybe I’ll send some as a consolation prize to Tony Danza and/or Judith Light. We’ll see…
Yo! Make yourself some entomatadas today!
- 3 lbs. plum Roma tomatoes
- 6 stems parsley
- 1 tsp. cumin, ground
- 1 tsp. garlic, ground
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper, ground
- 1/2 tsp. oregano, ground (preferably Mexican oregano)
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- half of a large yellow onion, diced
- 2 Anaheim chiles, stemmed, diced (I opted to retain the seeds and membranes here; you can remove them in order to reduce the heat.)
- 8 oz. brown baby bella crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 c. cooked long grain rice
- 5- 8″ flour tortillas
- 2 c. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (Note that I always recommend taking the time to shred your cheese by hand straight off the block in order to achieve the most even melting, but that is especially true will a dish like these entomatadas.)
- Preheat the broiler to high heat.
- Slice the tomatoes vertically and place, cut side-down, onto a well-oiled rimmed baking sheet. Broil until the skins of the tomato are blackened, blistered and just starting to peel away, carefully rotating your pan as necessary during broiling in order to achieve even blackening. Remove charred tomatoes and set aside to cool slightly.
- Place the parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse-process to chop. Add cooled tomato pieces and process to a thick sauce. Season with cumin, garlic, white pepper, oregano and salt to taste. Pour into a large bowl and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over a medium flame. Add the onion and sauté until softened, approximately 5 minutes. Add chile pieces and sauté 5 minutes more. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the mushroom slices, and then stir in the rice. Continue to cook until the mixture is softened and fragrant, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
- To assemble your entomatadas, take a tortilla and carefully coat both sides with the tomato sauce. Place a generous amount of the filling in the center of the tortilla, roll, and set into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling mixture, and top with any remaining tomato sauce. Finish with an even layer of cheese.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is bubbling. Note that you may opt to broil your entomatadas for an additional 1-2 minutes just to crisp the edges of the cheese.
- Remove baked entomatadas and serve immediately.