Chicken and Cheese Entomatadas are a chili-less version of enchiladas that use the sweetness of tomatoes to create a fun and flavorful dish.
Entomatadas: Tomatoed Enchiladas
Entomatadas (pronounced en-TOE-ma-TAH-das) are a variation of an enchalada that features a simple, fresh tomato sauce rather than a classic chili-filled enchilada sauce.
When we say simple, we mean it. This sauce is comprised of peeled tomatoes, onions, garlic, and an optional jalapeno. The tomatoes are pureed in a blender and then simmered with sauteed onions just long enough to slightly deepen their bright flavor.
Traditional enchilada method
For these enchiladas it is essential that you use the traditional method for making enchiladas. We’re not talking about smothering filled tortillas with enchilada sauce and then baking, casserole-style, until everything is bubbly.
No. Traditionally, enchiladas are made by lightly toasting a corn tortilla and then dipping it into the enchiladas sauce. These coated tortillas are then filled and kept warm on a serving platter while the rest are made.
The sauce soaks into the tortilla, softening it and infusing it with flavor. Once all the enchiladas have been rolled, they can be topped with any extra sauce for serving.
A cheesy enchilada filling
The traditional filling for entomatadas is a simple mixture of light queso fresco and chopped white onions. You can substitute a light, shredded white cheese if you can’t find queso fresco.
We varied slightly from the traditional route with our entomatadas today by adding some shredded chicken to the cheese and onions. The light flavor of the chicken pairs incredibly well with the filing and the tomatoes.
This month for Wine Pairing Weekend, the crew was challenged to pair wine with enchiladas. For us, this proved to be a bit of a challenge. Pairing wine with Mexican food can be a bit tricky because of the spiciness of the cuisine. Another element that plays heavily into Mexican dishes is acidity from elements like lime and tomatoes.
Pairing wine with tomatoes
When it comes to pairing wine with tomatoes it is important to think about the preparation of the tomatoes and the acidity of the wine.
Fresh tomatoes are bright and highly acidic, requiring a crisp, acidic wine like a lighter Sauvignon Blanc, a French Picpoul de Pinet, a Pinto Grigio, or a dry rosé.
Cooking tomatoes lowers their acidity, making it safe to reach for a lighter bodied, fruity red wine, like a Pinot Noir or a Sangiovese.
Whatever you choose, do stay away from oaked Chardonnays and big reds like Bordeaux.
In our glass
The tomatoes in this dish lend a light sweetness and slight adicity, so we knew we needed a wine with a bit of acidity to complement. We reached for a Kendall-Jackson Riesling that we had on our shelves, remembering the slight acidity of Rieslings we have had in the past.
The Kendall-Jackson Riesling was rich and buttery, bright and slightly sweet with flavors of peach and apricot. It was a beautiful wine on its own, and would have paired wonderfully with sweet and spicy Asian cuisine or barbecued chicken.
Unfortunately, the pairing for this dish was less ideal than we were hoping. The wine paired incredibly well with the entomatada’s filling, the saltiness and creaminess of the cheese, and the subtle nuttiness of the corn tortilla. But, when it came to the acidity of the tomatoes, the pairing fell short because the wine was more sweet and less acidic than were were expecting.
So, while we enjoyed both the wine and the dish immensely, we would probably reach for a Pinot Grigio or a Picpoul de Pinet to pair with the dish the next time.
What would you pair with these entomatas?
- 8 oz (2 c) queso fresco, crumbled, or shreded Monterey/Colby jack
- 1 c cooked chicken breast, shredded*
- ¼ onion, diced (you will use the rest for the sauce)
- 2 lbs tomatoes
- 2 jalapenos, stemmed (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- ½ tsp oil or lard
- ½ onion, diced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 12 corn tortillas
- Sliced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, and/or crumbled queso fresco (for garnish)
In a medium bowl, mix crumbled cheese, cooked chicken, and ¼ c diced onion with a fork until well combined. Set aside.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. While the water is coming to a boil, score an X into the bottom of each of the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes into the boiling water and boil for 2 mi, until the skins start to peel away from the tomato flesh. Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and place on a plate to cool slightly. When the tomatoes are cool to touch, gently peel them.
Place the peeled tomatoes into your blender along with the jalapeños and garlic cloves. Smash the tomatoes with a spoon to start releasing their juices. Cover the blender and blend until the mixture is smooth and no chunks remain. Set aside.
In a large skillet with high sides, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced ½ onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until soft.
Reduce the heat to medium and pour in the tomato sauce from the blender. Add the cumin and salt. Mix well. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered for 7-10 minutes. (The sauce should still be quite thin.) Remove the pan from the heat.
Preheat your oven to a warm 200F.
Heat a small skillet over low heat. Place one tortilla in the warm skillet and heat 30 seconds on each side to warm the tortilla slightly.
Transfer the tortilla to the skillet with the sauce. Dip the tortilla into the sauce, coating both sides.
Remove the tortilla from the sauce (letting any excess drip off). Place the tomatoed tortilla onto a plate and fill with ¼ c of the cheese filling mixture.
Fold the tortilla in half over the filling and place on an oven-safe serving platter. Place the platter into the over to keep the entomatadas warm while you continue until all the tortillas and filling have been used.
Serve the entomatadas with any extra sauce and garnish with sliced avocado, cilantro, and cheese, as desired.
* To make these entomatadas with the more traditional, vegetarian, filling, substitute additional cheese for the chicken.
If you love enchiladas, you’ll love this collection of enchilada and wine pairings!
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla will post about Prickly Pear-Pulled Pork Enchiladas with Prosecco
- Cindy of Grape Experiences will post Wine and Dine: Condes de Albarei 2014 and Goat Cheese Enchiladas
- David of Cooking Chat will be debating Wine for Enchiladas — Red or White?
- Jeff of FoodWineClick will be running a Taste Test: Wines for Spicy Food.
- Jill of L’occasion will feature Cooking with Wine: Chipotle Pinot Noir Enchiladas.
- Nancy from Pull That Cork (next month’s host) is talking Mom’s Enchiladas and Casillero del Diablo Wines
- Meaghan of Un Assaggio of Wine, Wine & Marriage will be making Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas #winePW
- Michelle of RockinRedBlog will be Exploring Enchiladas and Wine Pairings with WinePW.
- Sarah from Curious Cuisiniere will post Chicken and Cheese Entomatadas: Pairing Tomatoes with Wine
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on a Farm will be talking about Elderberry Sangria
- Lori from Dracaena Wines will be sharing Enchiladas and Trousseau Gris; Could It Be?
David of Cooking Chat started this event in June of 2014, and every month since then this group of wine and food lovers have had a great time! For more background, check out the original post announcing Wine Pairing Weekend. You can see the full list of past and upcoming #winePW events here.