A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 07, 2008
Entomatada

An “entomatada” is a rolled tortilla dipped in tomato sauce and with fillings, similar to the enchilada. Although the “entomatada” is from Oaxaca, Mexico, it’s become a frequent item on Tex-Mex menus.

An “enfrijolada” is a similar item, but dipped in bean sauce. An “enmolada” has the tortilla dipped in mole.


Global Gourmet
Mexico
Corn Tortillas with Tomato Sauce (Entomatadas)
2 tablespoons oil
1 small onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 serrano chile peppers, diced
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3 large tomatoes, chopped
3 epazote stems
Salt
1/4 cup oil
12 corn tortillas
1 onion, thickly sliced
3/4 cup queso fresco, crumbled

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add the onion, garlic, and chiles and fry over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and transfer vegetables to a blender jar. Add about 1/2 cup of water, the allspice, and chopped tomatoes, and purée until smooth.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat. Pour in the tomato sauce. Add the epazote and season with salt. Cook until sauce has thickened—about 10 minutes; set aside.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in another skillet and fry the tortillas one by one for just a few seconds to soften. Add another tablespoon of oil when necessary. Drain tortillas on towel.

To prepare, dip the tortilla into the sauce and fold into fourths. Place on a serving platter. Repeat with remaining tortillas, then sprinkle with fresh onion slices and cheese. Serve immediately.

14 May 1982, Chicago (IL) Daily Herald, pg. 89? menus:
ENCHILADAS ENTOMATADAS
3 Tortillas dipped in tomato sauce, filled with your favorite stuffing—Beef, CHicken, Cheese ... $5.50

22 June 1986, New York (NY) Times, “Tex-Mex Comes to the Palisades” by Anne Semmes, pg. NJ25:
Entomatadas con camarones were soft, floured tortillas wrapped around shrimp and nicely complemented by onions, chilis and coriander.

10 January 1992, San Antonio (TX) Express-News, pg. 7C:
That’s the price of entomatadas, three huge chicken enchiladas covered with a mildly spicy tomato sauce, white cheese and sour cream.

7 August 1992, San Antonio (TX) Express-News, pg. 6F:
My second favorite dish, an order of enchiladas entomatadas, was dressed in the colors of the Mexican flag with green avocado slices atop a bed of white ...

Google Books
The Border Cookbook:
Authentic Home Cooking of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico
by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
Cambridge, MA: Harvard Common Press
1995
Pg. 162:
NOGALES ENTOMATADAS
The usual description of entomatadas as chile-less enchiladas left us less-than-convinced until we tried a good version once in Nogales, Sonora.
Serves 4 to 6
FILLING
1 1/4 pounds crumbled queso fresco or grated Chihuahua, Muenster, or Monterey jack cheese
2 ounces Cotija or feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 medium onion, minced
Vegetable oil for pan-frying
12 ot 16 corn tortillas
Roasted Tomato Sauce (page 59)
Crema (page 63) or creme fraiche, for garnish (...)

Google Books
A Cook’s Tour of Mexico:
Authentic Recipes from the Country’s Best Open-Air Markets, City Fondas, and Home Kitchens
by Nancy Zaslavsky
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin
1995
Pg. 255:
Susana Trilling’s
Entomatadas Tortillas Dipped in Tomato Sauce and Folded
SUSANA’S COOKING CLASSES AT HER WONDERFUL COUNTRY HOME on the outskirts of Oaxaca City are filled with eager students, both Oaxaquenos and travelers (see page 231). Her tomato sauce version of the entomatada-enmolada-enchilada-enfrijolada quartet is “a must for a family of tomateros [tomato growers] because we get so many.” Her husband, Eric, grow tomatoes on his thriving commercial farm.

For the sauce
1 three-inch “canela” stick, or 1 two-inch cinnamon stick
3 whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seed
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 6)
5 de arbol chiles, stemmed, seeded and soaked for 30 minutes
1 1/2 Tablespoons lard or oil
1 medium white onion, minced
1 Tablespoon “panela” or dark brown sugar
1 sprig or 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 bay leaf
salt to taste (...)

Google Groups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
Newsgroups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
From: Lakshmi
Date: 1998/05/20

Subject: My own personal recipe: Mexican Lasagna (Entomatadas) This is a version of Entomatadas. As the name says their sauce is tomatoey. You see, entomatadas look similar to enchiladas in thatthey are a pain in the hands (i.e. if you have arthritis, which I don’t) to fold up each individual tortilla neatly.  They also take up alot of time.  I have decided to make them as one would a lasagna.
BTW I don’t use quantities, I just go by what feels/looks good and tastes good.

Mexican Lasagna
1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce (preferrabley the chunky tomato with herbs-basil)
Shredded Cheddar (the marbled type) or use Mozarella or any white cheese that melts nicely
1 pkg. of corn tortillas

Simmer the 1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce in a pot.  If the sauce is tastey to you, dilute this sauce with water until the sauce would be thin enough to be absorbed by the corn tortillas.  If it needs modifying, add whatever you think would make it taste better:  extra basil, oregano, sautee some onions in a bit of red wine and throw those into the pot.  Sometimes the sauce is bitter so a little sugar (1 - 5 tsp.) helps.

Take a casserole dish and line it with corn tortillas.  Then, spread the cheese over these. 

Pour a little sauce to moisten the tortillas. Repeat the layers of tortillas, cheese, sauce until you’re 3/4 of the top of the casserole dish.  Pour the rest of the sauce until it covers the tortillas with a bit of sauce.

Microwave the whole casserole or just cut into servings and put on plates, then microwave each dish until the tortillas are soft and the cheese has melted.

BTW, this is less fattening than entomatadas because the sauce should be watery enough to soften the corn tortillas.  Whereas, the corn tortillas to make entomatadas are immersed in hot oil so that they will soften. You can also substitute skimmed milk mozarella. 

Add in any meats that you like (I don’t). This is a side dish at my house.  But, I think shredded Chicken would go great. 

Google Groups: rec.food.recipes
Newsgroups: rec.food.recipes
Followup-To: rec.food.recipes
From: (Teresa in Los Angeles)
Date: 1998/07/01
Subject: Entomatadas

{ Exported from MasterCook Mac }
Entomatadas
Recipe By:  Cook’s Tour of Mexico:  Nancy Zaslavsky
Serving Size:  6
*Sauce*
1 cinnamon stick 3 inch
3 black peppercorns whole
1/2 tsp cumin seed whole
1/4 tsp allspice ground
2 lbs ripe tomatoes (about 6)
5 chiles de arbol, stemmed, seeded soaked 30 minutes
1 1/2 Tbsp lard or oil
1 med white onions minced
12 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbsp panela or dark brown sugar
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1 bay leaf
salt to taste

*Entomatadas*
3 Tbsp lard or oil
12 corn tortillas
1/2 c ranchero cheese
1 white onions thinly sliced
1/4 c flat leafed parsley or cilantro roughly chopped

Toast the cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and cumin seed until their scents are released, then put them in a blender and grind with the allspice. Skin the tomatoes by making an X on the bottom of each and blanching in boiling water for 1 minute.  Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and cool.  Peel the tomatoes and put in a blender with the ground spices. Drain and add the chiles to the blender.  Blend.  Heat the oil or lard in a deep pot until it smoking hot.  Add the onions and fry until they are transparent.  Add the garlic and, when the garlic is light brown, carefully add the tomato mixture (it splatters!) and stir.  Stir in the sugar, oregano and bay leaf.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring, to reduce and dry the sauce.  Add salt to taste.

Finishing the entomatadas:
Heat a little lard in a skillet and fry each tortilla quickly until it is soft, then turn it over with tongs to fry the other side.  Drain. Holding it by upper edges, dip a tortilla in the tomato sauce.  Put it on a plate and fold in half, then in half again to make a triangle. Repeat with another tortilla on the same plate (each serving consists of two tortillas). Spoon more sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle with cheese.  Garnish with onion slices and parsley or cilantro leaves.  Repeat with the other 5 servings.

Google Groups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
Newsgroups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
From: (Heather Allen)
Date: 1999/01/27
Subject: Re: Entomatadas

>1 cinnamon stick 3 inch
>1/2 tsp cumin seed whole

I was just reading this morning an article on Diana Kennedy’s new book in our local paper (sorry, the darn paper is not on-line, hard to believe in a high-tech city like Austin...) and it had a small list of things “not found in real mexican cooking”. One of those things read something like “cinnamon, cloves, cumin, etc., are very unusual in cooked sauces” And it made me think that I’ve never made a savory dish using cinnamon, and only a couple using cloves and I don’t think my mom has cumin in her pantry at all! When I get home this afternoon I’ll look up this recipe, to see where it’s from. I’ve had entomatadas before, and it’s basically just an enchilada with a tomato-based sauce (as opposed to chile-based).

Google Groups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
Newsgroups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
From: “David Wright”
Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 03:06:50 GMT
Local: Sat, May 26 2001 10:06 pm
Subject: Re: Enchalada Sauce

It’s true that “enchiladas” does mean that the folded or rolled tortillas have a chile sauce, but there are also such things as enfrijoladas (bean sauce), enmoladas (mole) and ... would you believe ... ENTOMATADAS, made with tomato sauce.

In the English speaking part of the world, we seem to refer to all of them as enchiladas, but these different terms and types of sauces exist in Mexico, at least in Oaxaca. Do a google search and you’ll find references to all of them. You’ll also find them in Nancy Zaslavsky’s book, A Cook’s Tour of Mexico, which you can read about on amazon.com.

Google Groups: comp.sys.hp.mpe
Newsgroups: comp.sys.hp.mpe
From: Wirt Atmar
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 11:30:08 -0500 (Central Daylight Time)
Local: Tues, Aug 14 2001 11:30 am
Subject: Re: OT: Entemology - large high-flying bug?

Just as a note, the correct Greek form for insect is “ento-”, not “ente-”. But that doesn’t mean knowing that is going to do you all that much good. Once, when we sat down in a restaurant in Alamogordo, NM, there was a dish on the menu that was called “entomatadas”, which could be literally translated as “dead insects”. Of course, I parsed the word wrongly. What it really meant was “tortillas en-tomato-ated.”

Chowhound
What are enmoladas, entomatadas, and enfrijoladas?
I encountered these on the menu of a local Oaxacan restaurant and wasn’t sure the owner would be able to describe them all in detail—how do they differ? Other words on the menu I didn’t understand: chapulines, campechana, botana aguachile?
Thanks!
Chowpatty Aug 16, 2006 03:08AM
(...)
Basically it’s a difference in how the tortillas are prepared:
enmoladas are rolled in a mole sauce;
entomatadas Oaxaqueñas are tortillas in a Oaxacan dry-roasted tomato sauce (typically on a comal);
enfrijoladas fried tortillas with beans and sauce
And I think that Campechana is some type of mixed seafood similar to ceviche.
A botana is a snack/appetizer
ciaogina Aug 16, 2006 04:35AM
(...)
Think “enchilada,” which in its basic form is a tortilla dipped in chile sauce, folded in quarters and served with a little onion and a tiny spot of cheese.
So using the same format, en-mol-ada is a tortilla dipped in mole. en-tomat-ada = tomato sauce. En-frijol-ada = dipped in thinned beans.
Campechana is a mixed seafood cocktail in the style of a Campeche woman.
Botana aguachile - some kind of appetizer, probably a shrimp cocktail, with chiles de agua - these typical Oaxacan small green chiles.
Chapulines are fried tiny grasshoppers with chile salt that are as common in Oaxaca as potato chips are here.
Snackish Aug 16, 2006 04:43AM

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, January 07, 2008 • Permalink