11 Mar 2007 04:49 pm

Basic Mexican Tomato Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 lbs ripe, juicy tomatoes, cored and finely chopped (use canned or boxed when good tomatoes are out of season)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
1/4 tsp dried thyme, or 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Heat olive oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until sweated, about 4 minutes. Add jalapeno and cook 3 or 4 minutes longer, until onion is translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add chopped tomato, bay leaves, oregano, dried thyme (if using)., sugar and 1 tsp salt.

Maintain heat at a lively simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. If using fresh thyme stir it in at this point, cook 5 minutes longer.

Some serving suggestions for this sauce:
Queso Guisado: gently stir chunks of queso fresco into heated sauce until semi-melted.
Huevos Rancheros: stir a small amount of sauce into beaten eggs and cook as scrambled eggs.
Add shredded cooked chicken or sautéed tenderloin tips to simmering sauce and serve with tortillas, for a quick and simple supper
Salsa Veracruzana: add chopped olives & capers. Serve with fish.

One Response to “Basic Mexican Tomato Sauce”

  1. on 22 Jul 2009 at 10:11 am 1.Jalapeno Madness said …

    Hey, Dave:

    This is a very good basic Mexican tomato sauce and I’ve used it as a base for many different recipes. I like to add in extra jalapenos, of course, and the occasional habanero when we really want some kick. Try adding some giardiniera and baking shrimp with feta. Similar sauce, and quite delicious.

    Keep up the good work in the kitchen, sir.

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