Taco Tuesday? Not this Tuesday. I thought I would switch it up and make it Tostada Tuesday. I love tostadas. These bigger cousins of the chalupa are ever so versatile. Topped with just a bit of cream they can be a simple snack, but the flat, crispy tortilla can also be the perfect vessel for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
There are many beautiful qualities about the tostada. They are quick. They are easy. They can be topped with almost anything. They can be eaten with one hand.
HOW TO PREPARE THE TOSTADA SHELL
You will need corn tortillas - as many as you like to make. I like to make about 6-12 at a time and store them in a airtight container with a paper towel to absorb moisture. I'll eat them different ways over the next couple days.
Use a medium saucepan and fill with about 1/2 inch of oil. Heat oil on medium-high until it is hot. Throw in a tiny piece of tortilla to test the heat of the oil. If it bubbles and crackles fast its hot and ready. If you're oil isn't hot enough, your tortillas will get heavy and greasy. You don't want that.
Using tongs, gently slide your tortilla into the hot oil. It will crackle and begin to puff up. Sometimes, I lightly press the center down to make sure it has contact with the oil. After cooking on one side for about 40-60 seconds the bottom side should start to be golden brown. Flip the tortilla over and continue to cook until other side is golden brown and the tortilla is lightly crisp. Remove tortilla with tongs, let excess oil drip into pan and set on plate lined with a paper towel so that it can drain any extra oil. Tortilla will get a little more crispy as it sits.
Wait a few moments for oil to return to temperature and repeat process with remaining tortillas. If you are eating them all right away or having a tostada party, after draining excess oil, you can place them on a cookie sheet on low in the oven to keep them warm and crispy.
TOPPING...THE FUN PART!
As a I said, these crunchy tortillas are perfect for a snack or a full meal. I often put some delicious Mexican cream on top and eat them just like that. I got hooked on that after eating the best cream and tostadas with my pozole at La Casa de Toño in Mexico City. Here are some of my other favorite ways to make tostadas.
BEAN AND CHEESE TOSTADA
Bean and cheese tostadas are a simple favorite everyone loves, especially kids. Start with my Chorizo Black Bean recipe (or any other prepared beans). Place prepared beans in a bowl and mash with back of fork to create a paste. You may also add a little water to "loosen" the bean paste. Spread mashed beans over tostada shell, top with cheese and set under broiler until cheese is melted. Kick it up with salsa, cream and avocado or guacamole.
Start with your bean and cheese layer. I added sautéed brussel sprouts and topped with a fried egg. Serve with salsa and cream.
Once again, start with bean and cheese. Top with shredded lettuce or cabbage for a light, refreshing lunch. Add a little salt, cream, cilantro. If you want to kick it up add some onions, chiles or salsa.
A quick easy dinner for me is chicken tostadas. With your shells and beans already made, you can stop buy the market and grab a rotisserie chicken if you don't feel like cooking. Top your tostada shell with beans, cheese, and chicken and heat in the oven. Top with cream, salsa and guacamole.