Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Veggie Tostadas

I have always had a love for Mexico, ever since my parents told me stories of both living there, then I studied Spanish in high school and college, then I studied abroad in Cuernavaca my sophomore year of college.

My mom loved TJ Maxx, and in case you didn't know, you can find awesome cookbooks there. I have found Martha Stewart cooking books that are originally $40 for only $9.99. My mom used to go and just browse, and she found 2 really good Mexican cookbooks there. One is a Williams & Sonoma Mexican cookbook, a little fancy, but beautiful. Another one (this one), is my favorite. It has beautiful pictures, and a really long introduction with pictures of Mexico, street vendors, fruits, veggies, describing regional cuisines, cooking techniques, eating customs, street food descriptions, definitions and pictures of certain ingredients like all the different peppers and spices, special utensils used, and holiday foods. If you ever come over, you'll have to look at it. I love it. This recipe is from that book.

Vegetable Tostadas
(from "The Mexican Cookbook," Marlena Spieler editor)
(Serves 4)

4-8 soft corn tortillas
4 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
*or you can just buy already made tostadas...some grocery stores carry them, others don't

2 potatoes, diced
1-2 carrots, diced
3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped (I have a jar of already minced garlic, and it's just 1 tsp=1 clove minced...it's so much easier and your hands won't smell of garlic for hours!)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 tsp mild chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3-4 ripe tomatoes, diced (I have also used 1 can of diced tomatoes and it was fine...around here, it's been all about saving time since we are both in school and don't have much of it!)
4-8 oz green beans, blanched and cut into bite size lengths (I have used about 1 cup of frozen cut green beans and it was fine)
several large pinches of dried oregano
2 1/3 c. cooked black beans, drained (I usually use 1 can of black beans, drained)
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
3-4 romaine lettuce leaves, shredded/chopped
3-4 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)

To make the tostadas, heat the oil in a pan/pot and pan fry the tortillas until crisp. Keep watch over them, as it is easy to burn them. You will need to flip them a couple times in the oil to get it evenly fried. I usually fry them in a small pot (to avoid a mess of oil on the stove top) with about 1 1/2 inches of oil in the pot.

Be watchful of them, because if you aren't, this could happen:

Heat the remaining oil in the skillet (about 1-2 tbsp). Add the potatoes and carrot and cook for 10 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, red bell pepper, chili powder, paprika, and cumin. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the bell peppers have softened.

Add the tomatoes, green beans, and oregano. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and form a saucelike mixture. The mixture should not be too dry; add a little water if necessary.

Preheat the broiler to medium. Heat the black beans in a pan with a tiny amount of water and keep warm. Reheat the tostadas under the hot broiler. Spread the beans over the hot tostadas, then sprinkle with the cheese, and top with a few spoonfuls of the hot vegetables in sauce. Sprinkle each tostada with lettuce and scallions and serve immediately.

A slightly quicker version: Add the black beans into the vegetable mixture, heat through, then just top the vegetable mixture on the warm tostadas, top with cheese, lettuce, scallions, EAT and enjoy. :)

1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious...and fast, as needed for your busy fall. I plan to make it soon! Miss seeing you!