I haven't joined the Meatless Monday movement yet, I'm easing into it slowly. This recipe for guacamole tostados is an easy way to get started. It's delicious and you won't even miss the meat.
I just took a cooking class with one of Phoenix's top chefs, Silvana Salcido Esparza, chef-owner of the Barrio Cafe. The Barrio is one of the best modern Mexican restaurants ever. Along with preparing a fantastic menu with new twists on great Mexican food, she shared her tips for the Barrio's guacamole. Her guacamole is so good, it has been featured in several magazines including Vanity Fair!
Now, I know what you're thinking.
"Guacamole is guacamole. It can't be that different."
That's what you think right now. Just wait until you try guacamole from the Barrio!
All the talk about guacamole reminded me of how much I love guacamole tostados. They are hard to find on the menus of chain restaurants. I guess they're an Arizona thing just like cheese crisps, chimichangas and green corn tamales. When you do find them, they are usually covered in refried beans (which is great if you like beans but, we all know how I feel about beans). I did add them to mine today, though, for Meatless Monday. I like Donna's Black Bean Puree because the enchilada sauce and the salsa add a great flavor.
Now, the key to a perfect guacamole tostada is, of coarse, the guacamole. Here are Chef Esparza's tips for the best guacamole:
You'll have to wait to see what her secret ingredient is!
1. Be sure to buy HAAS avocados! They are the dark, bumpy, kind of ugly ones but they have the best flavor.
2. Mise en Place! It is very important to have everything chopped and ready before you cut the avocados. So prepare the black bean puree, fry the tortilla shells and dice all the vegetables before you cut into the avocados.
3. Chop the avocados and leave them in chunks. Don't mash them. Mashing the avocados exposes more of the avocado to air and causes it to oxidize faster changing the flavor. Mashing them also requires adding more lime juice to prevent browning. Too much lime juice over powers the delicate flavor of the avocado.
4. Now here is the best part- pomegranate seeds! Yes! Pomegranate seeds! Try it! you won't believe how much the sweet, tart flavor of the seeds adds to the smooth, fatty flavor of the guacamole. If you can't find pomegranates, dried cranberries work just as well. In fact, when pomegranates are not in season, Chef Esparza uses the dried cranberries at her restaurant.
5. Don't over do the other ingredients. Too much in the way of extra tomatoes or jalapenos can mask the taste of the avocado as well.
6. Don't forget the salt.
If you are using beans, put them on the tostado first and then the cheese. The cheese will melt and the guacamole will stay cool.
I prefer them with no beans, but for Meatless Monday be sure to have beans or lentils or seeds of some kind so that you have complementary proteins with the corn tortillas.
Collect these things and let's get started!
makes six tostados
2 ripe Haas avocados
½ tomato, finely diced
2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
½ to 1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 tablespoon cilantro, diced
½ cup pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries
6 oz grated cheddar or jack cheese
6 corn tortillas
2 cans ( 15 oz each) black beans
1 can ( 10 oz) enchilada sauce
½ cup salsa
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Drain beans and place beans, enchilada sauce, salsa and garlic powder in a blender and blend until smooth. Microwave in a bowl until bubbling.
Hope you love them as much as I do.
posted by Sandy
I had a little trouble finding other tostado recipes on the web. Here are a few. If you do something a little different with your tostados, I'd love to share a link to them.