During my late elementary and early middle school years, my mother began relaxing her food rules. This can be credited in part to my sister’s refusal to eat more than a bite or two of anything healthy, as well as my mom’s return to a full-time work schedule. There were still plenty of whole grains and vegetables in our lunch bags and on our plates, but come Friday evening, things got a little lax (however, even on these takeout nights, a bowl of carrot sticks would appear on the table).
Some weeks, we’d be allowed to order pizza. Other times, we’d pile into the car and go through the Taco Bell drive-thru. It was on one of these Friday night outings that I first tried a tostada. Back in 1991, I was totally taken by the idea of piling a world of tasty meat and cheese atop a fried corn tortilla. For years, I ordered them whenever and wherever I could and they remain one of my favorite things to order in Mexican restaurants.
Over the weekend, I found myself with a powerful tostada craving. The time had come to try and make a tasty one at home. You see, my husband, Scott, has been doing a masterful job of losing weight over the last few months, and has done it primarily by cutting out carbs. By making tostadas in our kitchen, I could quell my craving and make a meal that would work for him by subbing out the crunchy tortilla for a giant salad. Marcela Valladolid’s recipe for Shredded Spicy Chicken Tostadas was the perfect starting place.
Though it has a few more steps than are ideal for weeknight cooking, it’s a terrific recipe to tackle over the weekend. What’s more, I have a hunch that the shredded chicken and chorizo mixture would freeze beautifully, so you could cook up a double batch and stash it in the freezer for a tostada emergency. Make it your Weekender soon.
Before you start shredding chicken, here are a few things you should know:
– When Marcela says spicy, she’s not kidding. If you can’t handle a lot of heat, cut back on the chipotle.
– If you struggle to find prepared tostadas, you can simply buy a package of corn tortillas and toast them in the oven until they are crisp. They’re also a bit better for you when they’re toasted and not fried.
– Try topping the tostadas with a bit of crumbled queso fresco and a few cilantro leaves. Makes for a tasty bite.
Marisa McClellan is a food writer and canning teacher who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her food (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first cookbook, Food in Jars: Canning in Small Batches Year Round, is now available.