Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chicken Tostados with Fresh Salsa

My husband and I love the blackened chicken tostados at Tijuana Flats, so I thought we should try making them at home. I must say, our first attempt was pretty successful. My husband did a great job blackening the chicken and making fresh salsa, but I was the mastermind behind the whole thing!

What you’ll need:
Olive oil
Corn tortillas (about 2-3 per person)
1 lb chicken cutlets
Blackened seasoning (we used a combo of cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and salt and pepper)
1 can refried beans
Queso Fresco (a Mexican crumbling cheese that I have only seen at Super Walmart) or you could substitute Monterey jack cheese
Toppings: hot sauce, salsa (see our recipe below), sour cream (my favorite condiment in the whole world), guacamole, jalepeno peppers, green or red onion

How to make them:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

With a basting or pastry brush, lightly coat both sides of the tortillas with olive oil and season with kosher salt. Place evenly on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 15 minutes, until crispy, turn halfway through.

Meanwhile, season the chicken cutlets with the blackening spices - cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place in a cast iron skillet if you have one or you can use a nonstick skillet with the just a little bit of oil. Preheat the skillet to medium-high to high. Cook on both sides until cooked through, about 8 minutes total. Remove from the pan. Let cool slightly, then chop up.

Heat the refried beans in a saucepan on the stove. When the tortillas are done, spread a little refried beans on the tortillas, top with some chicken, crumbled queso and additional toppings of your choice.

What you’ll need for the salsa:
4 vine ripened tomatoes, cut into smaller chunks
Half a large white onion, cut into smaller chunks
2 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
A handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
If you like it spicier, add a jalepeno, remove the seeds and ribs

How to make it:
Place the tomato chunks, onion, and garlic (and jalapeno if using) into a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until it reaches the consistency you like. Season with salt and pepper, add the cilantro and pulse a couple of more times to incorporate.

You could also use ground beef, ground turkey or sirloin instead of blackened chicken.

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