January Is “Tostada Month”

Only (and unofficially) in my house anyway. There must be something about the cold, snowy month of January that has me craving food from warmer regions. Because when I went back to look at my other posting on Tostadas I noticed it was January of last year. That version was a wonderful light, bright spicy combination of chicken, tomatoes and golden beets. You can see that here.

This is the brand i use and can find readily in my urban-area stores. Picture courtesy of www.mexicorp.com

This is the brand I use and can find readily in my urban-area stores. Picture courtesy of www.mexicorp.com

The word “tostada” [tosˈtaða] means ‘toasted” in Spanish but usually refers to a particular dish made with a crisp fried corn tortilla on the bottom with yummy, spicy ingredients piled on top. There are many regional varieties.

You can get your tortilla maker out, along with your fry-daddy junior and knock yourself out making them from scratch or you can just buy the corn tortillas and fry them in a little oil in a large pan or better yet get your hands on some already done for you like I do!

This time around I used some re-fried beans to make them a little more ‘filling.” I also marinated some chicken strips in a quick marinade of oil, lime juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper, and a little dry BBQ seasoning and ground cumin. I reserved some of the marinade to use as a base for a pineapple, avocado and sweet onion salsa to put on top.

The chicken only was in the marinade for an hour or so and then I quickly cooked it in a hot skillet, to order, for each couple of tostadas. They cook really quick because they were thinly cut but, you could certainly do this ahead in a large batch.

Assembly just consisted of: Tosada on bottom, a smear of re-fried beans, the hot chicken with a few bits of sweet onion thrown in the skillet to cook too. Fresh salsa on top and some fresh minced cilantro leaves. ( or parsley if you hate cilantro) Shake on additional hot sauce as you wish!

chicken tostada

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Just Another Post About Grilling

The real star here wasn’t the grilled steak but the fresh “salsa” on top!

An impromptu blend of leftover roasted corn on the cob that I removed with a sharp knife, thin sliced red onion, finely chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, basil and a diced tomato. All this was tossed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, a squirt of lime juice and salt/pepper. The sliced avocados have a squirt of lime juice and sprinkle of salt on them too.

Best served outside on a hot evening with a cold drink!

Crock-Pot® Love… or is it “slow-cooker” love?

The term Crock-pot®  is a trademarked brand name for a kind of slow-cooker.

Bet you didn’t know that.

Well whatever you call it – I am in love.♥

I have some friends who are in love too. You know who you are. (Lydia.;-)

Mostly I just love having dinner all ready and waiting for me when I get home. This concept is nothing new. Folks have been bringing out the slow-cookers for years. For the holiday pot luck. For the family reunions. For the summer gatherings.

But the slow-cooker revolution is on. The internet is burning up with recipes. The bookstores are sporting more and more books dedicated solely to this form of cookery. 841 search results on Amazon alone!  Mark my words, I bet a food network show completely based on slow-cookers is already in production!

My latest slow-cooker love:

1 small pork roast – bought on sale and defrosted the night before in the fridge.

1 16 oz jar of “Better Than Freds” Caribbean Salsa. (Can’t find it – order it here – SO worth it)

1 can( 14oz +/-) Black beans, rinsed and drained

Frozen corn kernels – about a 1/2 bag  – doesn’t everybody have that in their freezer?

2 tsp Cumin – I LOVE this spice – if you don’t have it or love  it – leave it out.

Put everything in the slow-cooker (Meat on the bottom please.) Turn it on high and eat it 8 hours later over rice.

Full Disclosure:

I did not receive any compensation from either the salsa company or the slow-cooker company for promoting or advertising their products. But if anybody wants to send me some free stuff, please feel free to email me!