This is a great recipe when you’re not feeling like cooking a ton of food, but you want a bunch of flavors & textures. A tostada is basically a flat taco, but with a lot more elegance. Crispy, meaty, fresh, sweet, acidic, herbaceous, spicy & creamy. What more do you need?!
When I go to the Italian market, I always stop by Tortilleria San Roman. It’s a really small shop packed with a lot of latin essentials. Here’s my order recommendation for when you go: get the fresh warm tortillas, flat & fried tortillas, pico de gallo, guacamole, queso fresca, hot sauce, & a jarritos (Mexican soda, my favorite flavor is pineapple). Now go sit on a stoop, lean up against a building, or walk a block down to sit in Di Brunno Brother’s Piazza. Open everything up, of course while eating a warm tortilla in the process, I can never hold back, haha. Crack those flat fried tortillas in half & use as scoops for the pico & guac. Next, layer your warm tortilla with guac first, this helps everything stick, then pico, queso, hot sauce & small broken pieces of the fried tortilla on top for crunch. By the time you leave, you’ll most likely already have inhaled half of the warm tortillas & all the toppings. That’s okay, because your belly will be very happy & you can look forward to eating the rest when you get home…if you can wait.
Braised Black Lentils
yield: 1 Qt. | 900g
2 Tablespoon | 16g Neutral Oil
1/2 Each | 100g White Onion, diced
2 Each | 10g Garlic Clove, minced
1/2 tsp | 1g Cumin, ground
1 Teaspoon | 3g Smoked Paprika
1 Cup | 200g Black lentils
4 Cup | 920g Water
1 Each Bay Leaf
1 Tablespoon | 8g Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon | 15g Miso
- Using a sieve, rinse lentils with cold water & set aside.
- In a pot over medium heat, add oil, diced onions & minced garlic.
- Lightly cook, for about 30 seconds. You’re looking for the vegetables to sizzle, but not color.
- Add in ground cumin, & smoked paprika. Mix the spices together with the veggies, about toast for about 10 seconds.
- Now add in lentils, & the water.
- Bring the liquid up to a boil & reduce to a simmer.
- Add a bay leaf & continue to simmer until the lentils are tooth tender, about 30 minutes. This means when you bite down, they’re not hard, or mushy. They have a bit of bounce.
- When the lentils are done, season with salt.
- Cover with a lid, & set aside. Adding the salt in the end allows the bean to become seasoned when they’re cooling.
- To really elevate your lentils to the next level, take a quarter of the cooked lentils out & place into a blender & add 1/2 tablespoon of miso.
- Puree the lentils until smooth & fold back into the whole cooked lentils. This will give the lentils a creamy texture.
4-6 Tablespoons Braised Black Lentils (see above)
4-8 Each Flat Fried Tortilla
2 Each Avocado, Ripe
8 Oz Queso Fresco
1-2 Each Tomatoes, diced
TT Kosher Salt
1-2 Each Lime
1 Cup Cotija Cheese
1 Small Jalapeno, sliced
1/4 Bunch Cilantro
Building the Tostada
For best results, toast your fried tortillas in an oven (400 degrees F for 3-5 minutes)
- Place your fried flat tortilla onto a plate.
- Add about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of warm braised black lentils (warm), & spread from the center outward.
- Now, just add your favorite toppings. I like to start with avocado & cheese.
- Now we’ll add our juicy tomatoes & sliced jalapeños.
- Season with salt to your liking.
- Squeeze lime.
- Sprinkle cotija cheese & add cilantro!
note: if you cannot find flat fried tortillas just use nachos. They’ll be piqueno tostadas!
Avocado Tips & Tricks
- If un-ripe, store in a brown bag, on the counter, room temperature. Add in a banana or apple to even speed up this process.
- Instead of using a knife to remove the pit, try using your thumb from the other side. Just Push!
- Purchase when in season
Mexico (March – April)
US (May – August)
- Prevent cut avocados from turning brown. Peel & submerge avocados into lime water solution
1 lime : 1 Pint water – up to 3 – 6 hours
note: do not submerge over ripened avocados
- Quickly dice by pushing through a resting rack.
Now you can make your tostadas however you’d like. This recipe is vegetarian, but you can easily add seafood, or meat. Have fun with it! If you make this recipe be sure to share it with us on Instagram!
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