Friday, April 1, 2016

Chile Lime Chicken Tostadas







     Fancy Tostadas!
     Mexican food is not only great hot weather food, it is also the healthiest cuisine that that there is.  The reason why is because so many fresh ingredients are used.
     Tostada translates to "toast."  Tortillas are the bread of Mexico and Tostada refers to a toasted tortilla.  Tostadas can be toasted on a griddle skillet or in an oven.  In the old days before fast food style Mexican food came into the picture, traditional Tostadas were nearly always made with corn tortillas.  Now Tostadas are most often made with flour tortillas.  Honestly,corn tortilla Tostadas do taste much better, because plain wheat flour tortillas taste rather bland.
     Today's Chile Lime Chicken Tostadas have a refreshing flavor.  Tostadas do not have to be garnished with everything but the kitchen sink.  Placing a few antojitos style toppings on the side allows guests to add the extra toppings that they prefer.  
  
     Chile Lime Chicken Tostadas:
     This recipe yields 2 medium size (6") tostadas.
     Step 1:  Season a 6 to 8 ounce boneless chicken breast with sea salt and black pepper.
     Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of ancho chile powder over the chicken.
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of ground chile arbol over the chicken.  (optional for spicy heat)
     Rub the spices onto the chicken.
     Chill the chicken in a refrigerator for 1 hour, so the spice flavor penetrates.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 2 teasspoons of blended olive oil.
     Sauté the chicken on both sides till it is halfway cooked.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to low heat
     Add 3/4 cup of water.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of lime juice.
     Simmer and reduce till the chicken is fully cooked and only about 2 tablespoons of liquid remain.  The chicken should be coated with a thin lime flavored chile jus.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Place the chicken breast on a cutting board.  Leave the pan juices in the sauté pan over very low heat.
     Slice the chicken breast into thin slices.
     Return the chicken slices to remaining chili lime jus in the pan.
     Keep the chile lime chicken warm on a stove top.
     Step 5:  Heat a cast iron griddle over medium/medium low heat. 
     Lightly brush the griddle with vegetable oil.
     Grill 2  medium size flour tortillas (about 6" wide tortillas), till they are toasted crisp on and golden brown highlights appear on both sides.
     Set the tostadas aside.
     Step 5:  Heat about 3/4 cup of refried beans in a small sauce pot with a small splash of water over low heat.  (Quality canned refried beans are okay, but homemade refritos are better.  There is a refritos recipe in this website.)
     Spread a thin layer of the refried beans on the tostadas.
     Step 6:  Sprinkle about 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated Queso Chihuahua on each tostada.
     Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped tomato on each tostada.
     Step 7:  Arrange the slices of chili lime chicken on each tostada, so they point out from center.
     Place a thin slice of green jalapeño on the tostada between the chicken pieces.
     Step 8:  Place the tostadas on a baking pan.
     Bake in a 350ºF till the toppings are warm and the cheese begins to melt.
  
     Presentation:
     Step 1:  Place 2 romaine lettuce leaves on a plate.
     Place a small mound of shredded lettuce on the center of the plate.
     Garnish the shredded lettuce with 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped tomato.
     Place a dollop of sour cream on the mounded garnish.
     Garnish the sour cream with a black olive.
     Step 2:  Place the 2 Chile Lime Chicken Tostadas on the plate.
     Garnish the tostadas with sliced lime curls.
  
     This is a nice light tostada for spring and summer!

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