Southwestern Style

Beef Tostadas

Earlier we described the taco. The tostada is in reality, a flat taco with an added base layer of refried beans. The base tortilla of the tostada is also crisp fried. Although I usually make my own taco shells, I really prefer the prepared tostada shells if I am lucky enough to find them. They are slightly smaller than a regular tortilla and have a nice, rich seasoning sprinkled on them. We will describe making your own tostada tortillas in this recipe but try the prepared ones if you can find them (Los Pericos brand comes to mind). The meat mixture can be made with a prepared taco seasoning mix, if you wish. The tostada and the taco are so similar, you will notice the similarity in the recipes.

Preparation Time : 30 minutes

Serves 6 persons

Life Experience Recipe

  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 4-ounce can diced Anaheim peppers
  • 1 jalapeño chili, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 dozen corn tortillas
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Hot sauce, optional
  • 1 7-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • ¼ head lettuce, sliced
  • 1 16-ounce can refried beans

Wash jalapeño chili. Remove stem end. Most of the heat in the chili is in the white membrane and the associated seeds. Remove the seeds and membrane according to the chili pungency you wish. Mince fine.

In large frying pan, sauté ground meat until no longer pink. Keep breaking up the meat so that you have a fine grained meat mixture. Drain grease, leaving the meat in the pan.

Add onion, jalapeño and Anaheim chilies and cook until onion is soft and transparent. Add tomato sauce, bouillon cube, pepper and chili powder.

Simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture has thickened and slightly pasty. Remove from heat and set aside.

In medium frying pan, heat ½-inch of oil until shimmering. With tongs, lower tortilla into the pan. Fry until dark golden brown and crisp. When the one side of the tortilla is crisp, turn and finish cooking the other side. You need to cook the tortillas until they are crisp. If you undercook them, they will be as tough-as-leather. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Dice tomatoes and drain away liquid and seeds. Place in convenient bowl. Thin slice lettuce and shred. Place in convenient bowl. Heat refried beans and place in convenient bowl.

Take prepared tortilla. Spread a layer of the refried beans on the tortilla. Place ¼ cup of the meat mixture on top of the refried beans, Add a layer of the lettuce, a layer of diced tomatoes and top with the shredded cheddar cheese.

As given, the recipe makes a nice mildly spicy meat filling. You can add more jalapeño peppers, or more chili powder if you want the whole dish to be hotter. If just some of the people want the dish hotter, serve with a bottle of hot sauce on the side.

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Latest revision done July 2014
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