September 21, 2016
Aunt Suzy says
I saw this article and recipe in last week’s Taste section of our local newspaper and that was all the inspiration I needed. The headline was “One more taste of summer” and I said yes, please. Tomatoes and corn are still plentiful here in Minnesota and I have not yet had my fill of either. If you know us here at S&SK you will already expect that I made a few adaptations to the recipe, but I think following the original, using my recipe or making up your own riff would all end in a great tasting tostada. We both loved these, and as Randy said “this has great mouth appeal”. Indeed!
Elote-inspired Tostadas with Corn, Chicken and Avocado
This note is from the original article: Elote, or roasted corn on the cob, is a popular street food in Mexico, and is often served with condiments such as Cotija cheese, lime juice, mayonnaise and ground chile peppers.
This recipe makes approximately 8 tostadas.
This tostada consists of layers (starting from the bottom) of avocado, corn, chicken, cilantro, diced tomatoes, diced onion and optional cheese. Prepare the layers as follows:
For the chicken: Shred approximately 2 cups of cooked chicken. This could easily be from leftover roast or rotisserie chicken or cook up a couple of chicken breasts. We baked 2 bone-in/skin-on breasts sprinkled with some ground cumin and ground chile. (I had ground red Hatch chile on hand.)
Once the chicken is shredded, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet on medium high. Add 2 minced cloves of garlic. Saute for a minute stirring constantly. Add the chicken, saute for another minute or two, then add 1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chiles. Cook for another couple of minutes until heated through all chicken is coated with the sauce. Stir in a squeeze of lime and some salt, to taste. Set aside. The chicken can be served warm or room temperature.
For the corn: You’ll want about 2 cups of corn. I got that amount from 4 large ears of sweet corn. Shuck the corn and then slice the kernels off the cobs. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Once hot, add the corn kernels and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or to taste). Saute, stirring often until some of the kernels start to brown. Remove from heat, turn into a bowl and set aside to cool. Once cool, add 1-2 teaspoons mayonnaise, a squeeze of lime and some salt, all to taste.
For the avocado: Mash 2 ripe avocados to the consistency of a chunky paste. Add a squeeze of lime and some salt, to taste.
For the tostadas:
Chop 1/2 yellow or white onion. Seed and chop one ripe red tomato. Chop 1/2-1 cup cilantro leaves. These can be kept in separate bowls or combined for a quick pico de gallo.
Crumble some feta cheese or have on hand grated Cotijo cheese, optional.
Have on hand the required number of tostadas. You can make them yourself from tortillas – instructions included in the original recipe. But if you live near a Hispanic grocery, I say go ahead and buy a package! We got two meals of 8 tostadas each from our package with enough leftover to give to friends Sue and Al for a meal! NOTE: If you’re making these for kids, I think hard taco shells might be easier for them to eat. Just a thought. 🙂
Assembling the tostadas:
Spread some avocado on the tostada. Add a layer of the corn, then some chicken. Top with the onion, tomato, cilantro and cheese if using. If you love lime, squeeze a little on top. Dig in!!
The next night we made vegetarian tostadas, starting with a layer of refried beans, then adding the corn on top. Instead of mashing the avocado, we chopped it and added it on top with the onion, tomato, cilantro and cheese. Rave reviews for this approach too!
February 28, 2015
Back in the relaxing days of only having one small child, I used to watch a lot of daytime TV. My son would only nap for long stretches when he was laying on me…if I tried to lay him down in his own bed, on our bed, or on the couch, he would wake up within 10 minutes. And then would be crabby for the rest of the day. Luckily he was my first born, and got lots of snuggles on the couch, every day, for the first 2.5 years of his life. It got frustrating: dirty dishes would sit in the sink, phone calls would go unanswered, laundry would sit in the dryer, dinner would go un-prepped. I had no smartphone, so no emails, Facebook, or Words with Friends. So, I watched A LOT of television. And after I had marathoned Doctor Who, Firefly and Veronica Mars on Netflix (thank goodness we had Netflix), I turned to daytime TV. And a whole bunch of Food Network. And I’m actually glad for it, because I learned a bunch of really great cooking tips from Ina, and quick meal ideas from Rachel and Giada. This was one of them, and I make it on a pretty regular basis. I remember it was on an episode when Giada was cooking with a child, so it’s meant to be a good recipe for a kid to help with. Which is true, my son has helped me make it many times. It can be prepared in about 30 minutes. A great weeknight meal!
Italian Chicken Casserole
This makes enough for 4 people, in an 8×8″ glass baking dish. I like to double the recipe and bake in a 13×9″ dish so we have plenty of leftovers.
1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Note: This can also be made with already cooked chicken. Just saute the onion and garlic on their own, and add the chicken to the bowl with everything and toss.
August 28, 2014
We recently got a new gas grill, which replaced an ancient double hand-me-down (it was handed down to us from someone who had it handed down to them). Our new one is also a hand-me-down, but much much newer, with no rust and *GASP!* it actually evenly cooks the food. The other bonus to the new one is I can use it! The old one had all these quirks, and it wasn’t easy to get started. I could do it, but not very easily, and definitely not on a weeknight with two crazy kids hanging on me. This new one is easier to use than the stove! So I’ve been grilling every other night…no pan to clean up, and the kitchen stays nice and cool. This is one of my favorite grilling recipes, an adaptation from the recipe magazine I use all summer long. It’s not as quick as some of them, and doesn’t take 30 minutes like the magazine says, but it’s still quick enough that I can do it on a weeknight. Plus, I kind of make it more complicated by doing veggie skewers for my vegetarian son along with it. The recipe calls for serving it along with grilled pita, but I usually also serve with grilled veggie skewers and a green salad.
Greek-Style Chicken Kebabs with Grilled Flatbread
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen 30-Minute Suppers, Fall 2010 edition
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and finely diced
1 1/2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp juice from 1 lemon
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2″ chunks (about 1 1/2 lbs)
2 red onions, cut into 1″ chunks
4 pita bread rounds
1. Whisk yogurt, 2 tbsp oil, garlic, lemon juice, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in bowl. Toss oregano, cayenne, and chicken with half of yogurt mixture.
2. Thread four 12-inch skewers with chicken and onions. Grill over hot fire, turning skewers every 2 minutes, until onions and chicken are cooked through, about 12 minutes. Transfer skewers to platter, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes. Brush both sides of pita rounds with remaining oil and grill until lightly charred and warm, about 1 minute. Transfer to platter with chicken.
3. Toss cucumbers with remaining yogurt mixture. Season with salt and pepper and serve with chicken and pita.
August 1, 2014
I love making frittatas for dinner in the summer. It’s a great way to use up random produce sitting in the fridge, it’s quick and easy, and it is best served at room temperature, which is great in summer. I got the idea for this one from Skinnytaste.com, except this isn’t the skinny version.
We don’t have tons of tomatoes and zucchinis like some people, because we unfortunately don’t have a garden. But I know that when you do grow those things, they are plentiful, so this is a great way to use it up. And the Asiago adds so much delicious flavor to this dish!
Zucchini and Tomato Frittata
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
2 medium zucchinis, cut into matchsticks
8 large eggs
3/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/4 cup chopped basil
salt and pepper
2 small garden tomatoes, sliced thinly
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together eggs with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper and Asiago cheese. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a 10″ non-stick pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and turn up heat to medium-high. Saute until zucchini is soft, about 2 more minutes. Add egg mixture and let sit for a minute, then tilt the pan and loosen the edges with a spatula, letting uncooked egg slide underneath. Cook until the underside is golden but the top is still liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the top of the frittata, sprinkle a little salt on them, and transfer to a center rack of the preheated oven. Bake until the top is set, about 5 minutes. If the top doesn’t set in that amount of time, turn the broiler on high, move the rack to the top position, and broil until the top sets, about 1-2 minutes. Don’t overcook! Remove pan from oven and let cool to warm. Remove frittata from pan onto a large serving plate, or cut right in the pan and serve. I like to serve it at room temperature, but it’s also good warm.
July 31, 2014
I bought this recipe magazine on a whim 4 years ago while waiting in line at the supermarket, and it quickly became my most-used recipe book in the summer and fall. Every recipe I have made (and I have used almost all of them) have been fantastic. And they are super quick and easy. So, since I use this blog as my virtual recipe box and menu planner (along with Pinterest, of course), I thought I would post some of my favorites from the magazine, just in case someday it catches on fire from being too close to a burner, or accidentally gets dropped in the dishwater. Plus, you should try out these recipes, too! They’re great for a quick, easy and flavorful weeknight meal.
I’m starting with the steak and zucchini tostadas. I don’t make these as often because we really don’t eat steak all that much (small business owner budget), but I have made this substituting lentil taco filling for the steak and it is also pretty good. My favorite lentil taco filling recipe is sort of a mash-up of my own taco seasoning and the lentil taco recipe from Budget Bytes. Actually, I keep the lentil taco filling on hand in the freezer for whenever we have tacos, so I have it ready for my vegetarian son on taco nights. But I digress….try these tostadas on your next taco night, you won’t be sorry. Zucchini and steak is a great combo!
Steak and Zucchini Tostadas
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen 30-Minute Suppers, Fall 2010 edition
**To make this even quicker, you can buy already made tostada shells at the grocery store if your store carries them. Here in Chicago there are a couple of different local brands that make them, and you can find them in the “Mexican” aisle.
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
4 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
salt and pepper
1 small flank steak (or about 1 lb strip steak…I used that once because it’s what I had on hand)
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving
1 recipe pico de gallo, for serving (recipe follows)
1. Adjust oven racks to lower-middle and upper middle positions and heat oven to 450 degrees. Brush both sides of tortillas with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay tortillas in single layer on 2 baking sheets. Bake until golden brown and crisp, rotating baking sheets and flipping tortillas halfway through, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat additional 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Cook beef until well browned and it registers 125 degrees (for medium-rare), 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil.
3. Add remaining oil and zucchini to skillet and cook until tender, about 4 minutes.
4. Cut beef in half lengthwise, then very thinly slice beef crosswise against grain. Divide beef and zucchini equally among tostadas. Top with feta and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and pico de gallo.
Pico de Gallo
3 cored, seeded and diced plum tomatoes
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalepenos, seeded and minced (leave more of the seeds for more heat)
juice from 2 limes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
July 21, 2014
This pasta salad caught my eye on “Food and Wine” because of the olives and tomatoes…I really love that combo of flavors in a pasta salad. But what made this excellent is the mixed herb pesto that you toss it with, and the shaved pecorino that you toss in after it’s completely cooled, so that it doesn’t melt. This dish has a ton of flavor and will be in regular rotation on our “pasta Wednesdays” in the summer!
Penne with Herbs, Tomatoes, Olives and Pecorin0
adapted from Food and Wine
1 pound penne
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, halved
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped thyme
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped marjoram
1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes—halved, seeded and quartered
1/3 cup Calamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 cup coarsely grated Tuscan Pecorino cheese (3 ounces)
Freshly ground pepper
Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the penne and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large serving bowl. Let sit to get to room temperature.
Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the basil, parsley, garlic, thyme, marjoram with 1/3 cup of olive oil. Add more olive oil if you think it’s necessary…the original recipe called for 1/2 cup, but I felt that was a little much. Scrape into the bowl with the pasta and season with salt, then toss together.
Then toss in the tomatoes and olives and let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes to develop flavor. Just before serving, add the Pecorino, season with salt and pepper and toss well.