Monday, June 27, 2011

One ingredient, Day 30, 6/27/11

Wow, 30 days?  That's a month.  And other than an accidental crab dip encounter over the weekend, no meat. 

So at this point, I pretty much take a picture of everything that is produced in my kitchen.  And, if I remember, I take a few pics along the way.  After I eat it, I decided whether or not the meal was "blog-worthy" and if I decide it was not, I just delete the pictures.

I've made tostadas probably 5 times in the last 30 days and always decided that although they were okay, they weren't blog-worthy.  For a while I was trying to just do cheese and salsa on the tostada, but the salsa makes the tostada lose it's crunch and just fall apart and what you have, is a mess.  Then when I started trying to add lettuce it was just falling off and making a salad on my plate...  This has been a work in progess.  When I made them again last night, I took pictures as usual.  And I'm glad I did.  They came together so well and 1 little ingredient that I don't normally use, made all the difference.  They were delicious!  I think I'm finally content with my tostada recipe.

So to start, rinse and drain a can of pinto beans.  Then mash them up- I use a potato masher.  My favorite brand of canned pintos has jalapeños slices added- that's the little bit of green you see in the picture.  I think it adds a wonderful kick to the flavor.  So if you like spicy but didn't buy pintos with jalapeños in them, you should definitely add a few slices of the pickled jalapeños to your pintos before mashing.  After it's mashed, I like to stir in about a tablespoon of salsa for flavor and a moister texture. 

Spread your pintos thinly over a tostada shell.  Then add a few pieces of finely diced onion and a few more jalapeño slices.

Add some shredded cheese and throw it under the broiler just long enough for the cheese to melt.  I used Colby, because that's what I had on hand, but obviously any cheese will do.  Just use your favorite.  Watch it pretty carefully while it's under the broiler so that you don't burn the edges of the tostada.  That's NOT the most delicious way to eat these.  Trust me, I know this from experience.

Notice how sparingly I used the cheese?  Aren't you proud of me?  I'm trying to do this in a more healthy way...

I've learned the key to keeping your lettuce on the tostada is giving it something to stick to.  And lettuce doesn't stick to melted cheese.  You can use sour cream if you'd like, but I actually used some nonfat Greek yogurt.  It's flavor is similar to reduced fat sour cream and it has much more protein.  See, I'm trying to be kind of healthy.  Anyway, dot your dairy product of choice around the top of the tostada in several places.  Then when you add your lettuce to the top, press it down lightly into the sour cream/yogurt and that really helps hold it in place.  Drizzle the top with a little more salsa and you're ALMOST good to go.

And the key ingredient?  I haven't even mentioned it yet.  But it's in the picture above.  Do you see it?  Lime juice!! 

I had some leftover limes from the weekend.  And at one point, in the construction of my tostada, as I was getting something out of the fridge, my eye caught the container of limes.  I thought, that'll add a yummy little zing.  OMG!  Yes, it did.  It made all the difference in the world.  I just squeezed a little bit of lime juice over the top and it transformed them from not blog-worthy to a delightfully fresh tasting meal.  And, something about the lime juice made the Greek yogurt taste more like regular sour cream...  Bonus.

One can of pintos will yield 3 tasty, and incredibly filling, Pinto Bean Tostadas with Lime.  Enjoy!  And don't skip the lime!  Trust me.

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