Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fast Food Friday (belated): Tostadas

OK, so I know it's Saturday, but here we are in the midst of the Apostle's Fast, so I thought I'd do a few fast food Friday posts. We had these for dinner last night, and this morning I realized they'd be a great food to write about. I thought about saving this for next Friday, but then I thought, why wait? Tostadas are one of my favorite summertime fasting dinners. We really enjoy these during the Dormition Fast when we have all those great summer vegetables, and we often eat them on Fridays throughout the summer.  They are super easy to make, and they are a great way to take advantage of bounty from the garden and farmer's market.

This is not so much a recipe as a process and list of suggestions. First, you need the shells. I make the tostada shells by baking corn tortillas. Lay as many as will fit on a baking sheet, bake for about 7 minutes in a 400 degree oven until they are good and crispy but not browned. You could do a few baking sheets worth at a time for a big family. I've done that before for company, but generally I do 5 or 6 for James and me.  If you want them to be pretty flat, you can flip them over halfway through. Do NOT forget you have them in the oven, and keep an eye on them because they burn easily if left too long. I've burnt many a tortilla by getting distracted! If I'm just making tostadas for one, I will stick two tortillas in the toaster oven. You can buy tostada shells, but they are more expensive than corn tortillas, and they are fried. If you make your own tortillas, go for it and do the whole thing from scratch. I mean to try that some time, but I've only ever made flour tortillas.

So, once you have your tostada shells, you need toppings. Here are my suggestions:

Beans: you can do refried, mashed, or just cooked or canned. We usually use pintos or black, sometimes refried, sometimes not.

Salsas: Whatever you like. In tomato season, we like homemade pico de gallo. We also like corn salsa. I prefer a chunky salsa for this, but I generally just use what I've got.

Grilled or roasted veggies: This is one of my favorite parts. We grill or roast squash, peppers, onions, mushrooms, tossed with some oil, lime juice, chile powder and cumin. Yum. You could do whatever vegetables you like, but that is my favorite combination. Cherry or grape tomatoes are good, too.

Other chopped vegetables: fresh tomato, corn off the cob, bell pepper, canned or fresh hot peppers/chiles of some kind (if you want some heat), lettuce, onion (green, red, sweet), olives, avocado


Seafood (if you are a fish eater): Grilled fish or shrimp, quality canned tuna

If it's not a fasting day, or you're not Orthodox: Shredded cheese, sour cream

And if you're not a vegetarian like me: shredded chicken or pork, grilled strips of beef

The tostadas pictured here are topped with refried pintos, shredded lettuce, corn salsa, and guacamole. These are from my lunch. Last night I had roasted veggies to top them, but we ate those all up! I think this is pretty kid-friendly, since you can put out a whole bunch of toppings and people can pick what they like. They are also good for eating outside, because they are messy!


  1. You're actually giving meat advice???

  2. I had never thought of toasting corn tortillas. I will have to keep that in mind for next time!

    Another topping we like is Spanish rice.

    And you're absolutely right about this being a kid-friendly dinner!

  3. Mmmm...there are so many awesome vegan things to eat! We're in Ohio...I go to St George Russian Orthodox Church in Cincinnati. Nice to "meet" you!

  4. Ooooh, yum! I'd never thought of toasting the tortillas like that! Thank you!

  5. :) I know meat advice is not my forte, James, but I also know others do enjoy it.

    I've never thought to try Spanish rice, Emily. Sounds yummy.

    Hi Marfa, nice to meet you--my parents live near Cincinnati, so we go there often. I've never visited St. George, though.

    I think the baked tortillas is something I came up with in a pinch one time, Mimi, and it worked so well, I've been doing it for years now.

  6. I had these for dinner, yummy!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts--I love hearing from you!