When I am short on time AND money, this is my go-to recipe. Typically tostadas are meatless in our home, making them a great frugal option! You can either make the tortillas yourself (if you’ve got a press, some maseca and a little time) or you can totally use store bought corn tortillas. If you’ve got a Mexican food aisle in your grocery store (or a Mexican market nearby), you can often buy pre-made tostadas (A common brand is “Pericos” but to be honest, I don’t care for them no matter how frugal they may be. Something about the flavor puts me off, but I encourage you to try them if you so desire. Maybe you’ll love them and it will save you time and cash! Tostadas are so great because you can customize them to each child’s preferences, add meat if you have it, change up the toppings and they are just so fun to eat. We usually set up a “tostada bar” and let the kids build their own. They are all teenagers and still enjoy the process. It’s a great option for a crowd too!
Corn tortillas or pre-made tostada shells (however many you need.)
Heat tolerant frying oil such as canola or sunflower
Refried beans (the refried bean variation is at the bottom of the bean recipe just before this.)
Shredded iceburg lettuce
½ of a lemon
Your favorite shredded or crumbled cheese
Sour Cream (from the “building blocks” chapter or store-bought)
Hot sauce or Salsa (also in the “building blocks” chapter
Cilantro (not optional for me. It’s a must!)
Jalapenos (pickled or fresh)
Nacho cheese sauce
Ground beef, shredded meat, or Mexican chorizo if you want meat!
Prepare your beans according to recipe in this chapter. Set aside.
If you’re using whole-head lettuce, cut very thin into shreds. To be honest, I usually buy the pre-shredded stuff. Ha! “Dress” your lettuce with juice of half a lemon, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat and set aside. It’s a small step to make your meal more special. Doesn’t seem like it would make much of a difference, I know, but it does!
Prepare your desired toppings and set aside or store in the fridge.
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. It should be deep enough for the tortillas to be fully submersed, about 1/3 of the way up.
Fry each tortilla until very crispy on each side. Sprinkle with a bit of salt as soon as they come out of the oil. Set up your “tostada bar” and enjoy!
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