If it’s Friday, it must be Mexican: Friday Night Tostada Recipe
With all the waxing on I seem to do about the cuisines surrounding the Mediterranean, you might be surprised to learn that we stay right here on the North American continent at least a couple times a week—although we do split our time between north and south of the border. With a little twist on the theme, each week we never seem to tire of beginning the weekend with our rendition of tostadas. There’s also Monday burger night, which has taken on legendary proportions, but that’s a story for another day.
We don’t have any hard and fast rules about this, it just kind of evolved and most often any dalliance has met with dismay. Having our work week and school schedules book-ended by two easy and ultra kid-friendly meals made life so much simpler when the boys were younger. Even though these days we can all do pretty much whatever we feel like on Friday nights, we still find ourselves whipping up a Mexican dinner with surprising regularity. I also appreciate that a supply of tortillas in the freezer, refrigerator full of random leftovers, at least one tub of salsa and some kind of cheese means there is no need to stop at the store on the way home. A chore I find particularly loathsome on Friday nights.
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 pepper, sliced
- ½ lb mushrooms, sliced
- 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ cup beer, wine or stock
- Hot sauce to taste
- 2 cups cooked chicken, pork, beef, fish, chorizo (or a combination)
- Canned or leftover beans and/or rice
- Grated cheese
- Avocado slices
- Sour cream
- Roughly chopped lettuce or spinach
- Roughly chopped cilantro
- Preheat oven to 325°
- Sauté onions and peppers in a heavy skillet with a little oil until they start to soften. Add mushrooms and cook until everything is nicely browned, adding more oil if needed. Add chopped garlic and sauté another minute or so, then deglaze pan with stock or wine and add a few splashes of hot sauce if you like things spicy. Gently stir in meat, warm beans and or rice and set aside.
- Heat tortillas in oven to desired crispness. If using corn tortillas you may prefer to briefly fry in oil. Place tortillas on individual plates.
- Call everyone to the kitchen and let them help themselves to the fillings. After all, it is Friday night.
These tostadas (or burritos or tacos) are not exactly a recipe, just think of the above as a guide and feel free to mix it up to suit your own mood and supply of leftovers. This dish should come together quickly and only require a few pantry staples, although that list can vary as much as the main ingredients. We generally start with chicken because it’s on hand in some form or another, but you can easily forego the meat entirely. I often add mushrooms to give it some extra “meatiness” and if we happen to be the designated sleep-over house there is usually chorizo in the freezer or an extra can of beans to extend the filling.
This is totally freestyle cooking and the only real requirements are a tortilla for the foundation and some salsa to finish. It’s something you can do without really thinking much, another good reason for the regular appearance of Mexican Fridays. And at the end of the week the simple act of chopping and prepping without measuring and thinking is almost as relaxing as a glass of wine…..almost.