Tostada Crisps

I love cooking for myself, but nothing brings me more joy than cooking for others.  I love watching people take the first bite of something delicious.  Mouth full and eyes wide, it is an authentic moment of supreme joy and contentedness.  Somewhat selfishly, I get extra pleasure from that moment when that something delicious has come from my kitchen.  Consequently, any time I stumble upon a recipe that is scalable for an entire family (immediate or extended), I get a little extra excited.

This afternoon as I faced a fridge of leftovers inspiration struck.  Thomas and I have been happily working through a in-the-works slow-cooker pork shoulder (I can’t give away all the recipes for the book!), and decided the key to keeping leftovers exciting is just slightly modifying the delivery vehicle.  This pork has gone on top of polenta wedges and pizza, in a salad…and as of this afternoon topping homemade tostada crisps.

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I just made enough for my lunch, but these could not be easier to scale to feed a crew. Also note the importance of getting the olive oil-maple syrup mixture on all parts of the tortilla. On the far left I clearly missed the edges, and while still delicious the crisp just isn’t quite the same.

Using street taco sized corn tortillas (but normal size would work just as well) made these two bite wonders.  Slightly sweet thanks to maple syrup and kept interesting with a little salt, pepper, cumin and lime zest, these could easily be eaten by themselves.  But put a little bit of pork, some cabbage and lime soaked dates on top…and you have yourself a show stopper.

IMG_2427I’m currently looking for any excuses to make these appetizer tostadas.  They would be PERFECT for any gathering of any size.  Not only would they provide the magical mouth full eyes wide open moment, but also they won’t break your budget (seriously, the 4.5 pound pork shoulder was $15.56 and the tortillas were $1.09 for 24).  If you wanted to go a vegetarian route I’m sure spiced beans would be a welcome substitution, and probably even more budget-friendly than the pork (if that’s possible).

So if anyone wants to have a party…I know what I’m bringing 🙂

Tostadas (a very non-recipe-recipe)

easily scalable.  Could make one, could make one hundred.

The Stuff

Corn tortillas (as I said I used street-taco size, but normal size would work just as well for more of a main course and less of an appetizer)

Olive Oil

Maple Syrup

Ground Black Pepper

Fine Sea Salt

Ground Cumin

Lime Zest

The How

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. On a baking sheet arrange tortillas so they aren’t touching each other.  No need to space them out, but definitely not overlapping!

3. I can’t give you an amount (I don’t think they make measuring spoons this small), but put just a pinky-nail’s worth of olive oil and maple syrup on each.  Using your finger rub to evenly coat tortillas.

4. Again there is no measuring spoon small enough, but sprinkle salt, pepper, cumin and lime zest onto each tortilla.  If you’re nervous, try an amount that looks about right on one, bake, and make adjustments accordingly.  Sort of like the “tester pancake” of my youth, but tostada version.

5. Bake 10 minutes for street-style tortillas, and maybe a little longer for full-sized. They should be just beginning to brown along the edges.  Remove from oven, top with anything that suits your fancy (or nothing at all) and enjoy!

**want something to do with the lime juice?  Finely chop up pitted dates and place in small cup.  Pour lime juice over top and let sit for 10-15 minutes (conveniently the length of time the tostadas cook).  Drain, and top.  Plan on 1/2 a date per tostada.

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Two bite wonders.  And yes, I did just paint my nails this morning.

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