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Sunday Salon: Tostadas!

July 19, 2009

The Sunday Salon.comHappy Sunday, all! I (sadly) have not been reading much recently – sometimes stress makes me want to do nothing more than curl up with a book, and sometimes it has the exact opposite effect. So, I’ve spent most of this week working, and freaking out about the move… and that’s it.

But last night was my annual Tostada Night party, which is probably my favorite night of the summer. Tostadas (the way we do them, at least) are delicious, messy, piled with half of the contents of the farmer’s market, fine for vegetarians (or vegans, actually), and really not that bad for you if you use fat-free beans and sour cream, and a light hand with the cheese. Plus it works really well as a pot-luck party, with each person bringing an ingredient or two.

Tostada, from bottom to top:
– Tostada shell. Flat, crispy corn tortilla; they’re getting easier to find in grocery stores, but you can also fry your own if need be.
– Refried beans
– Shredded cheese
– Thin-sliced red onion (A mandolin slicer is invaluable for this.)
– Thin-sliced bell pepper
– Shredded lettuce
– A few blobs of sour cream to act as glue for the top ingredients
– Tomatoes (Either regular and thin-sliced, or cherry tomatoes quartered.)
– Avocados (Again, either thin slices or chunks.)
– Sliced black olives
– Tostada sauce (Sauté 1c onions and 2 cloves crushed garlic in 2T olive oil and 1/2 t salt at the bottom of a stockpot until the onion is clear. Add 1t cumin, 1/4 t black pepper, 1/2 t chili powder, and 1/4 t cayenne. Add 3c peeled chopped tomatoes, 1c water, 2T tomato paste, 2t dry red wine, and 1/2 t salt, cover, and simmer 2-3 hours. Since it takes so long, I usually make at least a double batch and freeze whatever we don’t use.)

Eat while wearing old clothes, and standing bent awkwardly over the grass out in the yard. (Stray black olives and avocado chunks have a way of making a break for it, and the sauce has just enough oil that it will stain like no one’s business.)

Good with corn on the cob and watermelon, although (around here, at least) people are usually too busy stuffing themselves with tostadas to eat a whole lot of the sides.

So, that was my weekend thus far. Today is going to be mostly more moving chores, although I’m at least going to try to get one of the Buffy graphic novels I just picked up from the library read.

What say you, readers? Got a favorite summer recipe to share?

23 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2009 10:14 am

    Wow, those look so delicious. What a great idea for a fun and easy summer party. I just might copy you!

  2. July 19, 2009 10:16 am

    Yum! It’s morning and I’m drinking my coffee, but now thanks to that pic, and your incredible description, I am so yearning for mexican!

  3. Shanra permalink
    July 19, 2009 11:01 am

    Oooh, those look quite tasty! (Mind you, I’m very much not a food-person.)

  4. July 19, 2009 11:14 am

    That looks and sounds like a whole lot of fun! What a great tradition!

  5. July 19, 2009 11:31 am

    I love the idea of an annual tostada night!

  6. July 19, 2009 11:32 am

    Invite me next year please!

  7. July 19, 2009 11:34 am

    Yum! The Tosada looks fantastic, just the thing for a hot summer evening. One of my favorite summer recipes is Greek Salad. Tomatoes, Cucumber, Red Onion, Kalamata Olives and Feta cheese splashed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil and oregano. That and a loaf of crusty bread make a great light dinner. Have a wonderful week.

  8. July 19, 2009 11:50 am

    Summer is tomato time. Take your favorite heirloom tomatos and slice them. Top them with salt, pepper, diced red onions and a handful of fresh basil. A dash or two of basalmic vinegar.

    Delicious. But use the best tomatos you can find as fresh from the garden as possible.

  9. July 19, 2009 12:03 pm

    What a great idea for a summer party!

  10. July 19, 2009 12:25 pm

    yummy! Those look like such a great thing to have on a hot, lazy summer day!

  11. July 19, 2009 2:30 pm

    I’d never heard of Tostadas before, but they sound sooo good! (Minus the onions, that is. I’m not a fan of onions). I love the idea of a party surrounding them, too. My family used to do something similar with hard tacos when I was much younger, but Tostadas sound like more fun. :)

  12. July 19, 2009 3:33 pm

    Ooh, that looks delicious! I’ll have to remember this and try it out for myself. =)

  13. July 19, 2009 3:33 pm

    I love summertime dishes…your food looks fantastic! I wrote an article about guacamole which was e-published. You can read it here if you’re interested!

  14. July 19, 2009 4:53 pm

    Mmmmmm, that looks so good! I’m going out for enchiladas tonight (hopefully), so I am definitely in the mood for some Mexican food.

  15. July 19, 2009 5:45 pm


  16. July 19, 2009 7:04 pm

    Oh my, that looks so good!
    Send me one in the mail please?

  17. July 19, 2009 7:21 pm

    Dude! Your post made me hungry!

  18. July 19, 2009 7:33 pm

    Pasta Salad. Cold. I made it tonight. It uses rotini, sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, black olives, chicken, and balsamic vinegar. Wonderful on these hot nights.

  19. July 20, 2009 9:57 am

    Your tostada party sounds fab! My husband accidentally bought corn tortillas instead of flour, and now I have an idea of what to do with them.

  20. Bobbie Crawford-McCoy permalink
    July 20, 2009 9:26 pm

    YUM!!! :) That all looks SOOOO good! ;)
    Thanks for sharing!


  21. July 21, 2009 10:06 am

    Brittany – I find it works best to have everyone bring one ingredient plus one avocado – that way no one’s stuck bringing expensive avocados for everyone else.

    christina – I’ve tried ordering tostadas at actual mexican restaurants, and they’re never the same.

    Shanra – I’m not a huge foodie either, but these are delicious.

    bermudaonion – I know I’m not the only one who looks forward to it all year!

    Amanda – I’ve had fun with the names, too… There was Tostada Night, Tostada Night 2: Return of Tostada Night, Tostada Night 3: It Came from the Tostada Night, The Tostadening, I Know What You Did Last Tostada Night, and Night of the Living Tostada Night. :D

    Lenore – Heh, will do!

    Gavin – You just described what I ate pretty much every night last summer.

    C.B. – Add in some fresh mozzerella slices and I’m in.

    JoAnn – Easy, too!

    Sharry – It was actually pretty cool this year, which was nice because it kept the bugs down.

    Memory – Well, since they’re build-your-own, you can skip the onions if you want. :)

    Meghan – If you do, let me know how it goes!

    Wendy – I love guac; I wish I lived somewhere where avocados were better/cheaper.

    heidenkind – Oooh, enchiladas!

    uenohama – Indeed!

    kay – Ha ha, if you thought they were messy just making and eating them….

    Sheri – Man, I made *myself* hungry, and I’ve been eating leftovers for the past few days.

    debnance – Sounds great!

    Dani – I’ve never tried frying my own since my grocery store usually stocks them, plus I’m lazy, but I’ve heard it can be done.

    Bobbie – No problem… happy to spread the tostada-y wealth. :)

  22. July 21, 2009 2:56 pm

    Tostada night looks like something I should have over here at my house! I hope things are less stressful for you this week.

  23. July 22, 2009 12:06 pm

    Those tostadas look delicious! We do a lot of quesadilla nights (with similar toppings) in the summer time. It’s easy and everyone in our house loves Mexican food.

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