The Cinco de Mayo celebration earlier this week may have sparked more cravings for Mexican fare. It’s one of the most popular ethnic foods we consume year after year.

Most Mexican recipes call for items you probably already have in your pantry, which makes it easy to whip up a meal that’s both filling and delicious. This recipe for Chicken Tostadas is no exception.

This dish, with its colorful presentation, is so inviting, and the cheesy goodness atop a crispy corn tortilla tastes as good as it looks. Throw in a side dish or two, like tamales or Mexican corn and peppers, and you’ve got a great dinner the whole family will enjoy.

CHICKEN TOSTADAS

Ingredients:

Vegetable oil for frying

6 white or yellow tortillas

Kosher salt for sprinkling on tortillas

3 cups cooked, shredded chicken

1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juiced

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Kosher salt and black pepper to season chicken

1 (16-ounce) can refried beans, mashed

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

1 avocado, sliced into 12 slices

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 ripe tomatoes or 4 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons onions, finely chopped

1/4 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)

1 teaspoon kosher salt and sprinkle of black pepper for tomato mixture

1 green onion, thinly sliced

12 sprigs cilantro, for decoration

3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt and jar of commercial salsa

Pour oil in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan to a depth of about 2 inches. Place over medium heat and heat to 375 degrees. Add tortillas one at a time and fry till crispy and golden brown, about 1-1/2 minutes. Tortillas must be fried till crispy or they may become soggy and difficult to cut with a knife and fork. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt. Set aside.

Heat refried beans with cumin, and minced garlic just long enough to make it easy to spread.

In a small bowl, mix together: chicken, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix together: tomatoes, onions, jalapeno (if used) cilantro, kosher salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Preheat broiler and then assemble tostadas: Remove paper towels from baking sheet and spread bean mixture evenly on top of each of 6 tortillas and sprinkle with half the cheeses. Transfer to oven and broil till cheese is lightly browned and melted, about a minute or less.

Divide tortillas among 6 plates. Evenly mound chicken on each tortilla and top with lettuce.

Then, top each tortilla with some of the tomato mixture and sprinkle with remainder of cheese. Garnish each one with sour cream, green onions, sprigs of cilantro and two slices of avocados. Add extra salsa, if desired. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Brotherton offers website readers one stellar recipe a week in the “My Leader Yummy” feature.

Looking for a recipe you can’t find? Email me at kbrotherton42@gmail.com and I’ll see if I have it.

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