Monday, June 29, 2015

Beef Tostadas with Pickled Red Onions

The majority of this dish is pretty standard Mexican-American fare - seasoned ground beef, a dollop of sour cream, and lots of minced cilantro.  But, two elements make it really special -- pickled red onions, and home-fried tostadas.  First, the onions -- super simple, yet crazy flavorful.  I love how red onions turn hot pink when they're pickled, and the bright color signals lots of spice and vinegar.  Yum!  You also end up with pickled jalapenos as a by-product of this recipe...they add a little spiciness to the onions, but if you're a spice-lover you can also top your tostadas with the jalapeno slices (just be prepared -- they are spicy!).  You'll likely have leftover pickled onions, which are a fun topping for sandwiches or other Mexican dishes.

Frying your own tostadas is a totally optional step here -- I know I'm not always in the mood to pull out a cast iron pan and heat up a bunch of oil, especially on a weeknight.  That said, the texture is amazing, and nothing like what you'll find in pre-prepared tostadas from the grocery.  The tortillas get shatteringly crisp and deeply browned...basically the perfect thing to pile high with your favorite toppings.

Beef Tostadas with Pickled Red Onions (adapted from Cooking Light)

For the onions:
1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt

For the beef:
1 pound ground beef
1-1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Oil, as needed

To finish:
Corn tortillas + oil to fry (or store-bought tostadas)
Sour cream
Fresh cilantro
Salsa or pico de gallo (optional)

1. Make the pickled onions.  Combine the onions, jalapeno, vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, and simmer for one minute.  Remove from the heat and let stand until ready to serve.
2. Make the beef.  In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, combine the beef, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt.  Cook until nicely browned and cooked through, adding oil as needed if the skillet becomes too dry.
3. If making your own tostadas, heat an inch or so of a neutral oil in a cast iron skillet until it sizzles when you drip in a drop of water. Fry the tortillas until nicely browned on each side.  Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
4. Assemble the tostadas. Start with a tostada, and add the seasoned beef.  Top with sour cream, cilantro, and salsa or pico de gallo.  Scoop the pickled onions out of the pickling liquid and scatter on top of the tostadas.  The pickled jalapeno slices will be spicy, so use them only if you prefer a spicier dish.

No comments:

Post a Comment