Friday, May 21, 2010

Veggie Tostada with Homemade Tortillas

As previously mentioned, we love mexican food! Typically we make it at least once a week; Taco Friday was a staple in our house for quite a while. Given that I have been branching out, I have gotten away from that a bit; however, it just sounded good the other day.

We have a local mexican restaurant that we used to frequent, (we don't anymore because I got horribly sick off their food and now I can't seem to stomach it; imagine that!) and pretty much the only thing I was able to order was their tostada. Everything else was smothered in meat or cheese or both. Luckily for me, at the time, the black beans aren't cooked in any sort of animal broth so I was safe.

So back to my tostada... I got a hankerin' for mexican food and the amazing urge to make my own tortillas. Honey got a tortilla press for his birthday (I think last year) and we haven't used it yet so I played around with some of my 'basic dough' recipes, adding masa, of course and came up with a pretty good tortilla! It's probably not authentic but I could eat about twelve in one sitting. Check out the tortilla recipe... until then, without further ado...

1 order homemade tortillas (see recipe)
Olive oil
1 sweet white onion, chopped rough
1 medium sweet potato, cut into bite size cubes
2 cloves elephant garlic, diced fine (note: I like elephant garlic because it's less 'don't breathe on me and don't be near me', if you catch my drift)
1 hot chili pepper, diced fine (note: it's from that darn plant again! I think they're serranos... use those)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 can diced tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise and then in half
1 zucchini, cut into bite sized pieces
1 can chickpeas
cumin for dusting the chickpeas
Cabbage, shredded, for the top
Feta cheese (optional)
Tofutti sour cream for the top

In a pot (I use my Mario Batali cast iron pot) heat some oil over med/high heat. Add onion, garlic and sweet potato and sautee for about 2 minutes while stirring then cover, turn heat to medium and let simmer for another 2 minutes.

Note: the sweet potatoes are going to take the longest. When at all possible while making this dish, leave the lid on the pot. It will help them soften.

To your pot, add the chili pepper, cumin, oregano and diced tomatoes. Stir, then cover and let cook about 8 to 10 minutes. This is a great time to get your red bell, zucchini and cabbage cut up. I also did my tortillas at this stage.

After 10 minutes, check the sweet potatoes by sticking a fork in them. If they're soft, move on to the next step, if not, stir, cover and let simmer on medium, checking them every five minutes.

When potatoes are just soft, add the red bell and zucchini. Stir to incorporate and cover again. Cook for about another 8 to 10 minutes.

Open the can of chickpeas, drain and put on a baking pan. Lightly dust with a little cumin and broil for about 10 minutes. Note: I used my toaster oven so I just set it on broil for 10 minutes.

Check the veg... you don't want the red bells or zucchini to be raw, but you also don't want them to be so done that they're mushy. I always err on the side of very al dente.

Heat your tortillas on a pan set to high for just about 30 seconds to a minute on each side, so they get a nice toast.

When chickpeas are done broiling and veg is appropriately al dente, begin your stacking. On a plate:
Place two of your homemade tortillas (one if you're a girl), on top of the tortillas, scoop the veg with sauce neatly on top of the chickpeas. Top with a little feta cheese if you like, then cabbage and then a dollop of Tofutti sour cream. Voila!

It really doesn't need a side dish or anything like that. It's a pretty hefty meal in and of itself so enjoy!

Note: I made some of the left overs for Honey the other day and added corn from the cob (from last week) to the mix. It was a nice addition of color and flavor! Also, he had the rest of the left overs last night and raved again at how darn good it was :)


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