Mexican tostadas

    55 min

    Tostadas comes from the Spanish word for toasted – in Mexico it refers to flat, crisply toasted corn tortillas, topped with all sorts of savoury things. Poached chicken with beans and salad is a favourite. A base layer of a thick mixture – often refried beans, but here a spicy pepper and tomato mixture – keeps everything together.

    4 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 chicken breasts, about 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) in total, skinned
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 red peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
    • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 1 tbsp mild chilli powder
    • 2 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g
    • pinch of sugar
    • 8 corn tortillas
    • 1 can borlotti or pinto beans, about 425 g
    • salt and pepper
    • To serve
    • 1 tomato, diced
    • pickled jalapeño chillies (optional)
    • 125 g (4 ½ oz) iceberg lettuce, shredded
    • 8 radishes, sliced
    • 4 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
    • Tabasco or other hot chilli sauce

    Prep:35min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:55min 

    1. Place the chicken in a saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. When cool enough to handle, drain and take the meat from the bones. Shred the meat and set aside.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the peppers, onion and garlic. Sauté over a moderate heat for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the chilli powder, paprika and cumin, stir well, and cook for a few more minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice and the sugar. Simmer for 5–8 minutes or until thick. Season to taste. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
    3. Heat a heavy-based frying pan. Toast the tortillas, one at a time, for about 15 seconds on each side or until slightly crisp and lightly browned. As they are done, keep them warm stacked in a tea towel. Meanwhile, warm the beans in the can liquid. Drain well.
    4. To assemble the tostadas, place 2 toasted tortillas on each plate. Spread each one with the tomato mixture, then spoon on the beans and chicken. Sprinkle with the diced tomato, pickled jalapeños, if using, lettuce and radishes, piling up these toppings. Top with a spoonful of yogurt. Serve with Tabasco sauce, to be added to taste.

    Another idea

    Instead of beans, use a mixture of sweetcorn and courgette. Cook 1 corn on the cob and 1 whole courgette in separate pans of boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes for the corn and 10 minutes for the courgette. Drain. Dice the courgette, and cut the kernels of corn off the cob. Scatter the vegetables over each sauce-spread tortilla, then add the chicken.

    Plus points

    Pulses such as borlotti and pinto beans are a good source of soluble fibre and an excellent source of protein – even better when they are eaten with grains such as wheat or maize (in corn tortillas). * Radishes are low in fat and calories, and provide useful amounts of vitamin C. They contain phytochemicals that may help to protect against cancer.

    Each serving provides

    Excellent source of niacin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C. Good source of calcium, folate, iron, potassium, selenium, vitamin B1, vitamin E. Useful source of copper, vitamin B2, zinc.

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