Moving to the UK, one of the things I miss most is Mexican food. Actual Mexican food that tastes like it should and that hasn't been altered to be more accepting of the European palette. It's a tough thing to come by, but I've managed to sniff out one such burrito stand in a food market here in Manchester.
Unfortunately, I can't always get to the burrito stand and have to make do with my own Mexican dishes.
You'll understand why I was chuffed to open the post last week and find a new cookbook waiting for my review! This recipe has been adapted from that book, 200 Easy Mexican Recipes to fit in with what's available in the UK.
For the tostada rellenas con carne adobada
10 8-inch (15 cm) flour tortillas
Tomato, seeded and diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried cumin
250g beef or pork mince
Red Enchilada sauce:
a few twists of a chili grinder
2 tbsp plain flour
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp coriander leaf
3 tbsp sour cream
4 tbsp sunflower oil
4 tbsp sugar
5 cubes Dorot frozen chopped chilli
a handful frozen bell peppers
salt and pepper
First, a few tips:
There are a lot of processes involved in this recipe (which I didn't realize until I started making it) so I suggest you stick to this general order and only make this dish when you have ample time. Another tip for successful execution would be to mis en place or get all your ingredients and tools together and have them laid out before you start cooking. You won't want to be dashing around the kitchen, trust me!
For the red enchilada sauce, tumble the frozen chilli cubes and frozen bell peppers into the belly of a blender and pour in just enough water to cover them. Pulse until the cubes have broken up. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp of the sunflower oil over a medium heat.
Add the chilli and pepper puree along with the minced garlic. Allow to come to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes. Leave on the stove but reduce the heat all the way down to the lowest possible setting while still being on.
In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tbsps of sunflower oil over a medium heat. Once heated, gradually stir in the flour, stirring all the while to form a roux. Increase the heat on the chilli and pepper sauce to medium. Stir bit by bit into the chilli and pepper sauce. Continue to stir until smooth and thick. It should take about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and the coriander leaf. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, have a taste and if it's too spicy for you family, stir in sugar and sour cream until it's to your liking. Warning: this enchilada sauce is fiery hot!
For the carne adobada, put the mince into a saucepan and add just enough water to cover it. Bring to the boil over high heat and boil, stirring occasionally, until the water and the meat juices have evaporated. Takes about 20 minutes.
For the tostadas, pop the tortillas in their plastic wrap into the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds. Tortilla should be moist and pliable but not too hat to handle. Remove and spray both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray.
Arrange each tortilla into a ramekin or small souffle dish. Use your fingers to fold and mold the edges into a curvy shape. If making for children, cut the tortilla in half and shape into a cupcake cases instead of a ramekin.
Go back to the carne adobada. The water and juice should be evaporated by now. If serving children, remove some of the meat from the pan and set aside before adding the sauce. Add the red enchilada sauce along with a few sprinkles of shredded cheese to the meat along with the oregano and cumin. Mix well to ensure the sauce is combined with the meat. Spoon into the waiting tostada shells and top with lettuce, cheese and tomato. Serve with additional sour cream.
This meal was a huge hit with my family. Callum, my 15 1/2 month old son, really enjoyed his little tostada as well. If you're serving these to children, be sure to remove some of the mince from the pot for them before you add the fiery enchilada sauce.