Thursday, July 16, 2015

Chicken Tostadas, Guacamole, and Mock Margaritas


Another family favorite!

     Tostadas are a fun, economical option to feed a large family. I regularly purchase tortillas for fajitas, tacos, and even breakfast burritos, but after eyeing these strange looking packages again and again, I finally decided to give them a try.


     Basically, tostadas look like giant nacho chips and are a little over $2.00 a package. There are approximately 28 in a pack, so they are actually less expensive than most packages of tortillas. After warming the tostadas in the oven for a few minutes, simply top with your favorites.  The recipe I am showing you today is how we usually serve them, but the options are endless!
    I said the meal is economical, but the expense can grow with more indulgent toppings. We have a few tricks to make this more of a belly filler......

Ingredients:
4 large chicken breasts (or meat of your choice)
2 packets taco seasoning
1-2 packages of tostadas (located by the tortillas in the grocery store - look carefully at package to avoid broken ones)
large can of refried beans 
shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever you prefer)
sour cream

Topping options:
shredded lettuce
jalapenos
chiles (in a small can)
diced tomatoes
diced onions
sliced black olives
taco sauce
guacamole *simple recipe at the end of this post

Some of our ingredients......

    We usually use chicken, but ground beef or ground turkey would also be delicious (if you are a fish taco fan, I suppose you could use that as well). After cutting the raw chicken into large chunks, I place the chunks into a slow cooker for several hours.



You could boil the chicken, but you would lose some of the chicken flavor. Baking the chicken is another option. After slow cooking the chicken, I remove it from the cooker and pour the liquid into a fat separator.


The fat floats to the top and the spout pours from underneath it. If the drippings are so low that the fat gets into the spout area, add a little water until the fat floats above the spout. There really wasn't much fat in mine since I used skinless, boneless, chicken breasts, so after measuring my drippings, I ended up using everything plus a little water. After chopping/shredding the cooked chicken, place it back into the slow cooker and add the taco seasoning packets.

Instead of adding water like the package directions state, use the same amount of chicken drippings for a richer flavor. If you don't have enough drippings, add water to make up the difference. If capturing the drippings is too much trouble, just drain the chicken and add water according to the seasoning packet directions.


Stir.


Keep the meat filling on low until ready to serve! We always warm a can of refried beans (in the microwave) to spread onto the tostada first. The beans are delicious and make the meal more filling. Another "filling" topping some of us love is guacamole. This can make the meal a little more expensive depending on the cost of avocados, but it sure does taste good! Avocados were on sale for a dollar each, but that that still added an additional $4.00 to the total for our big batch. When I consider the leftovers will contribute to lunch the next day, it makes me feel better.


Once everything is ready and on the table, the first batch of tostadas go into the oven at 350 for about five minutes. Use any broken/leftover ones in the package as nachos to dip into leftover toppings for a snack or lunch later!

I've added an extremely fast and simple guacamole recipe at the end of this post as well as one for a fun, child-friendly mock margarita drink.

 Joey keeps his toppings pretty simple: beans, chicken, cheese and sour cream
Emily, on the other hand........

This version of guacamole isn't the most decadent, but it will satisfy those who enjoy a faster, less chunky version.

Guacamole
Ingredients:
four avocados
one lime
salt
garlic powder
onion powder
ground cumin
one cup of sour cream

 Slice, pit, and empty four avocados (you can cut this recipe in half for a smaller batch) into a large bowl.
.
 Mash with a potato masher.



Squeeze in the juice of an entire lime (I slice mine into smaller pieces first). Sprinkle in a generous amount of onion powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Sample and add more to taste.  The longer it sits, the more the flavor will intensify.

Mix in one cup of sour cream, taste again and adjust seasonings as needed, and serve.

Mock Margaritas
Ingredients:
limeade
ginger ale

optional:
sliced limes
salt
sugar


For mock margaritas, simply combine 1 part limeade and 1 part ginger ale over ice. You can "rim the glasses" for a fancier version by rubbing a slice of lime around the edge of the glass to make it sticky, and dipping the upside down cup into a small saucer of salt (or sugar for the kiddies) before filling with ice and the drink.

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
Revelation 7:9-10

~Jennifer

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