After having watched a couple episodes of Rick Bayless’ Mexico: One Plate at a Time on Friday night, because we are the coolest people around, Ryan got inspired to make a fantastic weekend lunch. These crispy back yard snacks with their savory spicy chorizo, salty creamy cheese, and perky salsa provided much-needed fortification for an afternoon of mucking out the shed.
Side note – instead of serranos, we actually used these mystery peppers Ryan’s growing in the yard. They’re spicy and fruity and red, maybe 2 inches long. There’s a taqueria down the way and one day we noticed a hand-painted sign from the yard next door that said “AQUI VENDE CHILES” which means “we sell chiles here” (not quite but close enough). We peeked through the fence and lo and behold the little yard was crammed full of big leafy chile plants, all different kinds, all really healthy. So while I waited for our burritos, Ryan went over to investigate.
After a few minutes of finding the right family member – grandpa, it seems – and some Spanglish negotiations, he came away with these random peppers and one that the seller called “manzanilla” which means little apple. They are slightly spicy – I’d call them perky – and very crisply fruity, much like an apple. $7 each. One of the many reasons why Oakland is wonderful.
Tostadas de Chorizo
sort of as seen on Mexico: One Plate at a Time
- 6 oz chorizo, browned and drained
- 6 oz Oaxacan cheese, Monterey jack, or queso fresco*, grated or crumbled
- Avocado Salsa (see below)
- 8 corn tortillas
- a few tbsp of olive oil, vegetable oil, or bacon fat (mmmm)
* less melty than the other two – your choice
First, make your avocado salsa:
- 3 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 1 white onion, peels on, quartered
- 5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1-2 serrano peppers, stemmed and rough chopped
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 fat avocado
- 1 lime
Fire up your grill, or a big heavy dry saute or griddle pan if you’re doing this indoors. Char the tomatillos, onion, garlic, and poblano until they are good and black on a couple of sides – except the onion, stick to the skin side of that one. Put them all in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes. (You can also do this under the broiler)
Peel the skins off the onion, garlic, and poblano, and take off the pepper’s stem. Cut the tomatillos in quarters. Put all roasty veggies, the serranos, cilantro, and the sweet sweet avocado flesh into the blender and whirl until sort of smooth. Add salt and lime juice to taste and set aside.
Brush the tortillas with the oil or bacon fat, and grill or toast in a saute or griddle pan for a minute or two until crispy. Sprinkle each with a little chorizo and a little cheese, and drizzle on a little salsa. Return to the grill/pan for a minute or two to melt the cheese. Nosh.