Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Salmon Tostadas

Fish tacos are a everyone in California.  They started in the Baja region, but they are on every taqueria menu even here in Northern California.  With grilled or sauteed fish, salsa and toppings of cabbage, avocado and a tangy Mexican crema (equivalent to sour cream) sauce they are much lighter than the carnitas and other meat offerings at Mexican restaurants.  I love them!

So I found myself with a half head of cabbage in my fridge still left from the veggie box I received on St. Patty's day (appropriate, right?).  I had made the requisite Colcannon (it was ugly and really not blog-worthy, but it filled the need in my half-Irish husband along with his Irish beer.) with part of it but not wanting to throw out anything I knew there was something else to be done with it. 

As I started rooting around in my fridge to see what to do, I found some leftover Lime Pickled onions (lime juice and salt-soaked red onions), black beans, perfectly soft avocadoes, corn tortillas, a little cotija cheese (Mexican crumbly cheese not unlike feta but without the strong flavor) and the remains of two different salsas. In my freezer was a half package of Salmon burgers from Costco.  Looks like fish tacos to me.  The tostada idea came about purely out of necessity.  I only had a few tortillas and they were fairly dry - Grocery shopping day was yet to come in the week - so I knew crisping them up would serve two purposes: Hide the staleness (Is that a game?) and make them more challenging to eat and thus make everyone eat less than if there were plenty of nicely warmed ones that call for eating two or three extras with butter and honey or sugar at the end of the meal. (Bad habit from Mexican restaurants in Texas.)

I had done a Mexican cooking class the week before which accounted for the largely Mexican contents of my fridge. If you don't have these things, use canned salmon and beans, feta or other cheese in place of cotija, sour cream rather than crema, lettuce for cabbage, pickled jalapenos in place of the onions, whatever salsa you do have or even whip some up using pantry ingredients (Great recipes in both "Rock Star in the Kitchen" and "Everyday Mexican" recipe collections ready to download here.)  The point is, try these puppies.  They are healthy and a great way to get non-fish eaters to eat salmon. 

CWYG Stats
Veggie Box - cabbage

CWYG Items - salmon, black beans, tortillas, cheese, salsa, sour cream

Salmon Tostadas
8 corn tortillas
olive oil
salt
1 lb salmon burgers or wild salmon fillets (Or 3 cans boneless, skinless salmon flake into big pieces)
Chile powder
2 cups refried black beans (or mashed canned beans heated with cumin and salt to taste)
4 cups shredded cabbage or lettuce
mashed avocado, salsa, cheese and sour cream for serving
pickled onions or jalapenos, optional

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Brush the tortillas with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake until crispy, checking periodically to make sure they do not burn.

If using salmon burgers or salmon fillets, season with salt and chile powder then saute in olive oil for 7-8 minutes or until just barely cooked through.  Heat beans and then keep warm.

Layer the beans on the crispy tortillas, then top with salmon, avocado, cabbage, salsa and cheese.  Drizzle with sour cream that's thinned with a little lime juice.  Finish with pickled onions or jalapenos or serve on the side, if desired.

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