Tostadas Guatemaltecas

cuisine Guatemalan
season Year Round
difficulty Moderate
serves 4

Ingredients for the Tostadas

8 corn tortillas Avocado oil Sea salt flakes 8 medium beets 8 large Boston lettuce leaves 3 limes, zested and juiced Sea salt, to taste 1/4 small head red cabbage, shaved 1/4 small head savoy cabbage 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup water 1 haas avocado, peeled, pitted, & chopped 1 teaspoon garlic, minced 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed 2 large eggs 1 small red onion, sliced into 1/4 1 cup queso fresco, crumbled Pickled jalapeños* Fresh cilantro leaves

Ingredients for the Chirmol Salsa

2 pints grape tomatoes 1/3 cup white onion, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1 jalapeño, minced and to taste

Directions for the Tostadas

  1. Pour a 1/2" oil into a 10" skillet and heat the oil to 350 degrees F.
  2. Using tongs, lower a tortilla into the hot oil (the tortilla should sizzle as soon as it hits the hot oil) and fry until golden. Remove, sprinkle the fried tortilla with flakey sea salt, and drain on wire rack placed over a baking tray lined paper towels. Repeat until all 8 tortillas are fried.
  3. Place each beet inside a square of aluminum foil, drizzle with avocado oil and salt. Tightly fold the foil around the beet and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with each beet. Place the tray in the oven and roast for 30 to 45 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted all the way into the beet's center. Shred half the beets on a box grater and reserve in a bowl.  Dice the other four beets into 1/4" cubes. Add 1 tablespoon avocado oil and 1 tablespoon lime juice to each bowl. Sprinkle each bowl with half of the lime zest. Stir and reserve until ready to use.
  4. Place the purple cabbage in one bowl and cabbage in another bowl. Mix together the vinegar, sugar, water, and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour half of the mixture over each bowl of cabbage. Wait at least 30 minutes before using (2 hours best).
  5. Mash the avocado, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, and garlic in a bowl. Season to taste with salt. Reserve.
  6. Place the eggs in a small pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, put a lid on the pot, turn off the heat and cook the eggs for 4 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot, run them under cold water, peel and slice them into 1/4" rounds. Reserve.
  7. Assemble the tostadas in this order: tortilla, lettuce leaf, guacamole, shredded beets, both  cabbages, black beans, beet cubes, red onion, pickled jalapeños, sliced onion, and finish with the egg on top. 
  8. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately with the chirmol salsa.



Directions for the Chirmol Salsa

  1. Add the tomatoes to a 12" dry skillet. Turn the heat to medium high and char the tomatoes  until the tomatoes are dark brown and black all around (shake the skillet to rotate the tomatoes and use tongs if needed to turn). Remove from heat, cool to room temperature.

  2. Add the tomatoes onion, cilantro, mint, lime juice, salt, and a bit of chopped jalapeño to the bowl of a food processor or vita mix. Pulse 4 times, or just until the salsa is uniform texture but not a liquid puree. 

  3. Taste and adjust chili and seasoning. Set aside. Serve at room temperature.

Kitchen Notes

*Find the pickled jalapeño recipe here. Cubanero or guajillo chilis are traditional in Guatemalan cuisine, jalapeños are a fine substitute. The chirmol may be refrigerated for up to 3 days. One type of cabbage is sufficient but two is fun and adds to the visual vibrancy of the tostadas. Double check the temperature of the oil before frying--too cold and the tortillas will soak up too much oil. Vegetable oil may be substituted during tortilla frying, however, avocado oil is a high heat point cooking oil and has similiar health benefits to olive oil. The tortillas, beets, cabbage, eggs, pickled jalapeños, and chirmol may be made ahead of time. Only the guacamole needs to be prepared within an hour of serving.