Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Grilled BLT Tostadas

Grilled BLT Tostadas

My favorite summer meal is a simple one:  a BLT sandwich, watermelon, and chips.  Because I love the BLT combo so much, I like to try out different variations and vehicles for the B, the L, and the T.  Thus, when a mexican-inspired BLT was brought to my attention, I'm pretty sure I gasped aloud and headed straight into my kitchen to whip it up.

This ingenious dish comes from none other than the Mexican food genius himself, Rick Bayless.  So it comes as no surprise that it is absolutely amazing and out of this world good.  These are also super quick and easy, which is another requirement for an ideal summer meal.  


Corn tortillas are brushed with bacon fat (yes!), then quickly grilled to crisp them up.  You slather them with an avocado-lime cream sauce, then top with tomatoes, crumbled bacon, and cilantro.  Finish with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and you have Mexican BLT perfection.  I served these with grilled Mexican street corn, watermelon slices, and of course watermelon margaritas.  No Mexican summer meal is complete without those!  This was one of my favorite dinners of the summer, and one I'll for sure be making many times before fall!

The avocado cream sauce makes more than you'll likely need, but you can store it for a few nights in the refrigerator (just know it may discolor a bit).  The leftovers are great for making… more BLT tostadas, proper BLTs, or just using as a dip for veggies or tortilla chips.


Grilled BLT Tostadas
adapted from More Mexican Everyday, by Rick Bayless
serves 4 to 6
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup Mexican crema* 
  • juice of 1/2 lime, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 an avocado, roughly chopped
  • salt
  • 6-8 slices thick-cut bacon, cut cross-wise into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 lb heirloom tomatoes
Prepare the grill to medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, lay the tortillas in a single layer and let them dry for about 30 minutes.  This will help them crisp up on the grill, rather than fall apart.

As the tortillas dry, combine the cream, lime juice, jalapeño, cilantro, avocado, and 1/4 tsp salt in a food processor or blender.  Puree until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Taste and adjust the lime juice and salt to your preference.  Scrape the cream sauce into a bowl, cover, and set aside.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet, stirring often, until it is crispy and browned.  Use a slotted spoon to remove it from the skillet and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.  Pour the fat into a small heatproof bowl and set aside.

Core the tomatoes.  Choose one tomato (probably the largest) to slice, and slice into 1/2-inch slices.  Seed and chop the rest of the tomatoes.  

Brush the tortillas on both sides with the reserved bacon fat.  Transfer them to the grill and cook, turning and rotating every 30 seconds or so, until the tortillas are golden brown and crisp.  This will probably take 5 to 10 minutes.  

Remove the tortillas to a serving platter, and spread each one with  avocado sauce.  Top with the sliced tomato, and sprinkle with bacon, cilantro, and diced tomatoes.  Lightly sprinkle each tostada with salt, and a squeeze of lime juice.  Serve immediately.

*a half-and-half mixture of sour cream and mayonnaise can also be used here, but try and find crema if you can!  My local Kroger and Publix both carry it, for what that's worth!


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