I’ve been to Mexico a time or two in my life. Living in Phoenix lends itself to a quick weekend trip to Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), which is about 4 hours away. Groups of us used to go to Rocky Point regularly in our twenties. This is when you could pitch a tent on the beach for a week and be greeted first thing in the morning with Mexicans walking up and down the beach selling fresh tamales out of a bucket for nothing! We’d get a dozen of them because we were likely hung over! Now, the same beach is covered in high-dollar condos and rentals! So sad.
Mexican food in general in the Phoenix area is pretty stellar; authentic if you are diligent. You can’t woos out and go to Garcia’s!! Popo’s at 67th Avenue and Indian School has been my haunt since high-school. My Dad is there probably twice a week and knows the Jaramillo family well. Their salsa must have crack in it because it is THE BEST salsa ever!!! And their chimichanga’s are fabulous. Even their bean burritos are something to remember. Crack in the beans!!
So, this recipe pays homage to my many, many trips to Rocky Point, my family hangout Popo’s and my new favorite Arriba’s on Camelback and 17th Street. I go there every weekend and devour a bean burrito. Not as great as Popo’s (we need a Popo’s on Camelback!), but their HOT salsa is pretty great! You can’t live in Phoenix and starve for quality and authentic Mexican food. I’ve taken what I can and created a darn good tostada!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp ancho chili powder
- 2 cups cooked chicken meat shredded
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 lime
- 2 cups peanut oil
- 4-6 corn tortillas
- 1 can refried beans
- 1/4 head purple cabbage sliced
- 2 avocados sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes diced
- 1/4 cup red onion
- 1 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/2 cup cotija cheese crumbled
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the cumin, paprika and chili powder for one minute to wake up the spices, stirring constantly. Add the chicken, water, garlic powder, onion powder and the juice of half the lime. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Heat the beans in a small saucepan over low heat.
While the chicken mixture cooks and the beans warm, heat 1-inch of peanut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F. Fry a few tortillas at a time, turning occasionally, using tongs to flip them, until crisp and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Don't overcrowd the pan.
Prepare the toppings: Slice the cabbage into strips and place on a small plate. Chop the onion, tomatoes and the cilantro. Combine these three ingredients in small bowl. Slice the avocados. Crumble the cotija cheese.
To serve, add a layer of refried beans onto each tostado shell. Add the chicken mixture, onion/tomato/cilantro mixture, cabbage, cheese, avocado and salsa. Enjoy!