CHICKEN TOSTADAS (for six)
1 medium white onion
1 pound tomatoes, quartered
2 large garlic cloves
1 or 2 fresh serrano chiles, stemmed
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
6 large radishes, halved and sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 rotisserie chicken, meat coarsely shredded (4 cups)
6 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 (1 pound) can refried beans, heated
1 avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
½ cup crema or sour cream
¼ cup crumbled queso anejo (aged white cheese) or ricotta salata
sliced serranos and lime wedges to accompany
2. Cut half of onion into ¾ inch wedges, then chop remainder. Toss onion wedges, tomatoes, garlic and whole chiles with 2 tablespoons oil in a 4 sided sheet pan, spreading in one layer.
3. Broil about 4 inches from heat until softened and charred, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, toss together lettuce, radishes, chopped onion and half of cilantro.
5. Puree tomato mixture in a blender along with one or both roasted serranos (to taste) and 1 teaspoon salt until smooth (use caution when blending hot foods). Transfer puree to a bowl and stir in chicken, remaining cilantro and salt to taste.
6. Heat remaining ½ cup oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium high heat until it shimmers. Fry tortillas, one at a time, turning once or twice and pressing with tongs to immerse, until golden brown, 45 to 60 seconds per tortilla. Drain briefly on paper towels, then transfer to plates.
7. Spread tortillas thickly with heated refried beans, then top with the chicken mixture. Slice avocados over tostadas and dollop with crema. Mound lettuce mixture on top and sprinkle with cheese.
from the Gourmet Mexican Cookbook (special issue of magazine)