Sunday, June 8, 2014

Beet, Avocado, Cilantro and Goat Cheese Soft Tostada

Beet, Avocado and Goat Cheese soft tostada

I havent posted in a week because I was busy in San Fancisco doing too much of this:

How to have fun in SF
There was a little work involved somewhere in there, mostly it was eating tacos, drinking coffee, cocktails, and sitting around in the sunshine. Sitting around in the sun resulted in a nice sunburn, which my friends thought was the effects of frozen mimosas, but the next day was clearly a sunburn. (more on frozen mimosas later!)

La Palma's corn tortillas
There was a transportation strike one day, so I decided to walk instead of ride, all the way to what might be the center of the Misson at 24th and Alabama street, which is certainly the center of tortillas in San Francisco. La Palma Mexicatessen, the food there is good but the reason to go is the quality and variety of tortillas which you can buy in big stacks still hot from the griddle.

They are handmade by talented ladies in the back of the shop, and if you peek through you can see them at work. There are big tortillas, little and tiny baby ones. Double thick gorditas and hand flattened ones which are rustic with a thicker edge, like a pizza. In white, yellow, blue, and green. I bought a stack of handmade blue corn, white corn GMO free, and ones made with nopales cactus which were a grassy green.

Why did I buy so many tortillas?  The answer anyone who lives on most of the east coast would know, you just cant find them here. (If anybody knows of a place which makes real tortillas in/near Boston, let me know asap.)

GMO free corn gorditas
So there I was with my 8 pounds of still steaming tortillas, condensing in their packages and the sweet smell of corn wafting out of my bag. I carried them around most of the day, and then onto the plane. I didn't eat them the whole time. We opened the packages for lunch on my first day home, and I have had tortillas at least once a day for the last few days I've been home.

I did put some in the freezer to test if they would hold up.

When I run out, I will learn how to make my own masa and fashion homemade tortillas. It cant be too difficult, as households all across Mexico and beyond make them regularly. Ill write a post on that once I run out of La Palma's.

It is easy to come up with traditional and crazy taco variations. This one I loaded up too much and had to eat with a fork and knife like an open faced sandwich. It is neither taco nor tostada. Somewhere between. The flavors are likewise very Californian neither one thing or another. Cilantro is a fun way to wake up usual beets and goat cheese. Play around with the cheese also, a goat brie or camembert has more flavor and melting capabilities than fresh chevre.

Beet, Avocado and Goat Cheese Soft Tostada

for each serving:
1 corn tortilla
4 slices goat camembert or brie cheese
1/2 an avocado, cubed
1/2 cup roasted sliced beet
1/4 of a lime
fresh ground pepper and salt

Heat the tortilla in a skillet until warm on the bottom. Flip over to the other side. Place sliced or crumbled goat cheese on the warmed upper side. It will soon melt or soften somewhat. Remove the tortilla to a plate cheese side up, careful not to loose the cheese!

Pile on the beets, avocado cubes and cilantro. Shower fresh ground pepper and some salt over it all. A squeeze of lime wakes up the avocado. Act fast to eat while warm with still gooey cheese.

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