Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for the fifth of May. The holiday celebrates the date that the Mexican army defeated France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Mexicans (primarily in the state of Puebla) observe May 5th with military parades, battle recreations, and other festivities. May 5th has evolved into a day that people in the United States celebrate Mexican culture.
Food plays a major role in Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Tostadas (which comes from the Spanish word for toasted) are just one of the Mexican inspired foods that can be enjoyed on Cinco de Mayo. Tostadas are a smart way to utilize tortillas that are fresh enough to eat, but that are no longer soft and suitable for other uses. (Ready to use tostadas can be purchased from most grocery stores.)
- corn or flour tortillas
- cooking oil
- 1 lb of ground beef
- 1 envelope of taco seasoning
- shredded cheese (cheddar or Monterey Jack)
- chopped onions (or chives)
- diced tomatoes
- chopped or shredded lettuce
- sour cream
- taco sauce or salsa
- pico de gallo
- Fry corn or flour tortillas in cooking oil until they are crispy (about a minute and a half.
- Turn the tortillas over half way through the cooking process if necessary to crips both sides.
- Place the tortillas in a single layer on a pan or plate lined with paper towels. Set them aside.
- Cook the ground beef in a separate pan and drain off any excess fat.
- Sprinkle in the taco seasoning packet and continue to simmer the ground beef according to the packet directions. (A few tablespoons of taco sauce or salsa can be added to the seasoned meat.)
- Use one tortilla as the base of each tostada.
- Place two to three tablespoons of the seasoned ground beef in the center of the tostada and spread it almost to the edges.
- Top the ground beef with shredded cheese, onions or chives, diced tomatoes, and lettuce.
- Top the other tostada ingredients with a dollop of sour cream and a dollop of guacamole. (Both are optional toppings.)
- Finish the tostada with taco sauce, salsa, or pico de gallo if desired.
Substitute cooked seasoned chicken instead of using ground beef if preferred. Use seasoned black or pinto beans to make vegetarian tostadas. Vegetarians can also use soy or tofu cheese. Adding diced green, yellow, or red bell peppers is an option. Chopped cilantro,and jalapeno peppers also make tasty toppings. Tostadas can be made to order.