You know, my life never ceases to be crazy, it seems. And just when I think things are starting to calm down……..morning sickness. Or should I call it “all day” sickness.
For those of you just reading this and wondering if you heard that right and how you missed the boat, well, no….I haven’t really made any announcements yet. I figure people will eventually figure it out as my waistline starts to expand. And, by the way, if you think I am crazy for adding another to the mix right now……YES. I AM. But it was kind of now or never in my book. So we’ve decided we’ll deal with the insanity for awhile.
Well, back to the morning sickness. The first two little gals were really kind to me – a little nauseous in the morning, but a quick cracker and glass of water would do the trick and then I’d be set with a minor setback here and there.
This one, not so much. Basically, it’s been feeling pretty gross for most of the day, with little intermittent 15-20 minute increments where I realize, “I actually feel decent right now.”
So, I’m trying to still be a productive human being. It’s hard at times. And dinnertime seems to be rolling around all too quickly.
That’s when I fall back on my good ole’ faithful crockpot recipes. These Chicken Tostadas are one of my favs because they are soooooooo easy to put together and always get rave reviews. I love them and they remind me of all of my favorite hispano-hablantes from my time in California oh so many years ago. I ate this meal many a time and it never disappointed.
I’m usually all for subbing ingredients with what you have around, but for these tostadas, there are a couple of MUST HAVES for me. The tostadas can be good without them, but these additions just take these babies over the top, IMO.
First, Tapatio Hot Sauce. The majority of the flavoring for the chicken comes from this (with just a little onion and garlic to support). I just love the stuff. It’s reasonably hot though, so you don’t need a lot. This recipe has about a medium-level spiciness, so you can easily adjust up or down according to what you like.
Next, the cheeses. Two kinds: Cotija (queso seco/anejo) and Mexican Crema. I usually use Cacique brand for both of these. Now, if you have not had cotija, you are missing out. I’m sure many of you have heard of queso fresco (translated: fresh cheese), which I also love. But queso fresco is a very mild, wet cheese. Nice to add moisture. It’s a great addition for tostadas or any Mexican dish really. But today we are talking up flavor! Cotija, or queso seco (translation: dry cheese) crumbles up similarly to fresco, but it is much drier and has a very distinct, potent flavor. It’s amazing. To top it all off, you must use the Mexican Crema, which you could compare to sour cream. Except, this crema is quite a bit thinner and also has a much more distinct, tangy flavor.
You can find all of these ingredients pretty much in any grocery story on the hispanic aisle and in the cheese section.
I love my tostadas loaded – the avocado or guac, sweet white corn, black beans……and of course I always throw a little extra splash of hot sauce on the top as well! But if you are going bare minimum, just make sure you have the Tapatio for the chicken and either cotija or mexican crema (or both) to top it off and you will still appreciate them in their simplicity.
You can always just use the chicken as a dip for tortilla chips as well. This is a great leftover idea!
Kitchen Tools Needed for this Recipe:
(Crockpot) Chicken Tostadas
For the Chicken:
- 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts about 2
- 1/2 cup to 3/4 water
- 2 tablespoons Tapatio hot sauce this is about medium level spicy - adjust to taste
- 1/2 of a large sweet onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic 1 1/2 teaspoons, minced
- 1 package Tostada shells
- Mexican sour cream I like Cacique's Crema Mexicana Agria
- Cotija cheese I like Cacique's Cotija
- avocado or guacamole, sliced
- black beans
- tomato diced
- sweet white corn kernels can use frozen, warmed, or cook fresh and cut off of the cob
- cilantro to garnish
Place all ingredients in a crock pot.
Set on high and cook for 2 1/2 hours.
With a fork, shred the chicken.
Cook for another hour until chicken is very tender.
Serve over tostada shell, and topped with additional desired toppings.
Change it Up:
If you don't have a crock pot, you can cook the chicken in a deep covered stock pot on your stove top. You will just want to get it to boil, and then turn the heat down to low and let simmer until chicken starts to fall apart and gets tender. I haven't made it this way in awhile, but I know many who do. I think it is a little faster than the crock pot method, but you will want to check periodically to make sure there is adequate liquid so that it doesn't burn on the bottom.
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