It has been quite the dig to try and find these recipes and before I show you Nancy's directions here is the recipe that I found to be the most valid. The person who posted this recipe stated that he knew someone who worked at the Estrada's in Fresno and he hounded her and finally plied her with some beers and this was the information he received:
The woman gave him a one pound jar of fresh mortared garlic and salt - 75% crushed garlic and 25% salt by weight. 1 tsp of the garlic/salt was added to 2 cups red wine vinegar for the dressing.
The tostada consisted of a crispy fried corn tortilla, refried beans spread over the top to cover the tortilla and then top with choriso or longanisa that has been cooked and drained. Sprinkle the top with grated cheddar cheese. Place on a preheated plate and place under the salamander until piping hot, then dunk a big tong full of shredded iceberg lettuce into the cold garlic vinegar mixture and drop on the top of the tostada. The vinegar that drips off the salad hitting the super heated plate creates the wonderful sizzle. The final thing is a little salsa on the top - the salsa consisted of canned chopped tomatoes, sugar, diced green chilies and a little soy bean oil and salt.
Shredded lettuce (a note - I do not like lettuce in a bag but I do buy the shredded lettuce in the bag for tacos because no matter how hard I try I don't seem to be able to get that uniform, thin, shred).
Evenly spread refried beans.
The cooked and drained longanisa.
Finally the cheese on top.
Heated and ready for the lettuce.
Finished product! Great job Nancy - it looks authentic to me!
Nancy used lovely Fiesta plates - they are safe to 500° but with only the broiler in her oven she was unable to recreate the famous sizzle - I really think the only way to do this is with a salamander or perhaps a special pizza oven. Nancy's other note was that the dressing was not right and she thought next time she might want to try half apple cider vinegar. I have done quite a bit of research on this dish and have found all kinds of dressings and most of them do add some oil. If after further tweaking, Nancy gets the dressing on point, I will post her new recipe.
Robert Irvine of Restaurant Impossible visited the Estrada's in Daly City, CA. I guess they were going down the tubes and the couple running the restaurant had only owned it a few years. Robert completely revamped the menu and one look at the menu shows that they kept what they list as "Sizzling Tostada." I could not find the show to stream but I did find a clip and some information that the restaurant had turned things around and was now profitable and paying off their debt. Good job Robert! The menu now does not look a thing like the Estrada's menu of old.
Fiestaware, Kohl's, Macy's, Fiesta 4-Piece Place Setting, Poppy
Choriso or longanisa, grocery and specialty stores