Friday, January 29, 2016


If you ever went to Estrada's restaurant even if you did not order this you knew the sizzle sound when this unique item came out of the kitchen.  As I mentioned in an earlier Estrada's post my friend Nancy and I both worked to try and recreate the taste of our childhood.  Nancy did the Tostada Compuesta.

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!

Cooks Notes:

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


Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Hubby loves pasta and the reality is that with the obligatory bread that usually accompanies the pasta reaching 1,000 calories is very easy.  Because of this I set out to make a tasty pasta that would be full of protein and have less fat and calories but still be satisfying.  The night I made this I received two thumbs up from hubby. 

This is a little more complicated than I had planned for the tasty, less calories and fat recipes but this is worth the extra work.


The first thing I did was to take 8 oz of shiitake mushrooms, place them on a Silpat lined cookie sheet and salt and pepper them, then add 1T of the Costco bacon crumbles (you can find other brands but do not use the fake bacon ones) then drizzle 1/2 t olive oil over the bacon, mushroom mixture and toss them around on the cookie sheet.  Bake them in 375° oven for about 30 minutes, turning them every ten minutes or so.  Do not let them burn.

Mushroom topping:
8oz Shiitake Mushrooms
1T Bacon Crumbles
1/2t Olive Oil

I apologize for the poor quality of this photo - did not notice at the time it was so blurry. I keep chicken tenders in the freezer and like them because they thaw very fast and when they have cooked it is easy to cut them into pieces or shred them, etc. I just put them on foil, salt and pepper them, seal securely, and put into a 350° oven until they are done - I put them in the oven frozen so will check them in about 40 minutes, leave them in longer if not done.  On this day I put extra in the foil because I needed chicken for some white chili I was making for another day.  After they have cooled a little you can cut them into chunks for the pasta.

For two servings you will need 8oz of chicken

For the pasta:

1 small onion, diced
1 large clove of garlic
1T olive oil
1/2 tsp Smokehouse Maple seasoning

Dice the onion and cook in a pan with the olive oil, cooking slowly as to not burn, when the onion is done and starting to caramelize grate the garlic into the mixture, turn down the heat and cook until the garlic is cooked. Add the 1/2 tsp Smokehouse Maple seasoning and cook for just a bit, do not burn.  Set aside.

Cook 4oz of spaghetti in a big pot.

When the spaghetti has finished cooking, drain and put back into the pot.

 6 oz soft (called silken) tofu
1/4 cup water
1 T lemon fresh lemon juice

Whisk all of these ingredients until smooth - the only way to get the ingredients really smooth is to put them in a blender - the tofu is resistant to becoming smooth any other way. I did not use the blender.

Place some of the mushrooms (be sure and save enough for topping two portions) the onion garlic mixture and the sauce in with the pasta and gently toss to ensure that all of the spaghetti gets some sauce.  Cover the pan and let it sit for a few moments for the noodles to absorb the flavors of the sauce.  When I tasted just before serving I found it to be bland and added more salt, pepper, some more of the Smokehouse Maple seasoning and a few red pepper flakes.


Top with 2 t of grated Parmesan just before serving. A portion of this pasta makes a nice large serving.  I served it with some fresh broccoli and a green salad. No bread.

Nutritional Information:

Entire Dish:

Calories: 752
Fat: 28
Protein: 66

Per serving:
Calories: 376
Fat: 14
Protein: 33 

So.....half of this recipe contains half of your daily requirement of protein - for me about 1/3 of this is enough but hubby ate half and as I mentioned with a salad and broccoli.  I reheated the dish two days later and he said it was just as good re-heated and that this is a dish he would be happy to eat often.  I call this success and worth the little bit of trouble.  I think after I make this a time or two it will seem much less complicated and easy to make.

Thank you for stopping by.