Friday, August 7, 2009

TGIF - It's Mexican Night so let's make Chili Colorado Tostadas

Ever since my husband and I have been together we have had Mexican night on Friday nights...well, ok...honestly, most every Friday night. It used to be our reward after a hard week of work; and we had a great place to go get great food, "The Burnt Tortilla" in Gardena CA. They got the whole red sauce; it's not about tomato sauce, it's about chili sauce. And the #8 was my fav, a chili Colorado enchilada with red sauce and a crispy chicken taco, rice and beans.

Since we've moved to Northern California, we have been in search of a really really good Mexican restaurant, take-out, sit-down, whatever...but they need to have a deep rich red far to no avail...weak, thin, tomatoey,with a sincere lack of full chili flavor. So, out of a need to keep my tastebuds happy and keep our Mexican nights alive, I have been making our Mexican night meals...not exactly the "reward" after a hard weeks work, but it will have to do and I'll take my "reward" another night.

One of our very favorites is Chili Colorado Tostadas. It all starts with a great Chili Colorado; I think this is one of the best (pat self on back); I hope you like it too.

LindySez: If you don't have the exact chilies listed, no worries, use what you can get, just use about the same number of them in total.

Here's a little tip: When working with chilies, use gloves to avoid getting the oils on your fingers and then accidently touching your eyes or nose (ouch) - girls, the gloves you get in your hair dye kit work great...oh, for some of you guys too, and you know who you are. If you don't have any gloves, after working with the chilies wash your hands well with soap, rinse and touch your fingers to you gums (the uppper gum in your mouth); if you feel heat, then wash them again until you don't feel anything.

Lindy's Chili Colorado

4 - 5 dried California chilies, stemmed and seeded
2 - 3 dried New Mexico chilies, stemmed and seeded
2 - 3 Ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
2 pasilla chilies, stemmed and seeded
3 cups water
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano, or more to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, or to taste
Chile Powder, as needed to adjust final product (I like Gehardt's)

4 - 5 pounds beef chuck, cut into medium sized cubes (not quite an inch, not quite a half inch, just a nice bite size)
1 - 2 tablespoon oil (I only use grape seed oil or olive oil, but use whatever you usually do)

Place the chilies in a sauce pan, cover with the water and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes; cover, turn off heat and allow to sit for 30 minutes. (A lot of recipes will tell you to toast the chilies before softening them, I found there is a real fine line between toasting them and ruining them; I've also found in the end product, it didn't make that much difference, so I go for the easy). After at least 30 minutes, drain the chilies, reserving the liquid. Place in a blender along with the garlic, salt, oregano, cumin and cloves along with a small amount of the cooking liquid; blend until smooth. Pass through a food mill using a medium grade disk, or a sieve to remove skins. You should now have a very smooth and rich chili sauce. Set - aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. (164 degrees C.)

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil. Season the meat well with salt and pepper; and then add to the pot all at once, you don't want to brown the meat, you just want to take the red off it and allow it to release its juices. Just stir the meat, (it will look gray not brown); once the meat has been cooked and is simmering in its own juices, add the chili sauce and the reserved liquid from steeping the chilies. Stir in the cocoa powder. If the meat is not covered, add a little water or beef broth to cover completely. Bring to a simmer, then cover tightly and place in the oven. Allow to cook 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is extremely tender. Using care (and mitts) remove from the oven, taste and adjust seasonings with salt, chili powder and additional chocolate, oregano or cumin, as desired.

You can eat a bowl of this, topped with some chopped onion and cheese (cheddar or cojita); serve some corn or flour tortillas alongside. Or continue on and make tostadas.

Tostada Fixings

Corn tortillas; brushed with oil and baked in a 350 degree F (178 degree C) oven for about 10 - 15 minutes or until crispy, turn a couple of times
Refried or black beans (lightly mash whole black beans)
Shredded lettuce
Chopped tomatoes, or pico di gallo
Diced onion
Sliced black olives, if desired
Gucamole, if desired
Sour Cream, if desired
Taco sauces of your choice

Place the crisp tortilla on a plate; top with refried or black beans; a nice helping of Chili Colorado, then top with the toppings of your choice. I like to add another bit of the chili on the top of the veggies, then add the Guac and sour cream.

LindySez - I hope you are liking it!


msstarlite said...

So I Was Wondering How Close Do You Think Your Recipe Is To Burnt Tortilla's? I've been Looking For A Recipe That Will Hopefully Have That Same Flavor

msstarlite said...

Also, What If I Don't Have Access To A Food Mill?

Lindy said...

Hi there, well you found me over here. You might want to check out my new site at LindySez (dot) com. All the fun is happening there :-) To answer your questions; yes, it's very close to Burnt Tortilla's, as close as I could get it with the info that I got from the owners Kathy and Conrad…and if you don't have a food mill, put it in a blender,blend well, then put it through a mesh strainer using the back of a spoon to push as much trough as you can… Cheers