Guest Post: Jessica and Lina, Au Pairs from Colombia-Tostadas con Pollo

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Hello there! For this month’s Guest Post, I collaborated with Colombian Au Pairs Jessica and Lina for this typical dish. We spent the afternoon cooking, eating, and sharing. Take a look at what we created!

For food lovers living abroad, one of the first things that you miss is your county’s cuisine. Jessica and Lina have arrived in the US a few months ago through Au Pair in America but have yet to find an authentic Colombian restaurant that reminds them of their home. They are both from Cali, Colombia, a city southwest of Bogota. Back home, their diet consists of fresh food that does not come out of the freezer or the microwave. When I offered them my kitchen in exchange for a recipe, they jumped on the opportunity.

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Back home, Jessica is a chef at a local restaurant that serves wraps and smoothies. She has always had a passion for cooking and shares her admiration with her father.  Jessica and Lina both agree that they were most shocked by the food when they arrived in the US. For them, food is fresh and involves some sort of preparation, not just a few seconds in the microwave.

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If you are a returning IP reader, you may remember that I do not share many fried recipes because they are typically unhealthy. However, Colombians believe that their food is healthy; yes, it is fried but they wipe away all the excess oil and serve it with fresh produce, not serving it with white sugars and starches. For this recipe, that is all true. We topped the tostadas with avocado, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and chicken. From our kitchen to yours, Buen Provencho!

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Guest Post: Tostadas con Todo

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Ingredients:

Tostada

  • 4 green plantains, cut in half or in thirds of equal sizes
  • Salt

Tomato Sofrito

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 bunches of green onions, chopped, white and light green parts only
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeds removed and diced in 1/4 inch pieces
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Chicken and Mushrooms

  • 2 chicken breasts, no bone and no skin
  • 2 bunches of green onions, green parts only (use the tops from the green onions in the sofrito)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 pound crimini mushrooms

Directions:

Tostada

In a deep skillet, heat about 1-2 inches of oil. When hot, place in the slices of plantains. Let them fry until they begin to evenly get golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the pan and wipe away the excess oil using paper towels. Sprinkle a little salt on top release more oil and give more flavor. Leave the remaining oil in the pan as it will be used again.

Slightly oil the bottom of a flat pan and cover a cutting board with plastic wrap. Place a plantain slice standing up and slowly flatten the plantain. Repeat this step with the remaining fried plantains.

Heat again the oil in the skillet. Add the flattened plantains and dry until they start to brown. This will take 5-8 minutes. Remove from the skillet, sprinkle a pinch of salt and let it rest on a paper towel to cool and remove excess oil.

Tomato Sofrito

In a small skillet, heat up the oil. When warm, add in the green onion and bay leaves. Toss until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Then, add in the diced tomatoes and let it cook down.  Cook through until the tomatoes are completely soft. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm until serving.

Chicken and Mushrooms

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the chicken breasts, green onion greens, bay leaf and salt. Reduce the heat to low and let the chicken cook until completely cooked through, 25-20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the water and let it cool. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken breasts into strips.

In a large skillet, heat up the oil. Add the in the mushrooms, salt and thyme. Stirring regularly,  cook together until the mushrooms have softened, 5 minutes. Fold in the shredded chicken and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until all the flavors have melded together. Season with salt and pepper.

Tostadas con Pollo

Using the tostada as a base, smear on top a light layer of the tomato sofrito. Top with the chicken, guacamole (if using it), cheese, and any other of your preferred toppings.


Thank you to Jessica and Lina for sharing this recipe! Happy Cooking!

-Stephanie

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