Luke’s Tostadas Recipe

When the Green-up programme coordinators decided to add an orientation weekend at a cosy mountainside cabin at the start of the programme, they faced the challenge of keeping the group fed and hydrated. Luckily, one of the participants in Cohort 3, Luke, who happened to be a head chef from London, came to the rescue! Lottie suggested tostadas as a meal idea, and Ping asked Luke to take charge of cooking for Cohort 3. He even wrote down the recipe so that Lottie and Charlie could replicate the delicious meal for Cohort 4!  Now you can try it, too!

Preparing a tostada
Chef Luke showing us how to assemble a tostada

The recipe (Serves 14):

  • 2 Chickens
  • 15 plum tomatoes
  • 5 white onions
  • 4 Smoked chillies
  • 500g black beans (soaked)
  • 14 Avocado
  • 3 Garlic bulbs 
  • 5 Jalapeno
  • 2 Red peppers
  • 75ish  tostadas
  • 1 block crumbly cheese
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 12 Limes
  • 1 Small White cabbage
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • Salt
  • Paprika

Final Components

  • Tostadas
  • Refried beans
  • Shredded smoked chili chicken
  • Tomato salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Salted onions and Jalapenos
  • Shredded white cab/carrot
  • Crumbled cheese
  • Fresh coriander
  • Fresh Lime

Start by adding your soaked black beans to a pot, generously cover with water, bring to a simmer and cook for  1-1.5 hours or until soft. Stirring occasionally and topping up with water if necessary. 

While the beans are cooking, start Breaking down the chickens, removing the spines, removing the legs, then separating the 2 breasts. You will be left with 5 pieces for each bird, all on the bone. 

Cover the birds with water and bring to a simmer, once just simmering you will notice some scum collecting on top, pour out all the water and replace with fresh water, this time add a 1 roughly cut onion, 2 roughly cut tomatoes, 1 bulb of garlic cut in half, the coriander roots and a whole smoked chili.

Once the chicken has started simmering again the breasts should be cooked, so remove from the pot and set aside. The legs will need about another 20 mins. Once the legs have had a further 20 mins, remove from the pot and leave to cool with the breasts.

Now you have legs and breasts out of the pot we can start to reduce the chicken stock, be careful not to over reduce. Once it has thickened, we can pass it through a sieve and keep it aside to season the chicken later.

Some of the next components can be made whilst the chicken and beans are cooking.

To make the salsa get the grill plate hot. Take 8 tomatoes, 1 onion cut in  half, 1 bulb of garlic and 2 jalapenos. Place all on the grill, rotating occasionally, cooking for about 10-15 minutes or until feeling tender and cooked. Remove all the garlic/ onion skins then place everything in the blender. Add a handful of coriander, the juice of 1 lime, ½ a teaspoon of sugar and half a cup of water. Blend until smooth, adding more water if needed to loosen. Season with salt to taste and add more lime if necessary.

Next up let’s make the smoked chili and red pepper puree which we will use to season the chicken. Just Like the salsa, grill 2 red peppers, ½ an onion and 1 bulb of garlic until soft. Remove skins from garlic and onion, then add to the blender. Now lightly grill 2 smoked chillies, being careful because they can burn easily. Remove the chili stems and add to the blender, with a teaspoon of paprika and a splash of chicken stock, blend until smooth.  Set aside. 

For the Guacamole, take your 14 avocados, remove stones and skin, then lightly crush. Add 2 finely chopped red onions, 2 finely chopped jalapenos, 4 finely chopped tomatoes, and a handful of coriander. Finish by seasoning with lime, salt and by giving it a good mix.

Now we can pick the chicken off the bone and shred it. Season with the reduced chicken stock, the smoked chili puree (you wont need it all) and salt if needed.

To finish the beans, take ⅔ of the beans and blend until smooth with the remaining smoked chili and red pepper puree. Add a touch of salt if needed.

Next let’s make some quick salted onion and jalapenos, simply thinly slice the onions and chillies. Mix together then lightly salt and add a squeeze of lime, leaving for 10 minutes to soften slightly. 

Crumble the cheese in a bowl ready for serving.

Finely Slice some white cabbage and carrots, leave as is for a crunchy fresh topping.  Finally pick the remaining coriander and slice some limes.

Arrange all the components on the table and dig in!

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