(14) Turkey Tostadas

The November issue of Southern Living had several recipes to put that leftover Thanksgiving turkey to good use.  Don’t get me wrong.  I lo-ove the Thanksgiving meal and will gladly eat it over again, but c’mon; I don’t want to eat it twelve times in a row.  Can I get an amen?

So, after making turkey & dumplings, I moved on to the first of two recipes from Southern Living: turkey tostadas.

I had every intention of making the tostadas from scratch.  I bought the masa harina (Masa harina is corn flour that has been treated with calcium hydroxide or “lime,” which makes it more nutritious by releasing the niacin in the corn, and easier to digest) and set to work, adding flour and rolling out the dough.  Every recipe I looked at said, “use a tortilla press,” but I do not own a tortilla press and I could not find a tortilla press in any of the local kitchen stores.  I thought I could just roll the dough out with a rolling pin.

I was sooo wrong.

I deleted the pictorial evidence of just how wrong I was.  It was a disaster.  The dough was too sticky and adhered itself to the rolling pin (despite my dusting the rolling pin with flour), so I added more masa harina.  Then the dough was too dry and fell all to pieces when I tried to roll it out (in reality, it wasn’t too dry… it just needed to be pressed, not rolled).  Once, I did manage to get a nice little tortilla rolled out, but it went to pieces as soon as I tried to pick it up.  I chucked the whole kit and kaboodle in the garbage and dashed out to purchase a pack of tortillas.  Sacrilege, I know.

I did forgo purchasing full-out tostadas, though, and instead fried up the corn tortillas to make my own tostadas.  So that counts for something, right?  Right, guys?

Anyway, unprocessed fail aside, this recipe is firecracker.  It is so good.  If it weren’t for the whole “new meal every night” thing, I’d make these again tomorrow.  And then the next night.  And then I’d cook a whole new turkey just so I could keep making them.  Seriously.  They’re that good.

Oh, and the chipotle was from the stash of jalapenos we smoked at my grandfather’s-in-law over Thanksgiving weekend.  We’re out of those chipotles now, much to my chagrin.  I’m currently in negotiations with my husband to procure (i.e. build or buy) our own smoker (and by negotiations, I mean that I’m asking for a smoker and he’s saying “maybe,” which, unfortunately, means exactly “maybe”).

And, one final note.  I photographed the whole process, but somehow, half the photographs were lost in translation.  It’s really very mysterious.  So, sorry, but there are no pictures for the second half of the recipe.

Turkey Tostadas with Spicy Cranberry-Chipotle Sauce

8 corn tortillas
Frying oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 poblano pepper, sliced (and seeded, if desired)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups shredded turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced*
Salt to taste
1 cup black beans, smashed
1 cup cranberry sauce
1 chipotle pepper, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup Mexican cheese blend, shredded
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves

*I’m pretty sure I used about 3x the recommended garlic.  You do what’s best for you.

Heat up some vegetable oil in a pan and toss in the corn tortillas, one at a time. Fry until just starting to golden, then turn tortilla over and repeat (the tostadas will continue to brown once removed from the oil, so make sure they’re only slightly tan when you remove them from the oil).  Place on a paper towel so all that mucky oil can seep off and clog the towel’s arteries, not yours.

Plunk the onion, poblano, red bell, and garlic into a pan, along with the olive oil, and sautee until the veggies are tender.

Add in the turkey and cook until the meat is heated through.

Mash up the black beans (which you previously took from dried to plump by soaking and cooking).


Combine the cranberry sauce, chipotle, and spices in a saucepan over low heat.  Simmer until heated through.

(And thus begins the mysterious photograph disappearance, which truly is sad because the finished product was so lovely.)

Spread the tostada shells with the black beans, then top with the turkey mixture.  Drizzle with the cranberry-chipotle sauce.  Sprinkle with the Mexican cheese.

Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.  Sprinkle with fresh cilantro before serving.

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