The last time I was in Cabo San Lucas was in 2014. I remember how delicious the grilled shrimp tacos were. But as much as I adore soft tacos, I L-O-V-E crispy, crunchy tostadas with guacamole even more, especially served alongside a generous helping of pico de gallo. Traditionally, the shell of the tostada is deep-fried; however, I oven baked the tortillas and schmeared them with avocado. Instead of just a side dish of pico de gallo, I bumped it up with Cowboy Caviar and spicy tomatillo sauce. Teamed together, it makes for a light, healthy, and satisfying dinner. Tomatillos aren’t traditional tomatoes as we know them. Indigenous to central and south America, tomatillos are a distant cousin to the gooseberry family. As a sauce, served over omelets, grilled chicken, added to soups, or as a stand-alone dip with avocado, will liven up the simplest and modest of dishes. Naturally low in fat, calories and carbohydrates, and high in vitamin-C and potassium, tomatillo sauce is a staple condiment in my house. And I especially enjoy it paired with these tostadas. It was a tad chilly last night, so rather than grill the shrimp, I seared them with some spicy-garlic- ginger-lime oil and kitchen essence. Crowned with fresh cabbage and carrots, dinner was served.
Recipe notes: What you will need: blender, large cooking pot, and container for sauce. Tostadas are made in 4-easy steps, including assembly. Active prep time 15-minutes. Baking time 15-20 for tostada shells. Cooking time 20-30 minutes for tomatillos and 2-3 minutes for shrimp. Yields 4-servings. Difficulty level: Easy
- 8-Corn tortillas, baked
- 2-large avocados
- 4-cups tri-color cabbage mix
- 2-cups shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- 1-lb (16/20) shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined, tails removed
- 2-Tbsp garlic-ginger-lime oil or vegetable oil
- 1-Tbsp kitchen essence
- sprigs of cilantro for garnish
- lime wedges for garnish
- 2-lb tomatillos
- 1-serrano, split in half
- 2-cups water
- 1-bunch cilantro stems removed
- 2 small or 1-medium size avocado
- 1-tsp salt
- 2-tsp cumin
- 2-tsp onion powder
- 2-tbsp garlic powder
- 1-tbsp fresh lime juice
- Hull skins.
- Rinse tomatillos thoroughly under warm water (they tend to have a sticky film to them).
- In a stockpot, add tomatillos, serrano*, and water. *Since chilies vary in heat level, and depending on personal preference and spice tolerance, you may opt to add the serrano later during the blending process.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until the skins of the tomatillos are well blistered.
- Allow to cool completely before blending (can be done ahead and refrigerated.)
Note: Cooling the tomatillos before processing with cilantro is vital to retain the vibrant color of the cilantro.
- Place tomatillos in a bowl of Cuisinart food processor along with the residual cooking liquid, add cilantro, cumin, garlic, onion, salt, scooped avocado, and lime juice. If Serrano wasn’t added to the tomatillos during the cooking process, add now a little at a time, and taste test.
- Blend to a smooth sauce.
Transfer to a glass jar and let stand at room temperature for serving. Refrigerate leftovers.
Pre-heat oven to 350.
- Place tortillas directly on to rack and bake for 10-15 minutes or until crisp on both sides.
- Peel and devein shrimp and remove tails.
- Lightly drizzle shrimp with oil and season.
- Cook them on either grill or in a scorching hot skillet for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.
- Transfer shrimp to a cutting board
- Using a sharp knife, slice shrimp down the back seam lengthwise, and set aside.
- In a bowl, mash avocado.
- Spread avocado on tortillas and arrange halved portions of cooked shrimp. Note: The avocado acts as an anchor for the shrimp, so they don’t slide off.
- Top with cabbage, cheese (optional), and garnish with cilantro.