Everyday Gourmet (6/18/09)

Tostadas for Dada

June 18, 2009

By Kim Dannies

Father’s Day is celebrated Sunday, so usher in glorious summer by firing up the grill. A build-your-own-tostada meal is just the kind of feast any dad will appreciate: Bold flavors, a chockablock of protein, no utensils required and it all pairs well with beer. Locally available microbrews — a few clicks up the flavor meter — make for a festive gift: Try Oro de Calabaza, Artisan Golden; Allagash ‘Tripel Reserve’ Ale; or Vermont’s own Magic Hat #9. (Don’t forget the kid’s root beer!)

The grilled corn tostadas, a kind of mini flatbread, provide a crunchy platform for meat, black bean salad and toppings. Kids can help prep the 6-inch corn disks by lightly finger-painting each side with a bit of canola oil; disks go on a hot grill, toasting until crisp with lovely char-marks on each side. (Prep them one hour ahead and rest at room temperature.) Go ahead and grill the meat up to one hour ahead, too: Just seal the meat into double layers of foil and set the packets on a platter to rest. Now, it’s time to sit back and relax with that microbrew, ‘cuz there’s a whole lotta Dada love going on here.

Classic Tostada

Ingredients: corn tortillas; grilled flank or sirloin steak, thinly sliced; grilled chicken breasts, thinly sliced; grilled shrimp.

Toppings: shredded pepper jack cheese; ribbon-cut romaine lettuce; salsas.

Black Bean Salad

Dice a red, yellow and orange sweet bell pepper and add to a large prep bowl. Rinse and drain 2 cans of black beans; add to peppers. Add 1 cup of diced cucumber and 1 cup of red onion. Add 2 handfuls of fresh cilantro leaves.

Dressing: Combine 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of sherry vinegar, a large pinch of salt and red pepper flakes, 3 minced garlic cloves. Shake well and pour over the salad. Just before serving, cut 2 ripe avocados into small cubes and gently fold them into the salad.

Bonus Rice Cheese Bake

Combine 3 cups cooked white or brown rice, 6 sliced scallions, 7 ounces canned green chilies, 2 chopped zucchini, 12 ounces sour cream, 1 can diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro. Pour into a baking dish and cover with 12 ounces of shredded Monterey jack cheese; bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 8.

Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three college-aged daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.