Vegetable oil for frying
6 white corn tortillas
Kosher salt for sprinkling
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Refried beans, warm, recipe follows
3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cored and shredded
1 Hass avocado, thinly sliced or guacamole, recipe follows
2 cups salsa cruda, recipe follows
1/2 cup sour cream
1 scallion, thinly sliced
12 fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cloves garlic, minced
One 15-1/2 ounce can pinto beans (with liquid), mashed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 ripe tomatoes or 4 plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
1/4 medium onion, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
To make the tortillas: Pour the oil for frying into a large heavy-bottomed pot to a depth of about 2 inches. Place over medium heat and heat to 375 degrees F. Add the tortillas, one at a time, and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined pan and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
To make the chicken: In a small bowl, mix together the chicken, lime juice, oil, coriander, and salt and season with pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
To assemble the tostadas: Preheat the broiler. Spread the beans evenly over one side of each tortilla and sprinkle with some of the cheese. Transfer to a baking sheet and broil until the cheese is lightly browned and melted, about 30 seconds. Divide the tortillas among 6 plates.
Evenly mound the chicken on each tortilla and top with the lettuce. Top each tostada with avocado, salsa, and a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with the scallion and garnish the tostada with the coriander leaves. Serve immediately.
Cook’s Note: The tortillas must be fried until very crispy, otherwise they may become rubbery, making them difficult to cut with a knife and fork.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, coriander, and cumin and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, until lightly browned, about 1 minute more. Add the beans and cook, stirring frequently, until thick and amber brown in color, about 4 minutes. Stir in the salt and season with pepper to taste.
In a small bowl, mix together the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, coriander, salt, and season with pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.