If you’ve ever made your own gluten free flour tortillas (and if not, what are you waiting for?!), then left them uncovered on the counter for a day or so (*oops*), it’s time to make authentic Mexican tostadas. These gluten free shrimp tostadas are just one way to enjoy this open-faced taco, because the real star is the crispy, crunchy tostada itself. If you simply can’t abide a quick spin in frying oil for each tortilla, you can brush the tortillas lightly with olive oil on both sides and then place them on a lined baking pan in a 475°F oven for about 5 minutes or until crisp. But frying them is the only way to make a truly authentic-tasting tostada.
A few notes about cooking shrimp. I always buy frozen shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined. I then defrost it by placing the frozen shrimp in a bowl, filling the bowl with cool water, and then continuing to run the water into the bowl in the sink in a slow trickle until the shrimp defrosts (about 4 minutes, often less). There are a few different ways to make the shrimp, including “precooking” it in lime juice before sautéing it in some oil—or even allowing it to “cook” completely in the lime juice. You’ll need to allow the shrimp to soak in the lime juice for about 4 hours before it’s no longer raw. Or, you could skip the lime soak completely, and just sauté.
Since you only fry the tortillas in about 1/4-inch of oil, heated until it shimmers (no deep fry thermometer necessary here), it all happens very, very quickly and without any fuss.
When they’ve been fried properly, the tostadas are perfectly crisp as soon as they cool. You eat tostadas like an open-faced sandwich, and even though they make a bit of a mess, that’s kind of the point. They won’t shatter on you, though, like packaged tostadas. The tortillas can be made ahead of time, and then quickly fried right before serving. A quick weeknight meal is served!
Neutral oil, for frying (like vegetable oil or peanut oil)
2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp
2 tablespoons (28 g) extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 small or 1 medium-large zucchini, cut into a 1/4-inch dice
Avocado Yogurt Sauce 1 medium ripe avocado
3/4 cup (170 g) plain yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For serving Cotija cheese or queso fresco, crumbled
Chopped fresh cilantro
Make the tostadas. Lay the tortillas out in a single layer on your kitchen counter for about 10 minutes to allow them to dry out a bit. In a 12-inch heavy-bottom skillet, place 1/4-inch oil over medium heat until it shimmers (about 200°F). One at a time, place the tortillas in the hot oil and press down gently with tongs to immerse the tortilla in the oil. The oil will begin to bubble. Continue to cook for about 45 seconds to 1 minute total or until the bubbling begins to subside. Remove the tortilla from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Sprinkle the warm tortilla with about 1 tablespoon of grated Monterey Jack cheese. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
“Pre-cook” the shrimp in lime juice.* Place the freshly-squeezed lime juice in a medium-size bowl and add the raw shrimp. Set the bowl aside, and mix the shrimp gently from time to time to allow all of the shrimp equal time in the lime juice.
*This is an optional step.
Cook the zucchini and shrimp. Heat the olive oil in a medium-size, heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic and sauté, turning the garlic over, until lightly golden brown and very fragrant. Remove and discard the garlic. Add the zucchini, salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until it’s crisp-tender (about 5 minutes). Remove the zucchini and place it in a medium-size bowl, and add the shrimp to the skillet. Cook the shrimp, stirring frequently, just until opaque throughout (about 3 minutes—less if you have soaked the shrimp in lime juice).
Make the avocado sauce. Slice open the avocado, remove the pit and scoop out the flesh. Place the yogurt, and then all of the remaining ingredients, in a blender and blend until smooth.
To serve, top each tostada with zucchini, shrimp, crumbled cheese, avocado sauce and cilantro.
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