Cilantro Sour Cream Dip and Tostadas

We have been having a lot of conversations lately in our house about whether foods are finger foods or fork foods.  My 12 year old is the chief offender of eating with his hands.  In his defense, he is a great eater and his messy eating struggles really have to do with the passion with which he eats his food! (He comes by this passion honestly.)  He wants to get more in a bite than the fork sometimes can capture.  We occasionally joke about sending our family to manners classes or Cotillion… but we are not really serious about this.   We just remind them, when necessary, that “this is a fork food”, or “put your other hand in your lap while you are eating to keep it out of the food”.  I tell my son that, perhaps he just lives in the wrong country. “In India they eat with their hands as a normal custom.  They scoop the food with Naan and use their hands as their main utensils.  It is culturally appropriate.” He nods. “In India.”

A favorite meal lately in our house has been Tostadas.  People define them differently, but basically- in our home – they are a flat, open faced taco pile.  I don’t know if you make them, but I like that they are a change of pace from soft tacos and burritos and yet a lot easier to fill and eat than hard shell tacos. AND they can be eaten with your hands (forks are optional).

They are so delicious, quick and made-to-order!  We made them with leftover rotisserie chicken and refried beans last week.

We make them by putting the meat or beans on a flat taco shell and top with shredded cheese
and warm on a baking sheet in the oven for a few minutes until it’s warm and the cheese is melted.  

Guacamole- [My favorite way to whip up some guac is: 2 ripe avocados, smashed; 2 cloves of minced garlic; the juice of one lime; a sprinkle of coarse salt; and a large spoonful of salsa (whatever is nearby). Stir and eat. YUMMY!]
Then we remove it from the oven, place on plates, and top with lettuce, tomato, sour cream and guacamole.  

We typically use tostada shells that you buy in a bag (or a box) at the grocery, though sometimes we bake tortillas for a few minutes to crisp them up and use them when we don’t have hard shells.  I have never fried tortillas to make my own tostada shells (because a large motivation for me to make this meal is the EASE of it), but you could.

And to add some excitement to the meal you need to try this dip!

A few weeks ago, at the Social Work department Chili supper that I wrote about, my student Bryan brought this delicious dip to share! He had asked me at class earlier in the week if the students were to bring anything.  I told him that he was free to bring anything if he wanted to, but nothing was required, or expected.  He brought a bowl of this dip and we were glad he did!

It’s tangy, creamy and so flavorful.  You can alter the amount of kick it has to your liking.

It’s similar to Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeño dip, if you have ever had it (just a little thicker).

Cilantro Sour Cream Dip

16 oz. sour cream
1 jalapeno
1 bunch of cilantro
1 clove garlic
1/2 package of dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
juice of 1 lime

Seed and chop the jalapeños (You can leave in just a bit of the seeds and membrane if you like the dip to be spicier.)
Wash and trim the cilantro of thick or long sections of stem.
Chop garlic cloves
Juice lime
In a food processor or blender, add all of the ingredients.  Pulse till it is a soft and creamy constancy.
Serve with chips, on tacos, as a mexican taco salad dressing.


P.S. I asked my son’s permission to write about this “eating fork food with hands situation” on my blog. He said,  “well, it’s true, so yes, you have my permission”.

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