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Playing Toastachos


  • Corn or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 6-inch corn tortillas
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeo peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (about a scant palmful)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (about 1/3 palmful)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (about 1/3 palmful)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • A small handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • About 2/3 to 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded yellow cheddar
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeo slices, drained
  • Sour cream, for garnish


Serves: 4



Heat a thin layer of oil in a small skillet and fry the tortillas 1 at a time over medium-high heat until golden and crisp. Season with salt.


In a medium non-stick skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown for about 5 minutes. Add half each of the onion and jalapeo, the garlic, chili powder, cumin and coriander; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute. Add the beef stock and lower the heat to a simmer.


In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes with the remaining onion, jalapeo and the cilantro. Season the salsa with salt.


Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook to thicken, about 2 minutes. Stir in cheese to melt. Place a tortilla on each dinner plate. Cover with the meat mixture and cheese sauce then top with the tomato salsa, pickled jalapeos and sour cream.