Wild Mushroom Tostadas with Whipped Queso Fresco & Cilantro-Cotija Pesto
WHAT YOU NEED
- For the Cilantro-Cotija Pesto:
- 1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
- ½ bunch fresh cilantro, stems trimmed 2 inches from the bottom
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup olive oil, plus extra for storage
- ½ serrano chile or 1 jalapeño, coarsely chopped (include seeds for additional spice)
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup crumbled Cacique Cotija
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Tostadas:
- 8 ounces Cacique Queso Fresco
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound Portobello or hen of the woods mushrooms
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 sprig fresh thyme, just the leaves
- 4 six-inch corn tostada shells (store bought is fine)
- 1 lime, quartered
HOW TO MAKE IT
- To make the Cilantro-Cotija Pesto, combine the cilantro, basil and olive oil into a food processor and purée for 1 to 2 minutes. Add chile, garlic, pumpkin seeds, and cotija to the food processor, and pulse until you have a coarse purée. The final product should resemble a paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Then, clean the inside of the food processor.
- In the cleaned-out food processor, combine the Cacique Queso Fresco and heavy cream, then whip to a smooth and spreadable consistency, which should resemble cream cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- If using Portobello, slice into strips about ⅓ of an inch wide. If using hen of the woods, pull apart into small clusters.
- Heat oil in a cast iron or heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms in an even layer, being careful not to crowd the pan. Let the mushrooms brown slightly for about 3 to 4 minutes, then add the shallots and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the garlic and shallots from burning. Add the fresh thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, then transfer to a bowl and taste for seasoning.
- To assemble the tostadas, spread 2 ounces of the whipped Cacique Queso Fresco mixture onto each shell. Top with ¼ of the sautéed mushrooms and drizzle with about 2 Tbsp. of the Cilantro-Cotija Pesto. Serve immediately with a lime wedge.