A taste temptation from south of the border

Marge Poore will be teaching a cooking class at Molly's Gourmet Catering on 10 a.m. Saturday. The class includes a four-course lunch and beverages. There are still a few spaces available. Call Molly's for details. 841-5511. Here are two of Marge Poore's recipes.

Salad Tostada Isadora

Tosadas are crisp-fried corn tortillas topped with just about anything. This refreshing and light topping comes from Isadora Restaurant in Mexico City. Serve as a salad or first course.

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup shredded jicama

3/4 cup very thin strips red bell pepper, about one-inch long

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 4 ounces)

1 Serrano pepper, minced

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 packages tostadas or crisply fried corn tortillas

In a large bowl, combine carrots, jicama, bell pepper, cheese, Serrano pepper, cilantro, olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Toss to mix well.

When ready to serve, place tostadas on individual serving plates. Spoon salad onto tostadas, mounding it up in the centers and leaving a half an inch edge of tostada showing. Serve at once, so tostadas retain their crispness.

Note: I like to shred an extra cup of Monterey Jack. Melt it on the tortillas, and then top with salad.

Chicken Chilaquiles with Green Chile Strips

Chilaquiles make an easy tortilla casserole that's rich and delicious. With salad, it's a complete meal.

Vegetable oil, for frying

10 corn tortillas, halved and cut into half inch strips

2 large poblano peppers

3 chicken breast halves (about one and a half pounds)

1 (14 1/2 ounce) can reduced sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 bay leaf

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (14 1/2 ounce) can ready-cut salsa tomatoes

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese, packed (about 5 ounces)

In a medium skillet, heat 1/2 inch vegetable oil over medium heat. Add tortilla pieces in batches and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Roast poblano peppers over a gas flame or under a broiler as close to heat as possible, turning, until blistered and charred all over, 5 to 10 minutes. Place in a bag to steam for about 5 minutes. Rub skins off; remove seeds and veins. Rinse and pat dry. Cut peppers into strips 1/4 of an inch wide and 2 inches long.

In a medium non-reactive saucepan, place chicken breasts with chicken broth, wine, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until chicken is white in center but still moist. Let cool in broth. When cool enough to handle, pull meat off bones and shred. Discard skin and bones. Reserve 1 cup broth for sauce.

In another medium, non-reactive saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown, about three minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until liquid almost evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add reserved 1 cup broth, poblano peppers strips, and cream. Cook 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Place half of tortilla pieces in bottom of a greased 2 1/2 to 3 quart ovenproof casserole dish. Spoon on a half of chicken and half of tomato sauce. Repeat layers and top with shredded cheese. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.

• Molly Gingell owns Molly's Gourmet Catering, takeout and cooking school at 220 W. John St. in Carson City.


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