Turkey Tostada Ensalada

Turkey Tostada Ensalada

Prep Time


Cook Time




Recipe courtesy of the National Turkey Federation and Chef/Owners Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of Border Grill Santa Monica and Border Grill Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Milliken’s turkey tostada includes grilled turkey breast, chunky guacamole, black beans, and a mixture of shredded cabbage and salsa fresca dressed with red wine vinaigrette. It is served on crispy corn tortillas and garnished with a sprinkling of Cotija, a popular Mexican cheese, as well as a touch of crema and chopped cilantro.


  • For Black Beans - Yield 1 Gallon: 2-1/2 Pounds dry black beans (organic)
  • 3-1/2 Quarts cold water
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 Pound butter
  • 3/4 Pound yellow onion, 1/4-inch dice
  • For Red Wine Vinaigrette - Yield: 7-1/2 cups: 3 Cups red wine vinegar
  • 4-1/2 Cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 5 Tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 Cup ground black pepper
  • For Salsa Fresca - Yield 1 Gallon: 30 Each Roma tomatoes (3 pounds diced)
  • 1 Pound red onions
  • 1/4 Pound jalapeños
  • 4 Ounces fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • For Grilled Turkey Breast: 4 Ounces fresh epazote (leaves only)
  • 2 Ounces fresh oregano
  • 4 Cups pure olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 Ounce whole allspice
  • 2 Ounces fresh garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 9 to 10 Pounds BONE-IN TURKEY BREAST, skin removed, cut into thin scallops (see instructions below)
  • For Chunky Guacamole - Yield 1/2 Gallon: 9 Pounds Hass #2 avocados
  • 1/2 Pound red onions
  • 1-1/2 Ounces jalapeños
  • 1 Ounce fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3/4 Cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • For Greens Mixture: 1-1/2 Cups very thinly shredded romaine (paper thin shreds)
  • 1-1/2 Cups very thinly shredded green cabbage (paper thin shreds)
  • 1/2 Cup Salsa Fresca
  • 1-1/2 Ounces Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • To Taste salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Ingredients for Assembly: 2 (6-inch) corn tortillas, fried
  • 1/4 Cup Chunky Guacamole
  • 6 Tablespoons Black Beans
  • 2 Tablespoons small dice red onion
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Ounces Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • To Taste salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Teaspoons Cotija cheese
  • 1/2-Ounce crema


  • 1 To prepare black beans: Rinse beans in cold water and discard any stones or impurities that float to the surface. If possible, soak beans overnight. If not possible to soak, then drain and set aside.
  • 2 In a large, thick bottomed pot, add beans and cold water. Cover and bring to a boil.
  • 3 Reduce heat and slowly simmer, covered, for 2 hours from time of boil until beans are tender. Add salt.
  • 4 In a rondo, cook onions in butter until caramelized.
  • 5 Add 1/4 amount of cooked beans & liquid to onion mixture and cook another 10-15 minutes until beans are very soft and refried. Add this mix back into main pot of beans and stir to combine.
  • 6 Remove beans from heat. With large potato mashers, mash beans until they are smooth and the entire mixture has a shiny gloss. (There should be no whole beans).
  • 7 Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Place in shallow containers with ice wands to cool. When cool, place in containers with name and date for storage. Hold for service in the refrigerator.
  • 8 To prepare red wine vinaigrette: Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth and emulsified. Place in squirt bottles with name for storage.
  • 9 Hold for service in refrigerator.
  • 10 To prepare salsa fresca: Remove tomato cores and seeds and reserve for other usage. Dice tomatoes into 1/4-inch and place in a large stainless steel bowl.
  • 11 Skin onions and dice into a small, 1/8-inch cut. Add to the bowl.
  • 12 Stem and seed jalapeños and dice into a small, 1/8-inch cut. Add to bowl.
  • 13 Stir in chopped cilantro, lime juice and salt. Mix well and taste. Adjust seasoning, if necessary, based on freshness of tomatoes and jalapenos. (Tomatoes may require more or less lime juice based on seasonality and jalapeños will be spicier in the summer.)
  • 14 Place in plastic container with name and date for storage. Hold for service.
  • 15 To prepare grilled turkey breast: Fine chop herbs and place in a stainless steel bowl. Puree oil, pepper, allspice and garlic in a blender until allspice is ground and all whole pieces are processed.
  • 16 Combine oil mixture with herbs.
  • 17 Purchase precut turkey scallops or cut scallops from a turkey breast. (Remove skin from turkey breast and trim away any fat. Place breast on cutting surface and carve into thin slices/scallops.)
  • 18 To grill turkey, drain off as much marinade as possible (to avoid flare-up). Place on the grill, salt lightly and grill for approximately 1 minute per side until just done. Do not overcook.
  • 19 Cool slightly. Dice into 1-inch cuts. Cover and chill. Hold for service in refrigerator.
  • 20 To prepare chunky guacamole: Pit and peel avocados into a large bowl.
  • 21 With a chef's knife, cut into each avocado first horizontally and then vertically, creating a rough dice about the size of a quarter. Set aside.
  • 22 Dice onions into a small, 1/8-inch cut.
  • 23 Stem and seed jalapeños and dice into a small 1/8-inch cut. Chop cilantro.
  • 24 Place onions, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice and salt into bowl with avocado and mix with a stainless spoon until all are just combined. Do not over mash the guacamole. (The avocado will mash more to size simply from the process of mixing).
  • 25 Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. (Avocados may require more or less lime juice and salt based on seasonality and jalapeños will be spicier in the summer.)
  • 26 Cover and label with name and date for storage.
  • 27 To prepare greens mixture: Toss romaine, cabbage, salsa, vinaigrette and salt and pepper in a bowl until well combined. Taste for seasoning and set aside while assembling order.
  • 28 To assemble: Per order: place 2 tostada shells on plate.
  • 29 Spread guacamole over the entire surface of each shell so that none of the tortilla is showing through. Do the same with the beans.
  • 30 Toss diced turkey, onion, cilantro and vinaigrette with salt & pepper to taste. Divide evenly and spread over tostada shells.
  • 31 Top with the Greens Mixture so that there are neat mounds atop the tostadas.
  • 32 Garnish by sprinkling cotija cheese and crema over top. Add additional cilantro for colorful garnish.


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