New Yorker Paula Disbrowe left city life behind and moved to a Texas ranch in 2002 for a fresh start. Her new book, Cowgirl Cuisine (Harper Collins, $30) contains down-home recipes with cosmopolitan touches and chronicles her journey from city girl to cowgirl. This tangy salad layers cabbage in a spicy, citrusy tofu dressing. Stacked on top of crispy tortillas, the slaw creates unexpected texture and flavor combinations.
Chicken and Citrus Slaw Tostadas
Vegetable oil, for frying
Six 6-inch corn tortillas
3 ounces firm tofu, diced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 small green cabbage, finely shredded (3 cups)
1/4 small red cabbage, finely shredded (1 1/2 cups)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
3 1/2 cups shredded chicken (from 1 medium roast chicken, skin removed)
Lime wedges, for garnish
Additional chopped chipotle chiles in adobo, for garnish
In a small skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add 1 tortilla and fry until golden and crisp, turning once, about 2 minutes. Transfer the tostada (fried tortilla) to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
In a food processor or blender, combine the tofu with the lime juice, vinegar, honey, mustard and chipotle and process until smooth. Add 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a thin stream and process until creamy. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the orange and lime zest and season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, toss the cabbages, onion, carrot and cilantro; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add all but 3 tablespoons of the dressing and toss. Set the tostadas on plates and mound the slaw on top. Add the chicken to the bowl, toss with the reserved 3 tablespoons of dressing and mound on the slaw. Garnish with lime wedges and additional chipotle peppers in adobo, if desired.
Wine recommendations: Some sweetness and lushness of texture will work here, so consider a demi-sec Vouvray like a 2005 from Château Moncontour (88 points, $15) or the Cuvée Tradition (somewhere between sec and demi-sec) from Domaine François Pinon (not yet reviewed; $17). Disbrowe also recommends the Spicewood Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc from Texas.