The Most Delicious Tostada with Queso & Salsa Fresca – The Perfect Father’s Day Recipe

I recently teamed up with Toronto Taste to help spread the word about the incredible work they do for Second Harvest food rescue. Along the way I tried making some of the recipes from their cookbook and fell deeply for Carbon Bar’s Tostadas. Tender brisket, hot cheesy queso, spicy salsa fresca all loaded on top of a freshly fried tostado –  YES PLEASE!

When considering what to make this Father’s Day for dinner this dish came to mind immediately. Though it has a laundry list of ingredients, the brisket is make ahead and you can also pre-prep the salsa fresca and opt to by pre-fried tostados (though nothing beats the crisp of a fresh fry!) Making it in phases makes it less daunting and gives you more time to enjoy the process.

The recipe is based around a smoked prime brisket but unfortunately I don’t have a smoker so instead opted to use my slow cooker and I was still happy with the results – who doesn’t love a so-tender-it-falls-apart-with-a-fork-brisket? Plus a slow cooker seriously just makes life easier – set it and forget it! I found the tostados hard to find in Toronto and when even the local Mexican tortilla spot was sold out I opted to fry up some fresh corn ones and they were delish. I love La Tortilleria’s corn tortilla’s!

This recipe is awesome for a crowd and perfect for Father’s Day. Here’s how:



For the brisket:

  • 3-4 lb USDA prime brisket, cleaned
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 red or white onions chopped
  • ground pepper
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp of tamari or soy sauce


For the queso:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced then crushed
  • 3 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 2 chipotle chiles, diced (canned in adobo sauce)
  • 3 cups, 10% cream
  • 1 tbsp sweet Spanish paprika
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 8 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 16 oz smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbsp salt

Salsa Fresca

  • 2 medium sized ripe tomatoes diced
  • 3 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed into paste
  • 1/3 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 2/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 limes, juiced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cracked pepper


How To:

The Brisket

The Salsa Fresca

  • Chop all of the chopped and diced ingredients into a large mixing bowl
  • Mix well
  • Once combined cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
  • (you can make this the day before or at least 30 mins before serving)


  • saute shallots, garlic and jalapeños in butter over medium heat in a heavy bottom pot
  • once the shallots are translucent add in the cream and reserve 4 tbsp
  • add in the paprika and chillies and stir
  • in another saucepan add the remaining 4 tbsps of cream and whisk in the cornstarch
  • once the mixture comes to a simmer, lower the temp to medium low
  • add the cornstarch mixture to the large pot
  • stir in the cream cheese and mustard
  • slowly start to add the shredded cheese while stirring
  • stir until the sauce comes together
  • salt to taste
  • *note this recipe makes quite a bit of queso but who doesn’t like a little extra queso for dipping?

To Assemble

  • pull apart some of the brisket into bite sized pieces and place on the tostado (Carbon suggests two slices of brisket per tostado)
  • pile on some salsa and top with a generous drizzle of queso

To learn more about Second Harvest and the amazing work they do, check them out HERE.







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