Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Black Bean Tostadas with Salsa Verde

My obsession with making tostadas at home runs deep. This recipe is one that I fall back on time and time again. {Frankly, I'm not really sure why I haven't shared it with you over the course of the six years I've been blogging.} Tostadas are a great meal option for several reasons. They provide an opportunity to have a meatless meal that is still satisfying and packed with good nutrition. Also, they are pretty inexpensive to make. The preparation of the beans is mostly hands-off, so there's not a ton of work that goes into the main component of the recipe. And, cooked beans hold well on the stove and, also, reheat well. {A lifesaver for families who may not always get to eat at the same time}.

 

We aim to eat together as much as possible, but it's just not always realistic with a hubby who often works twelve-hour shifts and teenagers with full schedules. I'm often keeping food warm for those getting home late. I really do cleave to recipes that work within the realms of our hectic lifestyle. Tostadas fit the bill.

A FEW NOTES ABOUT THE RECIPE:

I prefer using a package of dry black beans that I soak overnight and cook the next afternoon for this recipe. I, personally, just find this method is totally worth the effort. However, starting from canned black beans is totally fine if you're in a pinch or don't want to mess with soaking dry beans.
I, also, like to fry soft corn tortillas at home myself. But, crispy tostadas are easily found in the supermarket. They're already fried and ready to go.
I do like to make salsa verde from scratch. But, there are several store-bought varieties that are good, too. If you do make it yourself, know that the leftovers keep in the fridge for use throughout the week. {It's great with chips. }
Once the beans are done, I get all of the garnishments prepped and waiting on stand-by. {The sky really is the limit on what you include for this aspect of the recipe - lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños, black olives, shredded cabbage, onions - whatever your family likes.} I often have the garnishments ready in my vegetable tray that has little compartments for the different items. The fried tortillas keep well in the warm oven. The beans do well on warm on the stove. {Just add a splash of hot water if they get a little dry.}

With a dinner as simple to have on stand-by as this one, I'd say you're ready to add Black Bean Tostadas to your regular recipe arsenal.

Yields 12 servings.
{NOTE:  Leftover beans freeze well.}


Ingredients:

FOR THE BEANS -

1 {16 ounce} package dry black beans, sorted
Cool water
4 garlic cloves, peeled and slightly smashed
1 large onion, peeled and cut in half
1 tablespoon diced jalapeño, if spicy beans are desired
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
2 - 3 heaping teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoons chili powder
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

FOR THE FRIED CORN TORTILLAS -

12 small soft corn tortillas
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
Kosher salt

GARNISHMENTS/TOPPINGS:

Shredded cheese or a crumbled Mexican cheese
Shredded lettuce or cabbage
Thinly sliced radishes
Thinly sliced red onions
Slivers of jalapeño
Sliced black olives
Sliced or diced avocado
Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
Sour cream
Lime wedges, for squeezing over tostadas
Salsa Verde {my homemade recipe HERE} or store-bought

Directions:

FOR THE BEANS -

The night before, soak sorted beans in a large bowl by covering with water. When ready to cook beans, drain and transfer beans to a large pot. Cover with cool water. Add garlic cloves and halved onion. Bring to a boil - uncovered - over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low. Continue to cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours - stirring occasionally - until beans are tender. Most of the water should evaporate. However, do not allow it all to evaporate until the very end to ensure beans do not burn.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add cooked beans {discard garlic and onion}, jalapeño {if using} and spices. Mash beans with a potato masher {leave a bit intact, as desired}. Season with salt and pepper, as needed. {Adjust amount of other spices, as desired.} After 3 - 4 minutes, reduce heat to low. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve. Additional water can be added, if needed, prior to serving to moisten beans.

Meanwhile, prepare corn tortillas by heating oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Working one at time, fry tortillas - 30 seconds on each side - until crisp. Season each lightly with salt. Transfer to a warm oven until time of service.

To assemble, spread each fried tortilla with a thin layer of beans. Top with desired garnishments and serve with Salsa Verde.








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