Monday, April 4, 2011
Chipotle Bean Tostadas
Have you ever made a fresh pot of beans? There is nothing like them and they don't even compare to what you buy in a can at the store. They taste so fresh and just free of "stuff." If you've never made your own beans, you should at least try once, it's about the easiest thing you can do. Just add water and boil. You can buy uncooked beans in 1-2 pound packages at your local market but they are not usually the freshest and take longer to cook, though they can still turn out a good product as long as you cook it long enough. I like to buy my beans at my local WinCo where they have a nice selection of bulk foods that tend to be more fresh since they are stocked more frequently.
I grew up eating tostadas a lot so this concept was nothing new to me, but I was used to topping them a little differently. I think these more closely resemble an authentic Mexican Tostada and boy are they good! Topped with beans, tomatoes, cilantro, radishes and queso fresco, they are pretty simple, but feel free to add salsa, Crema Mexicana (or sour cream), lettuce, guacamole, olives, you name it! You can buy pre-made tostada shells, but frying them up at home only takes a little time and effort.
Chipotle Bean Tostadas
For the beans
1 lb. dry pinto beans (about 2 cups)
2 quarts of water
Rinse beans and remove any bad beans, pieces of dirt or stones.
Put the beans in a pot and cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered for about 2-3 hours (time will vary depending on the freshness of the beans). The beans are done when they are soft and skins are just beginning to break open.
Strain beans of cooking water and return them to the pot. Add about 1/4 cup (or more) water and either mash with a potato masher or use a stick blender to puree the beans. Add salt to taste.
For the tostada shells
1/2 cup high flash-point vegetable oil, such as grapeseed oil, peanut oil, or canola oil
1 dozen corn tortillas
To prepare the tortillas, heat the oven to 200°F. Line a baking pan with paper towels and place next to the stove. Heat 5 Tbsp of oil in a small skillet on medium high heat, until the bubbles form immediately when you insert the edge of a tortilla in it. Using tongs, place a tortilla in the hot oil and let cook until golden brown on both sides, about 30 seconds per side. You can use a metal spatula to flatten down the tortilla while cooking.
Use tongs to lift the cooked tortilla out of the pan, allowing the excess oil to drip off of it, back into the pan. Place the cooked tortilla on the paper towels to absorb more of the oil. Sprinkle a little salt onto each warm tortilla. Do each tortilla one at a time this way. As you fill up a baking pan, put the pan in the oven to keep the tortillas warm.
Add more oil as needed. Carefully monitor the oil temperature. Don't let it get too hot, or the tortillas will burn, or too cool - they won't fry up crisp enough.
For the Tostadas
4 cups smashed pinto beans
4 tsp. Chipotle Tabasco Sauce (not regular)
1 tsp. cumin
1 dozen tostada shells
Cotija, Queso Fresco or Feta cheese
finely diced fresh tomato
thinly sliced red radishes
cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Just after finishing cooking the beans and while they are still warm, add the chipotle tobasco sauce and cumin. Adjust seasonings if necessary. If beans are too thick, add more water, if they are too thin, cook them down a bit.
To assemble the tostadas, spread 3-4 Tbsp. of the beans on each tostada shell. Either top with tomatoes, cilantro, radishes and cheese and serve or put the topping in separate bowls on the table and let each person top their tostada how they wish. Garnish with additional toppings as desired.
SOURCE:Adapted from Simply Recipes
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