Before anything else, let me say that no, neither John nor I has been avoiding the blog intentionally and we do apologize for the larger than normal break between posts.
A collection of circumstances completely beyond our control prevented the making of any posts in the last few weeks. Though many an idea has filtered through our collective brain-share and some were even photographed (and will hopefully be posted soon).
The good news though, is that it looks like things appear to be stabilizing a bit. I’m hoping that by March’ish, we’ll be back to 2 or so posts a week.
We also have some devious plans that involve a few changes to the blog including a layout change at some point in the future to make things a little bit brighter.
To get back into the swing of things, I’m following through with a promise to a few folks. I’ve mentioned this recipe in many a conversation and somehow never thought to post it to the blog, perhaps because it was so very simple to make.
When I started to eat healthier, I looked for many a way to avoid having to give up the salty crunch of corn tortillas completely, which logically (for me) led to baking them.
That was step 1, step 2 was trying to perfect the art of baking a tortilla, which is not as simple as it sounds. It’s very easy to burn a batch of tortillas if you don’t pay attention or miss the oven timer. I speak from experience.
While I’d love to claim this is made completely from scratch, the fact is certain tortilla brands from the store work better than anything else when it comes to crisping up in the oven. Not to mention, while I do make (un)refried beans sometimes, a can of low-sodium refried beans in the pantry is a huge time saver.
Needless to say, this is my go-to ‘oh crap there’s nothing thawed/prepped/ready to make for dinner’ meal. It shows up at least twice a month on the dinner table and everyone loves it.
Once you get used to baking the tortillas, it’s a ridiculously simple one-dish dinner that can be made in less than 15 minutes.
Protein, dairy and giant mound o’ vegetables all piled high on a delicious crispy edible platter that also happens to be low in fat, low in sodium and high in fiber and protein.
Nearly a perfect meal.
Oven-Baked Black Bean Tostadas
- 8-10 taco-sized corn tortillas (see notes for recommended brands)
- A good chile powder blend or Mexican spice blend
- Adobo seasoning
- 1 can (16 oz) or 2 cups homemade refried black beans
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack or sharp cheddar cheese
- 2-3 cups chopped greens (I dig a romaine & spinach mix)
- Fresh Cilantro
- Pico de Gallo or Fresh Tomatoes, chopped
- Low-Fat Sour Cream
- Hot Sauce
- Anything else you think would be tasty. Really.
Step 1 : Preheat your oven to 400° F.
Step 2 : Lightly spray one side of each tortilla with cooking spray, then sprinkle with the chile powder blend and adobo seasoning. I do a light sprinkle of each one, not too much. Then flip your tortillas over and repeat the process on the other side. Once both sides are prepped, lay the tortillas flat on a cookie sheet or grill pan (see notes for recommendations). Try not to overlap them!
Depending on the size of the cookie sheet/pan, you may have to bake in batches. I bake 6 at a time on a grill pan that has the holes in the bottom – better hot air circulation while baking.
Step 3 : Bake! 9-10 minutes, until the very outer edge is starting to brown and the middle is not soft.
If your tortillas are thicker, you may need an extra minute or so, but watch them carefully to prevent burning.
Step 4 : While the tortillas are baking, do things like prep veggies, shred your cheese (fresh shredded will always melt better than pre-shredded!) and warm up the refried beans.
The easiest way to warm the beans is to place them in a microwave container and cook for about 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds to distribute heat. Make sure you cover them with something (plastic wrap, a paper towel, etc.) because they will splatter as they heat up.
You need them warm to spread them, trust me.
Step 4 : Once the tortillas are done, remove them from the oven (but don’t turn it off!). Divide your refried beans evenly and spread to cover the entire tortilla, leaving maybe 1/4″ of space around the edge. (I start with a heaping tablespoon on each and then divvy up any leftovers.) Once beans are applied, sprinkle on the cheese. I use about 1/2 oz per tortilla.
Step 5 : And now, they go right back into the oven! Bake again, but this time only for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has done it’s melting thing.
Step 6 : Remove from oven, let cool for about a minute and then serve immediately with any/all additional toppings. Let everyone top their own to ‘customize’ them!
Yield: 8-10 Tostadas, serves 4 hungry adults. (2-3 Tostadas per person)
- I highly recommend Mission Extra Thin Corn Tortillas for oven baking if you can find them, as they seem to crisp up the best. Other good brands include both Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods corn tortillas and any authentic brand that you can find at a local Mex-grocer.
- Arizona Dreaming spice mix from Penzey’s is pretty amazing as a tortilla seasoning and salt free! It’s also pretty hot, so don’t accidentally use too much.
- The pan that I use for this is actually intended for an outdoor grill, but the thing works beautifully in the oven for tortillas, oven-baked fries and a ton of other items. This Cuisinart one is very similar to the one I own. It’s extremely versatile and a great investment.
- Yes, you could use regular old refried beans, but the black bean kind simply has way more flavor.
© 2012, CreativeNoms. All rights reserved.