Pinto Bean Tostadas

I had kind of a busy week and was unable to post much from my kitchen. I did however acquire a pound of dried pinto beans that I cooked up for dinner Sunday. As a matter of fact I just finished them up today for lunch. It’s been a while since I cooked an entire pound. I actually forgot how many servings it made. I think next time I’ll cut this recipe in half since I’m only cooking for two. Other than the beans the ingredient list I give you will be per four servings to make it easier. I will say one of  the nice things about cooked beans is they do freeze well should you choose to cook an entire pound. You will also notice for the toppings that I call for cabbage and not lettuce. This is something I started doing after several SCUBA trips to Central America. They serve all of their food topped with cabbage instead of lettuce. I’m guessing it started due to the hot climate and the fact that cabbage stays fresh longer. I think once you try it you will be surprised how much better it is than lettuce. Here is what you will need.

Ingredients for the initial cooking of the beans

1 pound of dried pinto beans soaked overnight and drained

2 onions cut in half

3 garlic cloves peeled and left whole

2 celery stalks broken into large chunks

1 small handful of cilantro

6 cups of water

Directions: Place all ingredients into a pressure cooker and cook on high pressure until done. Mine took 10 minutes. Remove all of the vegetables and discard. Drain beans reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid. Alternately simmer the beans on the stove top covered with 2 inches of water until done. This may take 1 to 1 1/2hrs. You can also use drained and rinsed canned beans just make sure to add 2 cups of water or vegetable broth for the next step. Set beans aside.

Ingredients for the next step.

2 onions chopped fine

3 garlic cloves pressed or chopped

1 poblano pepper chopped fine

2 teaspoons of cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 chipotle en adobo chopped into a paste (easily found in Mexican isle of grocery stores)

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican if possible)

salt and pepper to taste.

Directions: Saute the onions, garlic, and poblano until partially soft. Add the salt, pepper and remaining spices and saute for a few minutes until the spices release their fragrance. Add the beans and 2 cups of reserved cooking water and simmer until the beans are very soft (10 to 20 minutes). When soft, mash half of the beans in the pot with a potato masher or immersion blender.

Ingredients for the toppings : (per 4 tostadas) 

1 cup of shredded cabbage

juice of one lime

salt and pepper to taste

1 tomato

1 avocado

3 tablespoons of cilantro

chunky salsa

queso fresco cheese shredded

sour cream 

Directions: Place shredded cabbage in a bowl and squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime over the top. Salt and pepper to taste, mix well and set aside. Chop the tomato, avocado and cilantro and place in a bowl. Squeeze the other half of the lime over the top, mix well and set aside.

Putting it all together: Warm tostada shells in a 350 degree oven for 3 minutes. Spread hot beans over the shells. Place 1/4 of the cabbage on top of each shell. Top the cabbage with the chunky salsa. On top of the salsa place 1/4 of the tomato avocado and cilantro mixture. Top with the queso fresco and sour cream. Serve with sides of your choice.

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