I have met people who will not eat Mexican food because they claim it’s too messy. While that sounds like a silly reason for refusing a whole cuisine, I have to agree that tostadas certainly are a case in point: pile a fried corn tortilla high with beans, salsa, avocado, onions, cilantro and whatever else you fancy and take a bite. Pretty much guaranteed that something will not make it into your mouth!
But for me that is all the fun. First you get a taste of this open-faced delight and as some parts fall onto your plate you get to scoop up some more with your fork or a fried corn chip, reminding you of just how fun this meal is.
An additional bonus is that this can be a pantry meal – canned beans, salsa, guacamole – and that makes dinner super fast. On the other hand, with a bit of planning you can make your own homemade refried beans and feel pretty satisfied with your Mexican cooking know-how.
This version of home-style refried beans comes curtsey of the best Mexican cook I know who told me that all I needed was to fry dried chilies in a little oil, remove and add beans. Simple, authentic, easy and delicious! Just my style. If you’re looking for something a little more gringo and hippie, check out this version from the Moosewood Collective.
Refried Bean Tostadas
shredded cheese (monterey jack, cheddar, colby or a mix)
minced cilantro and red onion
hot sauce to taste
oil for frying (peanut, sunflower, safflower)
In large skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Fry tortillas until crisp, turning once and draining on paper towels. Serve with remaining ingredients so that diners can top as they like.