Black Bean Tostada Stacks with Fajita Vegetables
This dish is an amalgamation of two of my favorite recipes: Creamy Black Beans and Fajita Veggie Skewers. The former received the seal of approval from my husband Ed, who typically isn’t a fan of beans. The latter features a classic, go-to marinade that will keep your tastebuds guessing. It’s like that moment in “Ratatouille” (genuinely one of my favorite movies of all time) when Remy takes a bite of cheese, then takes a bite of strawberry, then takes a bite of both together. Two delicious items, when combined, have the potential to create an intense flavor explosion. That’s what you get with these tostada stacks!
Now, as you can probably tell by the photos here, we overbaked the tortillas a bit (although they look a million times more burnt than they actually tasted). In the steps below, I made sure to list the amount of time we should’ve cooked them for, so pay attention. To make this dish vegan, omit the queso fresco and be sure to buy a vegan Worcestershire sauce. Also, sometimes we have trouble finding fresno peppers at the store, so feel free to sub in a serrano if need be. You can use whatever veggies you’d like for the fajitas, but if you use an onion, don’t let it marinate with the other veggies or everything will end up tasting like onions. That’s all I’ve got for you! Enjoy!
INGREDIENTS - BLACK BEANS
2 - 14.5 oz. cans black beans, drained
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresno or serrano pepper, de-seeded and diced
1 c. vegetable stock
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped and packed
1 T. cumin
1/2 T. chili powder
1 t. smoked paprika
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 T. olive oil
Optional: queso fresco
INGREDIENTS - FAJITA VEGGIES
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 red onion, cut into chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
Juice of two limes
1 T. white sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. chili powder (yes, really that much!)
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce (can sub in the vegan version)
1 T. cumin
2 t. red pepper flakes
Two ears of corn, husks and silks removed
Additional ingredients: street taco-sized corn tortillas + your favorite salsa
1) Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the sweet potato chunks into the pot, and parboil so that they just start to become soft (otherwise they’ll take forever to cook on the grill). Drain and allow to cool.
2) Once the sweet potato is cooled, place it into a large plastic bag along with the remaining ingredients (except for the corn and red onion). Shake well so that the veggies are fully coated. Let the veggies rest while you prepare the beans.
3) Sauté the onion, garlic and fresno (or serrano) pepper in a pan with olive oil over medium-high heat until the onions are translucent. Add the cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika.
4) Pour in the black beans and vegetable stock and season with lots of freshly cracked black pepper. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid has reduced down.
5) Remove the beans from the heat and smash well with a fork to form a chunky. Stir in the cilantro. If you’re using queso fresco, go ahead and stir that in, too.
6) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, then pour the veggie marinade into a bowl. Thoroughly toss the red onions in the liquid, then start assembly the skewers. Use gloves if you have them, as this marinade is prone to staining. Brush the corn with olive oil.
7) Turn your grill on high. Place the skewers onto the middle of the grill on cook for 16 minutes, flipping the skewers every 4 minutes so that all sides are grilled.
8) Turn off the middle burners but leave the side burners on and close the lid of the grill. Cook for five minutes, flip, then cook for another five minutes. Allow to cool.
9) Spray the corn tortillas with olive oil cooking spray and place them on a pan. Cook for six minutes, flip, then cook for six more minutes.
10) Use a knife to remove the corn kernels from the cob. Assemble the tostadas by spreading the tortillas with a scoop of beans and topping it with fajita veggies and corn. Finish with a drizzle of salsa and top with cilantro and queso fresco, if desired.