I'm going to try to turn over a new leaf... I plan to write a bit more frequently now, at least once a week! More than four months since my last post is a bit too long... *gulp
My first new post in a million years is a new recipe for you to try at home. It's fairly simple to put together and is also quite nutritious (and delicious) as it utilizes many fresh ingredients that happen to be in season in my neck of the woods right now. I cook a lot of Mexican/Tex-Mex this time of the year for these reasons. I came up with this recipe using two sources:
(three if you count my creative brain)
1) this recipe from theKitchen.com (my new favorite website)
2) the August 2012 issue of Cooking Light magazine (p.74)
NOTE: I decided to toast the tostadas instead of fry them so as to save my cardiovascular system a little stress and also to save time in cleaning up the kitchen.
Summer Garden Tostadas with Cilantro Dressing!
First off, the ingredients list:
For the Cilantro Dressing:
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup Greek yogurt
a pinch of salt to taste (just a tiny bit)
juice of 1/2 lime
zest of 1 lime
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
For the Tostadas:
1 can of black beans (can use 2 cups prepared dry black beans instead)
2 ears of shucked corn (can substitute 2 cups frozen or canned, but it just won't be the same) :(
1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes halved (quartered if larger)
1/2 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons of butter/bacon grease
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup of water
extra fresh cilantro
~6 tortillas (6 inch size)
Secondly, the instructions:
First, prepare the shucked corn by slicing off the kernels with a sharp knife and setting them aside. The kernels tend to fly all over the kitchen when you are slicing, so I recommend doing this over a bowl. I learned this the hard way, and ended up spending ten minutes hunting down the escapees across the kitchen floor. Second, prepare the dressing by combining all of the ingredients except the oil and salt in a food processor until mixed (the cilantro shouldn't be liquified, just chopped). Add the oil a little at a time while processing and then finish by adding the salt to taste. The consistency should be similar to tzatziki: kind of lumpy (even though it is not a very 'yummy' word). Preheat the oven to a low heat (~250 degrees F/ ~120 degrees C).
Next, melt the butter/bacon grease in a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. When it has fully melted, add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the cumin, chili powder, and lime juice and stir to combine. After a minute, you have to decide whether you want to have the corn warm mixed with the beans or to have them raw sprinkled on top of the tostadas: YOU GET TO CHOOSE! Either way is fine, but they will be more crisp raw. If you choose to add them to the beans, add them to the onions now. Then, stir the beans and water into the onions and cook uncovered until the water is gone, mashing them a little with the back of a spoon or spatula (5-10 minutes). Remove from the heat.
Warm the tortillas in the oven on a baking sheet for 2-3 minutes per side, flipping halfway through (longer if you would prefer them more toasted). Finally, triumphantly top the twice-toasted tortillas with the bean mixture, corn, tomatoes, cilantro and the cilantro dressing. You can also add crumbled queso fresco or shredded monterey jack cheese if you'd like, and if you are feeling AWESOME you can add a fried egg on top to seal the deal. Now you can EAT THE FOOD!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! It is something that is easy to whip up on a weeknight and lends itself to innumerable variations. If you don't like cilantro, substitute any type of salsa for the dressing. If you are not a bean-and-corn person, try guacamole with fire-roasted peppers instead! There are so many possibilities: that is why I really enjoy cooking!