Tostadas with Black Beans, Chile Seitan, and Avocado (with Video)

I created this late one night when I was craving Mexican food. I had a bag of older masa in my refrigerator that I was getting ready to toss and then I hit upon the idea of crisping it into an unfried tostada directly on the griddle. Add some black beans, ancho flavored seitan, avocado, and toasted chiles de arbol and it turned into the perfect late night meal.

TostadasLarge

Time to Make: 10 to 15 minutes
Makes 2 tostadas

Ingredients

Enough masa to form into two 1 1/2 inch balls or two storebought tortillas
6 tablespoons of refried black beans
1 cup of seitan strips
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of Mexican oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons of ancho powder
1/2 cup of water
1/2 of an avocado, diced
Squeeze of lime for each tostada
4 to 6 chiles de arbol, toasted

Instructions

If you are using storebought tortillas, don’t toast them in the oven. You won’t get the toasty flavor from the griddle. You’ll just get a hard tortilla. Bring a griddle to a medium heat and toast your tortillas for 3 to 5 minutes per side. Check them and when they are crisp, you are done. There will be some charring, but that’s part of the flavor.

“I used to use storebought tortillas until I made my first fresh one. It was like the difference between eating freshly ground pepper and canned ground pepper. Once pops with flavor and the other tastes like flavored cardboard.”

To make your own unfried tostadas from fresh masa, roll a ball of masa into a ball about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Make sure to get your griddle to just above a medium heat before you start working. Lay a sheet of plastic on your tortilla press and place the masa ball just off center towards the hinges. Lay another sheet of plastic over the ball large enough to cover the entire plate of the press. Press the tortilla. Remove the tortilla from the plastic. Repeat this with as many tostadas as you want to make. Lay them on the griddle. After about 30 seconds, flip them. Let them sit on the hot griddle for 4 to 5 minutes, then flip them and repeat. Do this until the tortillas are crisp.

“Here’s an important tip. Don’t add any tortillas to the griddle until you are done pressing all of them. They need to be flipped after about 30 seconds and it’s more efficient to slide them off the tortilla press and leave them in the plastic while you press the others than it is to manage both the griddle and the press at the same time.”

While the tortillas are toasting, bring a pan to a medium heat. Add the seitan, salt, oregano, and chile powder. Give this a quick stir and immediately add the water. Let the water cook out. Once it has, move the seitan to the side of the pan. Add the beans to the cleared side of the pan and let them warm for about 1 to 2 minutes.

“I love the deep red color the seitan turns when it simmers down in the ancho infused water.”

Spread the beans on the tortillas and top with the seitan. Dice the avocado and add about 1/4 of an avocado to each tostada. Give each tostada a squeeze of fresh lime. Press the chiles de arbol on the hot griddle for 10 to 30 seconds. 10 will be enough to toast them and 30 will be enough to slightly char them. Remove the stems and add them to the top of your tostada.

“If you don’t like as much heat as I do, you can either omit the chiles de arbol or you can just use the lower half of the chiles. Most of the heat resides in the upper half of the chile.”

Nutrition Info

Calories 314
Fat 6 g
Carbohydrates 34 g
Fiber 11 g
Sugar 1 g
Protein 31 g
Sodium 516 mg

Equipment

Griddle
Spatula
Pan
Stirring Spoon
Spoon
Measuring Spoon
Measuring Cup
Knife