Tostadas, a Mexican dish that consists of a crisp corn tortillas layered with refried beans and all kinds of other good things, lend themselves well to a variety of palates. Diners can assemble their own, adding what they want, leaving off what they don’t.
So, naturally, they’re perfect for the mixed veggie/carnie house. In this version, the meat-eater gets a healthy dose of spicy, tender shredded chicken slow-cooked in beer; the vegetarian still gets plenty to eat, including delicious, smoky homemade refried black beans. Win all around.
Be sure to bake your tortillas long enough so that they’re nice and crisp, or you might be watching your diners struggle to bite too-chewy tortillas. Not that I’ve ever had that happen. 😉
[box type=”info”] Tip: If you, like me, hate to see half a beer wasted with recipes like this – and you’re not really loving the idea of drinking the remainder as you’re assembling a Crock Pot recipe at 8 a.m. – add the rest to a freezer bag along with the spices, garlic, and onions. Label and freeze. All you’ll have to do is add chicken and the contents of the bag to the slow-cooker the next time around. Easy!
Black Bean Tostadas with Slow-Cooker Cheddar-Beer Chicken (or Not)
- Slow Cooker Cheddar Beer Chicken
- 3 - 4 boneless (skinless chicken breasts or thighs (about 2 pounds))
- 3/4 cup beer (I use Corona)
- 1/2 medium onion (finely chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup grated medium or sharp cheddar cheese
- Black Bean Tostadas
- 8 - 10 six-inch white corn tortillas
- Coarse salt (optional)
- 2 cans black beans (one can drained)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 - 3 teaspoons fresh lime juice (about a half a lime)
- Assorted toppings such as shredded cheddar cheese (lettuce, cabbage, radishes, onions, scallions, avocado, black olives, jalapenos, salsa, sour cream, or guacamole)
- Slow-Cooker Cheddar-Beer Chicken
- Place the chicken, onion, and garlic in the Crock Pot or slow cooker.
- In a small bowl, mix together the beer, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Pour it over the chicken.
- Cook on low for 8 hours, or until the chicken is tender and easily falls apart.
- Using two forks, shred the chicken right in the Crock Pot.
- Stir in the cheddar cheese and cook for another half an hour or so.
- Meanwhile, bake the tortillas, make the beans, and prepare the toppings...
- Black Bean Tostadas
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the tortillas in a single layer on one or two cookie sheets. Brush tortillas with a little cold water, then sprinkle with a little coarse salt (such as kosher salt), if using. Bake for about 12 minutes, turning over halfway through baking time, until crisp. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a medium to large frying pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and the whole garlic cloves. Cook the garlic cloves on each side for about a minute until they begin to brown and become soft. Carefully mush up the garlic in the pan with a fork.
- Pour in the one can of undrained black beans and the one can of drained black beans. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper if using. Heat for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, or until beans are heated through.
- With a fork or a potato masher, carefully mash the beans until your refried beans are the desired consistency. Remove from heat, and drizzle the lime over the top.
- Spread a layer of black beans over a baked tortilla. Top with chicken (if using), then cheese then the other assorted toppings. Serve.