I’ve loved tostadas since my West Texas youth, when I would get them at Tex-Mex restaurants anytime I wasn’t ordering enchiladas. At home, they may seem a little fussy to make for a single serving, but you can speed things up by using ingredients that you’ve already cooked: the beans, of course, but even potatoes you’ve preboiled (or roasted) in bigger batches. You can also buy tostadas or fry up a dozen tortillas at a time, keeping them in an airtight container for a few days and breaking up some into soups or onto salads if, unlike me, you don’t want tostadas multiple days in a row. Reprinted with permission from Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook by Joe Yonan* © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.
- 1 small (5-ounce) potato, scrubbed but not peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
- ½ avocado, cut into ½ -inch cubes
- 2 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ teaspoon agave nectar
- ½ jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
- Sea salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted shelled pumpkin seeds
- Vegetable oil
- 2 or 3 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Pinch of ground cayenne pepper (optional)
- ½ cup room temperature pinto or black beans, homemade or canned, drained and rinsed
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a simmer and add the potato. Cook until barely tender, 6 to 8 minutes, then drain.
While the potato is boiling, combine the avocado in a small bowl with the green onion, lime juice, honey, jalapeño, and cilantro. Taste and add salt as needed.
Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds into a small skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, shaking the pan frequently, until the pumpkin seeds get golden brown in spots, turn fragrant, and start to pop, a few minutes. Immediately transfer them to a plate to cool; if you leave them to cool in the pan, they can burn.
Into a large skillet, pour oil to a depth of ¼ inch and set over medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the tortillas in a single layer, being careful not to crowd them and working in batches if needed, and pan-fry them on both sides until golden brown and crisp. Use tongs or a slotted spatula to transfer them to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
Increase the heat to medium-high and add the boiled potato cubes. Fry them until golden brown and crisp on two sides, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to another paper towel–lined plate to drain. While the potatoes are still hot, sprinkle them with a little salt and with the smoked paprika and cayenne.
Lay the tostadas out onto a plate. Divide the beans and potatoes among the tostadas. Top with the avocado salsa, sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds, and eat with your hands.
- For lots more Southwestern-style recipes, go to A Southwestern Supper.
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