I have been wanting to make these tostadas since June, 2010.

…why the wait?? I couldn’t for the life of me find fresh corn tortillas! The only readily-available tortillas were made of flour, and I wasn’t in the market for pre-made taco shells. So there this recipe sat, at the back of my mind, occasionally sprinting to the forefront, until I came up with a solution to my dilemma. Oh, and it was totally silly that I hadn’t thought of it before…uhh….helllloooo, make your own, Alison. Ohh, riiight. Clearly I had left my mind behind on that fateful June 6th day, a year and a half ago.

Anyway, with the clear and obvious answer in my back pocket, I was ready to go, and it was time to make this recipe-fantasy into a reality.

I found out that homemade, fresh, corn tortillas are really very simple to make and require a mere 3 ingredients! Masa harina (a corn dough flour), water, and a teeny tiny bit of salt. I easily found the corn flour in the regular supermarket, so things were falling into place. To make the tortillas, mix 2 cups of masa with 1/4 tsp salt, and then add 1-1/4 cups of water. Stir with a wooden spoon and then knead, by hand, until soft and pliable. If the mixture is too crumbly, add more water, a bit at a time, until the dough feels like play-dough. You can’t over-knead this dough, because unlike wheat flour, there’s no gluten, so have at it! If your dough is too wet, add more masa, a bit at a time. Once your dough has reached the correct consistency (it really does feel like play-dough…and I’d know: I’ve given my fair share of barber chair play-dough haircuts in my time…), divide it into a-bit-larger-than-golf-ball-sized-balls (you’ll get somewhere between 12-16), and heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Now, if you have a tortilla press, go ahead and use it, but please know that I’m jealous, and if you don’t, bust out a gallon-sized ziploc bag, cut it open on all sides, leaving the zipped part closed. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece of dough (one at a time, of course) in between the two pieces of plastic. Before engaging the rolling pin, I squashed the ball by pressing down on it with a heavy cast iron frying pan, just to flatten it a little. This allowed me to roll it out more easily. Ultimately, they should be very thin and about 6″ in diameter. Carefully peel off the top piece of plastic, then the second flap of plastic, and slap your beautifully-homemade tortilla into the preheated pan for about one minute per side. While it’s cooking, start rolling out another tortilla. When the first one is cooked, transfer it to a plate and cover it lightly with a kitchen towel to keep it soft and warm (and keep piling them up on the same plate, as they cook). Continue until all your homemade, probably rustic-looking, tortillas are cooked. Done deal. Well done.

Alllright. Onward to the tostadas! …hoping that I didn’t lose anyone in the mumble-jumble tortilla paragraph…you could, of course, buy pre-made tortillas if they’re accessible and you’re not a maniac, like me.

Despite having a few steps and components to combine, the tostadas come together fairly quickly and easily. They use canned salmon, but simply-cooked and then diced, fresh salmon, would be even more delicious. That’s my next tostada endeavour. Oh, and you could certainly play around a bit with the recipe, substituting in similar ingredients. It’s totally delicious, as is, but would do well as a skeleton for your own, unique, brain children.

Black Bean & Salmon Tostadas

Adapted from Eating Well

Ingredients

  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 1 6- to 7-ounce can boneless, skinless wild Alaskan salmon, drained
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeños, plus 2 tablespoons pickling juice from the jar, divided
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage (mixture of red and green) or store-bought coleslaw mix
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro + more for garnish, if desired
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons prepared salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 green onions, chopped + more for garnish, if desired
  • Lime wedges (optional)
Directions
  1. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375°F.
  2. Coat tortillas on both sides with a light brushing of olive oil. Place on 2 baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until light brown, 12 to 14 minutes.
  3. Combine salmon, avocado and jalapeños in a bowl. Combine cabbage, cilantro and the pickling juice in another bowl. Process black beans, sour cream, salsa, salt, and scallions in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to small pot and warm.
  4. To assemble tostadas, spread each tortilla with some bean mixture, then some salmon mixture, and top with the cabbage salad.
  5. Garnish with extra cilantro and/or green onions, if using and serve with lime wedges, if desired.

These were texture-liscious! The crunchy tortilla with the smooth black bean puree, and all of the other delights on top, made for a very tasty experience.

Oh, and they are mucho healthy!

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