Black Bean Tostadas with Handcrafted Tortillas and Salsa Fresca


SourceJr Iron Chef Vermont: Gold Medal Chefs
Prep time1 hour
Cooking time
Total time1 hour


Works great as an appetizer or a meal! The fresh salsa and hand made tortillas are fantastic and surprisingly easy to prepare. Having a tortilla press on-hand is useful, but not necessary.


2 cups
1 1/2 cup
water (hot)
1/2 teaspoon
sea salt
2 cups
canola oil (for frying)
15 ounces
beans, refried black
1 1/4 teaspoon
chili powder (divided)
1/4 teaspoon
garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon
onion powder
pepper, jalapeño (sliced finely)
cucumber (peeled and chopped)
onion, white (diced)
tomato (diced)
1/8 cup
cilantro (chopped, plus 1/4 cup)
lime (juiced)
2 teaspoons
oregano, dried
1 1/2 cup
cheese, cheddar (shredded)
scallion (chopped)
1 cup
sour cream
avocado (sliced)
15 ounces
corn (optional)


To make the tortillas

Mix cornmeal, salt, and hot water in bowl. Cover and let sit for 1 hour.

Roll the tortilla mixture into little two-inch balls (about the size of a golf ball). If you have a tortilla press, place the dough in the press between two pieces of wax paper and press flat. In lieu of a tortilla press, use two flat plates nested together, a flat pan against the counter, or a quick roll of a rolling pin.

Cook the flattened dough in a dry frying pan over medium high heat for 1 minute on each side. Transfer to a separate pan with a light layer of canola oil over medium high heat, and fry until crispy and golden brown on both sides. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to cool. Repeat pressing, cooking, and frying for the rest of the dough.

Prepare the salsa and black beans

In the meantime, prepare the other ingredients. Cut jalapeños and cucumbers into slices. Dice onions and tomatoes. Chop scallions and cilantro. Juice the lime. Grate the cheddar cheese.

In a large bowl, combine salsa veggies together, and toss/mix. Pour lime juice into mixture and add 1/8 cup cilantro. Add the chili powder, salt, and oregano. Mix well, taste, and adjust the seasoning.

Cook black beans. Remember, we don’t want these to get cold by the time it is served, so cook towards the end. When ready, add onion powder, and another 1/2 tsp chili powder.

As you get closer to serving time, prepare the avocado.

Construct the tostadas

Place toppings on the tortillas in layers starting with the beans, then cheese, corn, salsa fresca, scallions, cilantro, sour cream, and finally avocado. Serve and enjoy!