Shredded chicken and refried beans are well known toppings for tostadas, and since my previous post featured pickled fish on the crispy tortillas, I wanted a milder choice this time. Also, for vegetarians, omitting the fish in that recipe would lead to a low-protein and not very satisfying dish; this option will still have tons of flavour without the chicken, with the beans and dairy ingredients as a very good source of protein.
Bean (and Chicken) Tostadas –
Tostadas de frijol (y pollo)
12 tostadas (packaged, or homemade*)
1 cup refried beans
2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded (optional)
Lettuce, white onion and avocado, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded Cotija cheese (light feta works, as well)
Mexican sauce, homemade (try one of my recipes!) or bottled
I used packaged tostadas, and baked them in the oven at 400°F (205°C) for about one minute to restore freshness (watch carefully, they burn fast). * For homemade tostadas: brush day-old corn tortillas with oil on both sides, and bake at 400°F (205°C) just until crispy. The original technique is to deep-fry them.
It is not very common to find refried black beans in a can around here, but I saw this brand at an international market, and decided to give it a try. It was also nice that they contained no lard, so it was vegetarian-friendly. I will probably post about refried beans soon, and how to make them at home, since dry, and canned, whole black beans are more readily available. Pinto beans would work well, too (again, vegetarians must check the ingredient list.)
Preparation was as simple as spreading refried beans on the tostadas, topping with chicken (if using), lettuce, and onions, then adding a dollop of cream, sprinkling cheese, and finishing with sauce and a slice of avocado. I photographed my own tostada, with chicken (at the top of the post), and it was crunchy delicious, but the vegetarian ones were equally enjoyed with guilt-free indulgence.