I’ve been wanting to make these since my friends and I first went to a Mexican restaurant in Joburg called Perron. The restaurant was relatively new at the time (we went in November of 2014), and we booked for weeks in advance. It’s really amazing for those of you who enjoy Mexican food. It’s not too pricey, and it’s quite a vibe. Anyway, I digress.
So a tostada is a crisp tortilla, so black bean tostadas are obviously crisp tortillas with black beans on top. Simple. And to be honest, the recipe I found is nearly as simple. It can be found here.
I must admit that my preparation was rather hasty (even though I’ve been planning these since 2014). I substituted many ingredients because I couldn’t find some, or didn’t have the time to make them from scratch (Tom has put me to shame here).
Instead of sour cream I used Crème fraîche. A quick Google in Pick n Pay told me that this would be acceptable. (Pick n Pay Benmore, WHERE is the sour cream kept?!). I didn’t think we had lime initially (and I had forgotten to buy), so I used lemon juice in the sour cream (Crème fraîche) mixture. I later found a lime (thank you Paula) which I could use for zest on the top. For the bean mixture I used ‘Sambal Badjak’ instead of Mexican sauce. I actually have no idea what either of them are, but it works really well! I also (hold judgment please) used tinned Mexican Style diced tomatoes in lieu of salsa. It did taste really good though, but I admit I will attempt to make it myself next time. The last thing, and possibly the biggest cardinal sin of this recipe is that I had to use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas. Corn tortillas can’t be bought in SA, and to make them you need Masa Harina, a corn flour (but different to Maizena) which is just not to be found anywhere. So I was forced to use the flour tortillas, which did crisp up a bit in the open(mine actually burnt and I had to remove a quarter of it).
I guess in some ways now it can’t really be called a tostada (because it’s not crisp as the definition suggests). But, it was still really tasty, and I will definitely be making them again. Also, the idea behind this challenge is to have fun and learn what tastes good. I’m glad I did some improvising – giving me some confidence to loosely follow recipes, instead of having to do everything by the book!