Black Bean Tostadas

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

Suggested Use:
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.

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1/4 cup pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
1/4 cup black beans, sorted and rinsed
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-3 ancho chiles, halved and seeded
1 chile de arbol or other dried chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
4 cups basic vegetable stock or water, (you may add more if needed)
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. sea salt


6 10″ tostada shells or flour tortillas
1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems trimmed
3/4 cup salsa cruda
6 Tbsp. guacamole dip

1. To prepare beans, put them in a large bowl and add about 10 cups of water. Allow to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight, changing the water a few times, if possible. Drain and transfer to large saucepan.

2. Add onion, garlic, chiles and stock to beans and season with pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 2 hours or until beans are soft. They should have the texture of a baked potato. Be sure that beans are completely covered with water during cooking. (A good test to see if they are done is to pinch a bean between your thumb and forefinger.) Drain beans and reserve the cooking liquid.

3. Transfer beans to a food processor and puree. Use the cooking liquid if necessary to adjust the consistency. Add the oregano, lime juice and salt if using and mix well.

4. To assemble the tostadas, spread about 2 Tbsp. of bean puree in a thin layer on each tostada. Top each with a generous pinch of shredded lettuce, 2 Tbsp. of salsa and 1 Tbsp. of guacamole.

Recipe from Chile Pepper Magazine.