Black Bean Avocado Tostones – Recipe Swap

Tostones.

I have no idea how it’s actually pronounced, but I’ve been having a delightful time telling everyone about how I made these delicious toe – STONE – ays. Yell it out. It feels good in the mouth.

toe – STONE – ays!

Tostones (or toe – STONE- ays, as I like to call them) are fried plantains, and they’re the french fries of the Caribbean. Or so they tell us on wikipedia. Having never been to the Caribbean, I can’t verify this. I can tell you that as a lover of both plantains and fried items, I’ve had my eye on them for a while.

So when I took a look at this month’s recipe swap inspiration, a recipe for pizza from Mary’s Italian Dinners, I knew immediately I would make little tostone pizzas.*

Even though plantains look like bananas, they’re a lot starchier and not sweet. You can’t peel them the same way either, especially when they’re still green.You have to slice off the peel with your trusty blade.

After frying these guys twice, I topped them with beans and avocados, though I think they’d be lovely with a variety of other toppings (goat cheese is at the top of my list.)

Black Bean and Avocado Tostones

  • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1 plantain, peeled and sliced
  • coconut oil, for frying
  • salt, to taste

Fry the plantains in about 1/4 inch of oil, until softened, but not brown. Time will vary based on how thick you slice your plantains, but mine took about 2 minutes a side. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Place the plantains on a cutting board and smash them with the bottom of a glass. Not too hard, just enough so that they flatten a bit and some of the insides squeeze out the sides. Then, return them to the oil and fry until browned and crispy. Return to the paper towels to drain, then sprinkle on some salt.

Place black beans, cumin and chili powder in a skillet. Heat over medium low, stirring and mashing with the back of a spoon.

Top each plantain slice with a spoonful of the beans, then a slice of avocado. Sprinkle over a bit more salt if you think they need more. (I did this. I’m kind of a salt fiend.) Serve warm.

About the Recipe Swap: The recipe swap is organized by Christianna at the Burwell General Store. Each month, a collection of bloggers reinterprets a classic recipe selected by Christianna. Click below to see what other recipe swappers did with this one.

*Ha ha! Just kidding. I had no idea what to make, even though I’d had a plantain staring at me from the bottom of my fruit bowl for at least two weeks.

Black Bean Soup

This or something quite similar is the usual result when I want something home-cooked that’s still fast and easy to put together. And it’s support for keeping my pantry well stocked, as everything here came right from it.

Black Bean Soup

  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can tomatoes diced, with juice
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1/4 C onion
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 heaped t cumin
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 2 C beef broth

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil in a soup pot until soft. Add cumin and chili powder, stir for 30 seconds, then add everything else. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down. simmer for 10-15 minutes and serve. Taco chips, sour cream, and avocado would all be delightful on top.

Black Bean Dip

I posted a recipe for this a couple weeks ago, as an ingredient in quesadillas. Thought I would repeat it here as a standalone and with better measurements…

Black Bean Dip

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 chipotles in adobo, seeded
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 3/4 t cumin
  • 1/4 C olive oil

Combine everything but the olive oil in a food processor and pulse until combined and chopped. With motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Add a little more if you like it smoother.

Black bean dip quesadillas

I love quesadillas, but often feel that just cheese isn’t quite enough of a meal. Adding beans is a good option, but whole ones tend to fall out on me when I flip to the other side. Solution? Bean dip. Stickier and spicier than whole beans.

Black bean dip quesadillas

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 T lime juice (more or less to taste)
  • 1 – 2 whole chipotles in adobe, seeds removed
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C salsa
  • 2 T olive oil
  • shredded cheddar or monterey jack
  • flour tortillas

Puree everything but the cheese and tortillas in a food processor. Spread on one side of a tortilla, and place the non bean dipped side down on a hot skillet. Sprinkle cheese to taste on top, then top with another tortilla. When the first side gets browned and crisp, flip the whole thing over.

Cut into wedges with a pizza cutter and serve with salsa and sour cream if you like.

Caribbean style beans and rice

I go through phases of food that we eat a lot, and this month, that seems to be beans and rice. It is something that both hubs and I really enjoy, and I can make a big pot of it since it’s so good reheated the next day. I made this version on Sunday when I opened the pantry to find none of the pintos I would normally use, but instead a can of coconut milk and another of black beans calling to me.

Caribbean style beans and rice

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup brown rice (you can use white, but the cooking time will be much less)
  • 3 slices of bacon, sliced crosswise into thin strips
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Sriracha hot sauce, to taste
  • Salt, to taste

Combine rice and coconut milk in a sauce pan with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 40-50 minutes, until rice is tender. Brown bacon and garlic in a separate pan, add to rice, along with black beans, hot sauce, and salt. Add about 1/2 C water and simmer all for 15 minutes. Serve with more hot sauce.

Southwest Chicken Casserole

I had planned to have Chicken Fajitas Wednesday night, but for some reason that just didn’t sound appealing. Made this instead. You could use any salsa you have on hand, but I used Frontera Chunky Tomato Salsa. It’s definitely a more expensive brand, but just tastes so yummy. Green salsa would be really good here as well.

Southwest Chicken Casserole

  • 1 whole skinless, boneless chicken breast (or two halves)
  • 5 corn tortillas, cut into short strips
  • 1 16 oz jar salsa
  • 1 Can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Shredded cheddar cheese to cover top (1/4 – 1/2 cup)

Cook your chicken until not quite done. I like to roast it when I have skin-on breast, but boneless is best poached. Just put it in a bit of water and simmer very slowly for 10-15 minutes. It doesn’t have to be all the way done (and is better if it isn’t), because we’re going to bake it in the casserole later. Trim your chicken and cut it into chunks. Layer salsa, then beans, then chicken, then tortilla strips into a 9X9. Repeat until you’ve used those up, then smash it all down so it’s even. Top with cheese. Bake at 375ish for 20-30 minutes until bubbly and hot. Serve with lettuce and sour cream if you like.