Black Bean Tostadas with Smoky Salsa

Also known as Rick Bayless’ Black Bean Tostadas with Smoky Salsa

1/2 pound tomatillos
2 cans (15 to 19 ounces each) black beans, drained
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, each cut in half
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or fresh pork lard
1 small chipotle chile in adobo plus 1 tablespoon adobo*
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tostada shells ( lat, crispy tortillas), warmed**
1/2 head Iceberg or Romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
4 ounces queso fresco (Mexican fresh cheese – creme fraiche) or farmer cheese, crumbled

Remove papery husk from tomatillos and discard. Rinse tomatillos.

In 1-quart saucepan, place tomatillos and enough water to cover; heat to boiling over medium heat. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until tomatillos turn from bright green to olive green. Drain; cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in food processor with knife blade attached, combine beans, onion, and 2 garlic cloves; pulse until smooth.

In 2-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add bean mixture and cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove saucepan from heat; keep warm. Wash and dry processor and blade.

In food processor with knife blade attached, combine tomatillos, chipotle chile, adobo, salt, and remaining 2 garlic cloves, and pulse about 10 times or until salsa is almost smooth. Makes about 2/3 cup.

Assemble tostadas: If bean mixture is really thick, stir in a little hot water. Spread some bean mixture over each tostada. Top with some lettuce and cheese. Serve with salsa.

Makes 6 main-dish servings.

*Canned chipotle chiles are smoked jalapeno chiles packed in a thick vinegary sauce called adobo. Look for chipotle chiles in Hispanic markets or in some supermarkets. If you prefer a milder salsa, use 1 tablespoon adobo and do not add chipotle chile.

**If you can’t find tostada shells, you can use corn tortillas and fry them in a skillet, 1 at a time, in a small amount of oil until lightly browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels.

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Non-Stick Hard Anodized, 17 Piece Set, Black

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