Blackened Shrimp Tostadas with Emergency Refried Black Beans

By Katherine

The secret layer is made of avocado

When we lived in San Diego, and Greg messed up dinner, this was years back, we’d walk down to Ranchos. Our favorite Mexican joint was remarkable for a few reasons. It managed to cover almost every square inch of wall space with portraits of Frida Kahlo and it eschewed lard and other ingredients that can make Mexican food so good, I mean so unhealthy. Almost every time we went, I’d order the black bean tostadas with shrimp. They were perfect. So when I was at the grocery store after 5 p.m. the other day to pick up avocados to go with some shrimp I still hadn’t figured out what to do with, I found myself reaching for black beans and tostadas. We normally don’t buy canned beans, so I’ll call these emergency refried beans. Here’s how to do it from scratch.

Blackened Shrimp

  • 1/2- 3/4 pound shrimp, deveined and peeled (the size is up to you)
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin (preferably from seeds)

Combine all dry ingredients in a shallow bowl. Toss shrimp in batches to coat. Thread shrimp onto skewers and grill until done, a few minutes per side depending on the size.

Emergency Refried Black Beans

  • 1 14.5 or 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 12-ounce lime beer (chicken broth will work too)
  • 1 20-ounce can refried black beans
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped fine
  • hot sauce, such as Tapatio to taste
  • salt/pepper to taste

Cook whole beans, tomatoes and beer over medium heat in a medium sauce pan until liquid is reduced, about 20 minutes. Stir in refried beans and cilantro, hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

To build: Spread black bean mix and the toppings of your choice, guacamole, grilled vegetables, shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa, on individual tostadas and top with shrimp.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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56 Responses to Blackened Shrimp Tostadas with Emergency Refried Black Beans

  1. Kristy says:

    I’ll take a few of those stacks! And I honestly can’t imagine a time where Greg screwed up dinner. That just seems impossible. ;)

  2. This recipe has been approved by the kid. We’ll be having this tomorrow…

  3. katyarich says:

    Mexican food is very popular in Spain as well, this recipe looks delicious. :)

  4. Jessica says:

    Holy cow, I’ve never seen a triple-decker tostada! That shrimp looks amazing. confession: I have bought emergency, emergency beans: canned refried black beans (shame)

  5. Purely.. Kay says:

    My mouth just dropped.. and I am completely drooling. I want this for dinner today. Just look at that shrimp.. yeah you guys just made me hungry lol

  6. ChgoJohn says:

    Those shrimp were expertly grilled and make the perfect topper for your tostada stack. That looks sooo good!

  7. I like it, emergency refried black beans. That is dedication! The dish looks very tasty!

  8. Wish I was over the night you had to eat “Emergency Rations” ;)

  9. Tandy says:

    this looks really tasty! I have never done beans from scratch and I have a bag of dried beans that are calling to me :)

  10. BrainRants says:

    Looks great. I prefer sriracha sauce (rooster sauce) since it’s less vinegary.

  11. Delicious! Almost too pretty to eat. :-) Mandy

  12. This looks utterly delicious not to mention beautiful. ha ha emergency refried beans reminds me of my aunt’s “gazpacho rápido”.

  13. Mmm, I love that guac poking out in the middle, it’s teasing me …

  14. Norma Chang says:

    When I read the title, I wondered what in the world is emergency refried black beans? Glad you explained. Lovely presentation, too pretty to eat.

  15. Judy says:

    That is a Dagwood tostada if I ever saw one! Refried beans without lard is just not the same, nothing comes close to the real thing.

  16. Mary says:

    This looks amazingly good right now. I’d be tempted to throw an egg on top and call that my breakfast. YUM! (Apparently, I woke up HUNGRY today!) Have a fabulous weekend.

  17. That looks absolutely fabulous! I am printing it out right now… :)

  18. niasunset says:

    This is art, sculpture in the kitchen…. Seems so beautiful. But I want to taste too… Thank you dear Rufus, have a nice weekend, with my love, nia

  19. TasteFood says:

    Great recipe – emergency beans to the rescue!

  20. That looks fantastic! Like food art.

  21. That is a beautiful and satisfying plate of food!

  22. Courtney says:

    Sometimes you just need to use emergency items. :) But you certainly used them to your advantage. Looks delicious!

  23. spree says:

    Outstanding!! This looks so very good!! My only question – fork or fingers? (and you know the answer I’m hoping for!)

  24. billpeeler says:

    I was introduced to Old Bay about 5 years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since —–

  25. spicegirlfla says:

    Glad to see I’m not the only one who screws up a dish every now and then!! This one though is perfect!! Love the char on the shrimp! Quite a stack….and mouthful!!

  26. A feast for the eyes!

  27. Caroline says:

    Love the lime beer in the beans–heck yes! I’m just curious if either of you were able to bite through all three layers. Looks complicated, but I’m sure would be deeelicious!

  28. That is going to be one spicy wholesome tostada.

  29. Lisa at fLVE says:

    This looks delicious.

  30. Those shrimp look gorgeous — thanks for the recipe.

  31. zestybeandog says:

    There’s almost nothing I love more than a nice seared shrimp dish! Simple and oh so tasty! I normally do corn or flour, so I’ll have to try tostadas!

  32. Mad Dog says:

    They do looks good! You’d be surprised about lard – it has less fat and less cholesterol than butter!

  33. Carolyn Chan says:

    Lard makes everything taste better! Great photo!

  34. Oh my goodness! These are beyond lovely. I must have them.

  35. Alli says:

    Looks fantastic, we had Mexican beer tonight with lime, chilli and ice, these would have been perfect with our beer.

  36. Eva Taylor says:

    Greg messed up dinner?
    I adore the flavours of Mexican food, this recipe look delicious!

  37. God this sounds good and makes me miss San Diego tremendously…it’s the mecca for some of the best Mexican food.

  38. I miss some good old TEX MEX!!! thee blackened shrimp tostado s sound amazing. What is lime beer?

  39. We love Mexican food and this looks incredible! I will try this out for sure.

  40. This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it out one day!!

  41. Sounds absolutely delicious. Sure does beat my salad I had for dinner.

  42. Karen says:

    I love tostadas and these look yummy.

  43. Now that is a tostada…never seen a triple decker one, but I could mow my way through this one in a heartbeat!

  44. Charles says:

    God, I love Mexican food – I don’t eat it nearly enough as I should – looks fantastic Greg – I’d happily stuff that down every night :D

  45. I think my girls do eat Mexican every night of the week. They love it and are always making something new. We like it, too, but not every night. This looks so good. I will send them this recipe, too.

  46. foodfunfamily says:

    This look so good! Our family, especially, my kids loves Mexican food! Definitely will have to try this one!

  47. Beer and Beans… this almost sounds like a Canadian dish;) xo Smidge

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