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.
- 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.