Monday, January 16, 2012

Delicata & black bean roastadas (Still Baking #16)

Still pregnant. Not much to say on the non-food front other than that!

So today I finally got around to making something I have been DYING to make for this month's blog series: some tostadas made with baked delicata squash. Once again, I owe this dish's inspiration to Terry Hope Romero's Viva Vegan cookbook. Man, I love that book. This is my take on the butternut & black eyed pea tostadas recipe, using techniques and ingredients I had on hand. I'm calling them "roastadas" because unlike normal tostadas, the tortillas are very very lightly fried and then baked rather than deep fried. (I am terrified of deep frying.)

Delicata & black bean roastadas

Delicata & black bean roastadas
Makes 8 (serves 4ish, with copious leftover black bean mixture)

Squash layer:
3 delicata squash, halved & seeded
canola oil for spraying/lightly brushing
kosher salt for sprinkling
chile powder for sprinkling
1 tsp olive oil

Black bean layer:
1 large onion, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 serrano peppers, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
half a bunch of cilantro, minced
2 cans cooked black beans
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin

8 small corn tortillas
canola oil for spraying/lightly brushing

vegan cheese for sprinkling on top (optional)
1 avocado, sliced (optional)

1. First start the delicata layer: preheat the oven to 425F.
2. Put the delicata in a baking pan, cut side up. Lightly spray with canola oil (or brush), then salt very lightly, then sprinkle with chile powder to taste.
3. Bake delicata squash for 30 minutes. Start black bean layer when you put squash in the oven.
Note: leave the oven ON when you take the squash out.
4. Use a spoon to scrape the baked delicata out of its peel; this should be very very easy. If it's not, they're not baked enough. (Note: you can eat the peel if you want, and I usually do, but I think it would not be great for the texture of the mash.)
5. Use a potato masher or a fork to mash up the delicata into a fairly smooth paste. If it seems to dry, stir in the olive oil.

6. Black bean layer: spray a saucepan with canola oil (or put in about 1 tsp) and heat up over medium heat.
7. Add in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
8. Add the garlic and serranos and cook another 2 minutes or so, til fragrant.
9. Mix in tomatoes, cilantro, black beans, salt, and cumin. Stir well.
10. Use a potato masher (or similar implement) to mash up the contents of the pan. You're going for a slightly chunky liquid with bits (onions and cilantro, maybe a few stray beans).
11. Cook for 10 minutes or until somewhat thickened; you want it to be slightly more liquidy than refried beans typically are, but along those lines. While it's cooking down, start the tortilla steps.
Note: you will have a LOT of leftover filling-- about 3c. I didn't want to put half a can of tomatoes in the fridge is all.

12. Tortillas: spray a cast iron (or maybe nonstick?) pan lightly with canola oil and heat over medium heat.
13. Line a baking sheet with tin foil.
14. Add tortillas 2 at a time and cook until slightly crispy, about 1 minute per side. As each set of tortillas finish cooking, place them on the baking sheet. They will not be as crispy as a deep fried tostada, but they shouldn't be limp or floppy either.

15. Assembly: divide the delicata mash evenly between your 8 tortillas and use a spatula to spread filling out to the edges. (I didn't measure, but I'd say I used about 1/4-1/3 c mash for each tortilla.)
16. Now add a layer of the black bean mixture and use a spatula to spread that filling evenly over the squash layer.
17. Add a light sprinkling of vegan cheese (I used cheddar Daiya) on top of each roastada.
18. Put in oven and bake 10 minutes or until cheese gets melty.
19. Remove from oven and top with avocado slices.

Phew. That's a lot of steps. But it actually came together quite easily, and it was soooo yummy. The delicata layer is so sweet and lovely next to the spicy black bean layer. Yummers.

Not convinced? Look at how good these squash looked:

Roasted delicata squash

Josh and I really enjoyed this, though they were suuuuper filling and we had a hard time getting through 2 each. The Emperor ate one bite of the black bean layer and one (separate) bite of the delicata layer-- he told me the black beans were too spicy and the delicata squash was too warm. Then he proceeded to eat an entire avocado and a plain corn tortilla. Hey, whatever works.

He and I had a fun day today, wandering around downtown in the morning and then going to the park in the afternoon. Here he is at the park, engaging in one of his favorite pastimes: playing with sticks:

Sticks and shrubs


Anonymous said...

The one thing I detest about deep frying is smelling like oil for the rest of the day. Gross. That keeps me far and away from it, myself :)

Amey said...

Nikki! Hello from Austria! I'm thinking of you so much, and thought I'd come check in. I love all the blog posts from this week... Still preggers, huh?! :) sending lots of love!

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