Toward the end of the month, especially when we may have eaten more take out than we should, sometimes the budget gets thin and I need to meal plan primarily from our pantry. Some of my most creative and delicious meals have been served at the end of the month. I think I work best under a bit of pressure.
Tonight's meal was simple, filling, and cheap, and all of the ingredients were either from my pantry or had made their debut in another meal this week. I'm going to add it to the monthly rotation, because it was a hit with everyone in the family.
|Fancy, right? Our choice of hot sauce is always Sriracha.|
refried black beans (recipe here - I love Simply Recipes!)
cheddar cheese, grated
hot sauce or salsa
frying oil - I like coconut oil
- Make refried beans. I made mine from cans (because this meal was thrown together last-minute), so I just started at the "heat oil and toast cumin step." I did make a few modifications: I did not have chili powder, but I did have 2 serrano chilis left over from another meal, so I seeded and minced those and omitted both the chili powder and the chipotle chili powder. While your beans are simmering,
- Fry corn tortillas in your choice of cooking oil (should be a high-heat oil so it doesn't end up smoking you out of the kitchen) until they are as crisp as you like them. If they start to brown, they are going to be crispy, which is just fine. Flip them over carefully to cook both sides. You can also just heat them to serve soft tacos instead of tostadas.
- Remove them from the oil, set them on a few paper towels, and sprinkle them with the shredded cheese.
- Add the refried bean mix, lettuce, and salsa or hot sauce to serve.
You can get a nice rotation going if you have a big enough pan. I have a 12 in cast iron that I like to fry in, and I can cook 2 tortillas at a time. Once the two tortillas are finished, I set them aside, put 2 new ones on, then go back to the cooling tortillas to add the toppings while the new two cook. I try to get a few finished before I call the family to dinner, so that I can keep them coming at a steady pace while everyone eats. And yes, I usually end up eating this kind of dinner at the stove while I cook, but our kitchen is set up so I don't feel far away from the rest of the family eating.